Meal in a Dip

You can have your dip and feel good about eating it too. This recipe that I engineered today Is so delicious and satisfying it will be a hit at any gathering. You don’t need to mention that it’s non-dairy, no cholesterol, low fat, and your vegan friends can eat it too. I ate it as a dip with my favorite chip as pictured below but it could also be a creamy salad dressing or even a topping on a baked potato, or on beans or even on your favorite soup. You will see by the recipe that this meal in a dip has protein and vegetables!

Meal in a Dip

 

Recipe is is as follows:

Ingredients:

1 package of extra firm tofu – drain water by letting sit in a strainer – press to remove most of the packing water.

4 cups fresh baby spinach – cleaned and dry

6 green onions – clean and chop

1 avocado – remove peel and cut up and place in small bowl then add the lime juice, stir to coat avocado, and set aside

1 lime – juiced – about 1/8 cup – pour the lime juice over avocado as previously mentioned

1/8 cup raw unsweetened almond butter

Old Bay Seasoning – 2 tsp or to taste

nutritional yeast –  3 tbsp or to taste

Preparation steps:

  1. Add half the block of tofu, crumbled into the food processor, add the avocado, scrape bowl to get all the lime juice.
  2. Pulse processor and blend on low speed, scrape sides with spatula often until smooth.
  3. Add the spinach and green onions, repeat step 2.
  4. Add Old Bay and nutritional yeast and repeat step 2.
  5. Add almond butter, and repeat step 2.
  6. Add the rest of tofu crumbled, and repeat step 2.

Makes about 3 cups – serve with chips or as a dressing on salad, baked potato, pasta, or many other uses.

Meal in a Dip recipe makes about 3 cups

Meal in a dip is vegan friendly, non-dairy, no cholesterol, low fat and delicious!

Meal in a dip is creamy and delicious, yet vegan friendly!

Update on Calorie Count links in previous post

UPDATE: 3-11-17 – The CalorieCount links mentioned in this article Eating Our Way to Good Health  will be removed soon because Calorie Count is shutting down their website. I am in the process of following their procedure to export all my records so that I can transfer to another program they recommended. I have been a Calorie Count member for over 10 years and I have many recipes that I developed over the years that are stored so I will be very anxious to see this export data when they send me the link to access it.  https://www.caloriecount.com/forums/calorie-count/happy-new-calorie-count-update 

 

Maggie’s Chili and Beans Vegan Style

Maggie's Chili and Beans Vegan Style

Maggie’s Chili and Beans Vegan Style

Maggie’s Chili and Beans Vegan Style

1 pound bag dried red beans (large kidney beans)

Rinse and pick beans, drain. Pour into a large pot, cover with water at least 3 times volume of beans.

Cooking the beans:

Let beans soak overnight. Next morning drain off water and rinse well again, rinse out the pot, put beans back in cooking pot and cover with enough water to cover about 2” over beans, place on stove and bring to boil while stirring so the foam that forms on top will not overflow pot. Reduce heat to allow low simmering condition, cover and let simmer 20 minutes. Keep checking beans and stirring beans so that they don’t boil over; adjust heat so that low simmer persists with lid on pot. After 20 minutes, check beans for tenderness. When beans are cooked to point of being tender then add chili sauce ingredients (see below,) stir well and often for another 20 minutes or until beans are creamy inside and have absorbed flavors of chili sauce. Remove from heat and allow resting for at least 30 more minutes stirring occasionally without heat, and then readying to serve. When serving, I top with Daiya Cheddar Cheese Shreds (this is a vegan friendly product, it’s non-dairy and vegetable based cheese,) this veggie based cheese melts into hot chili and is delicious addition.

Chili Sauce Ingredients: add the following to the beans when they are at tender stage of cooking:

2 bay leaves

2 large roasted jalapeno peppers (I oven roast and freeze these when abundant from the Farmer’s Market)

6 sundried tomatoes (chopped to about ¼” square pieces)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp dried ground garlic

1 tsp dried ground cumin

1 tbsp Old Bay Seasoning

2 tbsp olive oil

1 (6 oz) can tomato paste (no salt added)

3 cups water

½ cup TVP (textured vegetable protein) I buy in bulk bins area at Ever’man Cooperative Grocery & Cafe.

