Categories
BLACK HIMALAYAN SALT BRAGG LIQUID AMINOS CAULIFLOWER JUST EGG LIQUID SMOKE RICE

Thatsa Nicesa Rice!

JUST EGG SUN-DRIED TOMATO FRIED RICE

The meat is the sun-dried tomato. The egg is plant. The rest is familiar, tasty and satisfying. Seasoning the rice water prior to cooking the rice makes one wonder what’s different here that tastes so good!

Serves 6

Categories
BREAKFAST JUST EGG POTATO TOFU

Hash Brown Scramble

HASH BROWN SCRAMBLE

What to do with those restaurant or home leftover baked potatoes all shriveled up in the fridge? Do The Hash Brown Scramble! Breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Serves 6 with or without a side of plant meat

Categories
POTATO SALAD & DRESSING TOFU

AFC Tater Tot And Egg Salad

AFC TATER TOT AND EGG SALAD

You know tater tots are in when the vegan and gluten-free options show up in the grocery. Upon discovering that I liked them, I decided to substitute them for regular potatoes in a potato salad. Why not? Super good – everything about it!

Because I’m lowering my fat intake I made a dressing that accomplished that, while not compromising flavor and texture.

The salad textures like fried chicken or shrimp!

Bring it to your next gathering or feature it on your restaurant menu. Guests will love it. Yes, THE ELEVATION OF POTATO SALAD!

Remember to keep it animal-free okay?

Makes 4-1/2 cups

Categories
DESSERT HOW TO MAKE JUST EGG WHIP TOPPING

Red Velvet Chiffon Cupcakes

RED VELVET CHIFFON CUPCAKES

My first attempt at using boxed cake mix minus the eggs was a success. Substitute applesauce for the oil and JUST EGG made from plants. I also added 2 teaspoons of baking soda. A little lighter and more airy than bakery style. Filled with a cocoa and maraschino cherry cream topping – dairy-free by RICH’S!

Happy Birthday to Steve!

Makes 12 cupcakes

Categories
EATING OUT ANIMAL-FREE PHOTOS HACIENDA TAPATIA

Hacienda Tapatia






Categories
JUST EGG SIDES SQUASH TOPPERS and CRUMBLES

Pan-Fried Zucchini And Yellow Squash

PAN-FRIED ZUCCHINI AND YELLOW SQUASH

Pan-fried green and sweet red peppers and onions with zucchini and yellow summer squash. Use as a side dish or as a topper for rice or potato, or in Zucchini And Peppers Fajitas. Or serve over JUST EGG scramble for breakfast!

Makes 6 cups

Categories
ANIMAL-FREE MEAT TOFU

BAKING SOFT TOFU

BAKING SOFT TOFU 

Often times restaurants and stores don’t always get what they order from their established vendors, because the vendors are out-of-stock. Rather than send nothing, they sub in a similar product. If what they want is extra-firm or firm tofu, and there is none, they send out soft tofu. 

Soft tofu is the least versatile tofu style. It’s difficult to work with – about all you can do with it is make tofu scrambled eggs or mayonnaise. I’ve never been to a restaurant that made either.

So if you get delivered soft tofu, this is what you can do with it.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2, 19 oz. pkg. soft, water-packed tofu, rinsed, carefully patted dry with towel, being careful not to break it, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes

2 t. salt

2 t. onion powder

2 t. garlic powder

2 t. fine grind fennel seed

2 t. Hungarian mild paprika

fresh grind black pepper


Combine spices in small bowl. Stir to evenly distribute.

Now place tofu cubes in extra-large bowl – carefully.

Evenly sprinkle spice mix over tofu.

Either shake and flip bowl, or use a rubber spatula to lift and turn cubes till coated.

  • Press spatula firmly against bowl to slide it under cubes, without cutting them with the spatula.
  • Don’t use your hands to turn the tofu; you’ll break the tofu into bits.

Place two cooling racks over two baking sheets – lightly oil the rack so the tofu doesn’t stick when baked.

Empty one half of the cubes on each sheet, then carefully separate them, so they’re not touching.

Place the baking sheets on the middle two oven racks in a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake approximately 35 minutes or till edges texture as crispy. Taste one.

Cool on rack, then lift into container using a wide metal flipper. Cover and refrigerate.