 

What is a Prayer Shawl, and the History of the Prayer Shawl

I first heard about Prayer Shawls from a post in one of my online knitting groups. I was curious about what is that “Prayer Shawl,” and what about the history of the prayer shawl? I started researching online and was surprised to find that the making of this shawl isn’t limited to knitting. There are Crocheted and woven versions; there is also a sewn version. Another thing that surprised me was that the use and making of a prayer shawl is not limited to a specific religion, it surpasses the boundaries of religion. It seems that every religion has some sort of history of a prayer shawl. The prayer shawl ministry history is very touching and interesting. Making a prayer shawl is done for many reasons. It is often made for a friend who is going through a medical crisis or when there was a loss in the family. I think it is a wonderful tradition and endeavor. I was impressed by the many groups around the Globe that have Prayer Shawl Ministries. The authors Janet E. Bristow and Victoria A. Cole-Galo of “The Prayer Shawl Journal and Guidebook” give suggestions how to start your own group.

If you are interested in learning more about the prayer shawl ministry, I found a video on YouTube https://youtu.be/W302tI3P1bc that I recommend to anyone who is interested in learning more about prayer shawls. These ladies Janet E. Bristow and Victoria A. Cole-Galo are Co-Authors of several books on prayer shawls. I found the “The Prayer Shawl Journal and Guidebook” on Amazon used and may order it. Here it is on Goodreads and you can see more about the authors https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18143259-the-prayer-shawl-journal-and-guidebook. Also check out their website “The Prayer Shawl Ministry”  https://www.shawlministry.com/

Prayer Shawl

The picture is from http://www.shawlministry.com/photos.htm click on link to see more pictures and read about each contributor.

 

The picture is from http://www.shawlministry.com/photos.htm click on link to see more pictures and read about each contributor.

If you start a prayer shawl ministry or join one in your area I’d love to hear about it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Okara: the Lagniappe of Homemade Soy Milk

After years of buying store bought soy milk I decided to make my own when I realized how easy it is to make at home. I started making my own soy milk at home last year after I got serious about cooking plant based cuisine. I use soy milk and coconut milk in baking, for smoothies, ice cream, and for many other cooking uses.  I especially like the idea that I can buy non-GMO, organic soy beans and make fresh soy milk without the preservatives, thickeners, or flavorings that are in store bought milk, plus the cost is a fraction of store bought. I buy soybeans by the pound in the Bulk Goods Section at Ever’man Food Cooperative  where I am a member. The okara is the byproduct of the soy milk making process, it is the lagniappe of homemade soy milk. For those who don’t know what lagniappe means it’s a term I learned growing up in Louisiana, it means something given as an extra bonus or gift. Sometimes I just want to make soy milk in order to get the okara! Okara is a wonderful healthful high fiber food that can be used in everything from a bean burger to a moist sweet cake dessert. I will share some recipes that I make with okara in another post soon to come. If I’m not going to use the okara within a day or two, I freeze it. My two fur babies Zoie and Terra are absolutely crazy for the okara; they always seem to know I’ve made it, I guess they know the smell, they will run into the kitchen and sniff around, then sit and look at me patiently waiting for me to give them some. I too like to eat it fresh from the straining bag, it’s a taste I can’t describe. It’s a very mild taste. It accepts any seasoning; I guess that’s why it is a good addition to savory and sweet dishes alike.

Below are pictures of the process I go through to make soy milk and okara.

I start the night before by washing 1 cup of soy beans very well. If you haven’t washed dried soybeans before, you will be surprised that they foam like they have soap on them! All beans sort of foam but soybeans are very foamy. As I wash the beans, I pick out any beans that look bad. I wash very well, then rinse well, and then place washed beans in a stainless steel or enamel ware pot and put at least 6 cups of water, cover and let soak all night. The next morning dump the beans and water into a colander and rinse well again. The beans will have absorbed water and doubled or tripled in size. You will have about 3 cups of soy beans now, and that is enough to make 48 oz of soy milk. Soy beans have to be cooked for a minimum of 20 minutes in order to inactivate an enzyme that is bad for digestion. Cooking the beans also eliminates the “beany” flavor.

After cooking the beans for 20 minutes then either let set until room temperature or drain into a colander and rinse well. Then place about 1 cup in blender and add spring water as you will see in pictures below.

getting ready to grind the soaked soybeans in spring water

grinding the soaked soybeans in spring water

grinding the soaked soybeans in spring water

Getting the pan, stand, and straining bag ready

Getting the pan, stand, and straining bag ready – I made this bag by sewing it from 100% cotton, unbleached  cotton muslin with a drawstring channel at top of bag which I made the draw string from t-shirt yarn.

 

making soymilk pouring the ground soy beans and spring water into the straining bag, straining out the okara

making soymilk pouring the ground soy beans and spring water into the straining bag, straining out the okara

making soymilk pouring the ground soy beans and spring water into the straining bag, straining out the okara

making soymilk pouring the ground soy beans and spring water into the straining bag, straining out the okara

making soymilk, the ground soy beans and spring water straining out the okara

making soymilk, the ground soy beans and spring water straining out the okara

straining bag containing the soy okara

straining bag containing the soy okara – I use a steamer insert to help me press the bag while I squeeze the milk from the okara – some call it milking the bean bag

straining bag containing the soy okara and the pan of soymilk

straining bag containing the soy okara on left in bowl, and the pan of soy milk on right

Heat the soy milk on stove over medium-high heat until it starts to boil, then remove from heat, cover and cool for about an hour before pouring into a jar and refrigerating.

Heat the soy milk on stove over medium-high heat until it starts to boil, then remove from heat, cover and cool for about an hour before pouring into a jar and refrigerating.

straining bag containing the soy okara

straining bag containing the soy okara

Okara

Okara

The homemade soy milk keeps for 3 to 5 days in refrigerator. Mine doesn’t last that long because I use it in most everything I cook.

I want to answer what many have asked about the characterization of beans producing gas, many ask if soy milk develops gas in the tummy. No soy milk doesn’t give you gas.

One more tip for bean lovers who enjoy eating dried bean but who have problems with tummy gas. When cooking dried beans to eat it is best to soak the beans overnight, rinse next morning and be sure to use fresh water to cook your beans; then you shouldn’t have a problem with flatulence. If you find that you still have a tiny bit of gas production, then go one step farther and when cooking in fresh water, after 20 minutes of lightly simmering the beans, drain, rinse and fill with cold fresh water and then finish cooking the beans, adding seasonings and any fat after beans are almost done. I use olive oil for fat in my savory bean dishes.

 

 

Spinach Pita Pocket Melt

Guilt free late night munchies.

I wanted something late last night and as I stood peering into my refrigerator I was thinking I shouldn’t eat anything but my eyes kept wandering around the shelves looking at the fresh spinach I had washed and spun dry put in a bag for quick use. Then I saw the last Toufayan pita pocket that I had saved (love them!) and the Tofutti cream cheese, and the bags of Daiya cheese shreds, and then I thought “OH look at the Daiya mozzarella shreds that I haven’t tried yet and everything is plant based, dairy free, OH yes it’s guilt-free”  thus the idea was hatched in my hungry brain to make this spinach pita pocket melt. So I heated the cast iron skillet, without any grease, split the pocket open and spread the Tofutti cream cheese, piled on the spinach, topped with Daiya mozzarella shreds, and sprinkled with Old Bay Seasoning.

Toufayan pita, fresh spinach, Daiya mozzarella, Tofutti cream cheese, Old Bay seasoning, #dairyfree #vegan

Toufayan pita, fresh spinach, Daiya mozzarella, Tofutti cream cheese, Old Bay seasoning, #dairyfree #vegan

Then placed the top of the pita pocket and placed my Grill Press on top, turned off the burner and let the pita pocket heat for a couple minutes on bottom side,

Toufayan pita, fresh spinach, Daiya mozzarella, Tofutti cream cheese, Old Bay seasoning, #dairyfree #vegan

then flipped over and pressed again for a couple minutes on top side, then flip back over and let set without press for a couple more minutes, then cut into four pieces and EAT!

 

Toufayan pita, fresh spinach, Daiya mozzarella, Tofutti cream cheese, Old Bay seasoning, #dairyfree #vegan

Toufayan pita, fresh spinach, Daiya mozzarella, Tofutti cream cheese, Old Bay seasoning, #dairyfree #vegan

 

Toufayan pita, fresh spinach, Daiya mozzarella, Tofutti cream cheese, Old Bay seasoning, #dairyfree #vegan

Toufayan pita, fresh spinach, Daiya mozzarella, Tofutti cream cheese, Old Bay seasoning, #dairyfree #vegan

Toufayan pita, fresh spinach, Daiya mozzarella, Tofutti cream cheese, Old Bay seasoning, #dairyfree #vegan

Toufayan pita, fresh spinach, Daiya mozzarella, Tofutti cream cheese, Old Bay seasoning, #dairyfree #vegan

 

Corkshrooms

I made my first corkshrooms and I made an error on the first cable row but I left it because I didn’t catch my mistake until I got to the 2nd cable row.

 

My 1st corkshroom and as you can probably see the first cable I did wrong but 2nd cable I did correct, I'm OK with mistake, learned from it and can't wait to make next one correctly.

My 1st corkshroom and as you can probably see the first cable I did wrong but 2nd cable I did correct, I’m OK with mistake, learned from it and can’t wait to make next one correctly.

 

 

 

Working on my first Magic Corkshroom I didn't realize this was wrong until a few rows later. Instead of 4 on cable holder it should have been 2, when I went back to read the explanation of how this pattern states to do the cable I realized what I had done so did the 2nd cable row correctly. I will keep this one to remind myself of my mistake and reminder to read my directions more carefully next time. you can find the pattern on my project page http://www.ravelry.com/projects/maggiescorner/magic-corkshrooms #knitting

Working on my first Magic Corkshroom I didn’t realize this was wrong until a few rows later. Instead of 4 on cable holder it should have been 2, when I went back to read the explanation of how this pattern states to do the cable I realized what I had done so did the 2nd cable row correctly. I will keep this one to remind myself of my mistake and reminder to read my directions more carefully next time. you can find the pattern on my project page http://www.ravelry.com/projects/maggiescorner/magic-corkshrooms
#knitting

 

I keep this one to remind myself of my mistake and reminder to read my directions more carefully next time. you can find the pattern on my project page http://www.ravelry.com/projects/maggiescorner/magic-corkshrooms #knitting

I keep this one to remind myself of my mistake and reminder to read my directions more carefully next time. you can find the pattern on my project page http://www.ravelry.com/projects/maggiescorner/magic-corkshrooms
#knitting

You can see mistake I made, instead of 4 on cable holder it should have been 2, when I went back to read the explanation of how this pattern states to do the cable I realized what I had done so did the 2nd cable row correctly. I will keep this one to remind myself of my mistake and reminder to read my directions more carefully next time. you can find the pattern on my project page http://www.ravelry.com/projects/maggiescorner/magic-corkshrooms #knitting

You can see mistake I made, instead of 4 on cable holder it should have been 2, when I went back to read the explanation of how this pattern states to do the cable I realized what I had done so did the 2nd cable row correctly. I will keep this one to remind myself of my mistake and reminder to read my directions more carefully next time. you can find the pattern on my project page http://www.ravelry.com/projects/maggiescorner/magic-corkshrooms
#knitting

You can find the pattern on my project page http://www.ravelry.com/projects/maggiescorner/magic-corkshrooms