Serving Suggestions: These tofu cubes can top a salad, be used in wraps and added last to a stir-fry. It’s better to reheat the tofu separately before adding it to a stir fry, or better yet, plate the stir-fry and top it with the heated tofu. The tofu will add height to the dish which enhances the appearance. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley or cilantro and a drizzle of olive or light sesame oil.


Categories
ANIMAL-FREE MEAT SALAD & DRESSING TOFU

Delight Soy Chicken Veggie Salad

Soy Delight Chicken Veggie Salad

Vegan chicken nuggets mixed with Baked Seasoned Tofu, celery, peppers, grape tomatoes and cucumbers. Tossed or drizzled with a creamy dressing of choice!

Serves 4-6

Categories
BROCCOLI TOPPERS and CRUMBLES

Don’t Discard Broccoli Stalks


You know those huge, thick broccoli stalks that are attached to fresh broccoli?

DON’T THROW AWAY THOSE LONG BROCCOLI STALKS

This is what I now do with fresh broccoli that comes with long stalks.

Since I don’t like the texture feel of raw broccoli buds, unless they’re used as dippers in a creamy dip, and even then they’re not fun to chew.

I don’t mind tiny pieces of buds in a salad with a creamy dressing, but again they’re not an easy chew.

So I steam the buds and use them in side dishes or salad. There’s nothing wrong with putting steamed veggies in a salad along with other easier to chew fresh veggies – steamed till tender, but not soft.

First, wash the whole head in a large bowl of tap water, swishing it back and forth. Drain the water, then fill it again and swish some more.


Cut the head off where the buds meet the main stalk. 

Separate the buds, cutting down into the smaller, tender stalks, then steam.

Take the large bottom stalk and cut a piece off the stalk at the bottom. Usually only about a quarter inch, but if it needs more removed due to damage, then cut higher up.

Using a potato peeler, peel the entire stalk, taking the gnarly nubs off with it.

Now, using a broad, sharp knife, starting at the bottom, cut tiny disks 1/16-1/8 inch thick. Use these broccoli disks raw in salads, or as a snack.

I was surprised at the tender-crisp aspects of the stalks. A delightful chew!

Now I get the benefit of raw broccoli along with the steamed, so I’m happy all around.



SOFT TOFU CAESAR SALAD:

Mix baked soft tofu cubes with broccoli disks in Daiya Creamy Caesar Dressing. Mound on romaine lettuce leaf. Top with additional dressing, Follow Your Heart parmesan shreds and fresh cracked black pepper. Serve with lemon wedge.


BAKING SOFT TOFU






Categories
AFC SAUCES & CONDIMENTS ANIMAL-FREE MILK PRODUCTS

AFC Homemade OatMilk Basic White Sauce

AFC Homemade OatMilk Basic White Sauce

For those who don’t have access to plant milks, this will do in a pinch. Either use as beverage (adding flavors if you like) or as a plant milk base for sauces and gravies!

Next time around, why not turn it into a Moscato Wine and Aged American Cheese Sauce?

Makes 2-1/4 cups OatMilk to drink or as base for a white sauce

Categories
TOFU TOPPERS and CRUMBLES

SmokeHouse Almond Tofu Topper

SmokeHouse Almond Tofu Topper

Tofu cubes tossed with cracker meal made from Gluten-free SmokeHouse Almond Crackers by Blue Diamond, then baked till crispy! Top a salad, add to soups or chilies, use as the protein source in pita pouch sandwiches, tortilla wraps and tacos, in potato and/or macaroni salads or serve as a snack! Get creative. You decide!

Makes about 3 cups cubes

Categories
BLACK HIMALAYAN SALT CROUTONS TOPPERS and CRUMBLES

Maple English Muffin Croutons

A great-tasting and great-textured crouton. Sweet, salty, peppery and eggy! Use over salads, in soups or as a delicious snack. You may think of other uses. Experiment!

Makes about 2 cups

Categories
EATING OUT ANIMAL-FREE PHOTOS MASHISO ASIAN GRILLE

Mashiso Asian Grille






Categories
DAVIES-TIGHT KITCHEN & BAR EATING OUT ANIMAL-FREE PHOTOS

DAVIES-TIGHT KITCHEN AND BAR

Maybe you guessed it, maybe you didn’t.

Due to the CC Virus that we’re told is going to be with us for a while, and given that eating out or going to wine bars and taverns doesn’t have the same appeal it once did, we needed a new plan.

There are so many people sensitive to viral concerns and then so many who act recklessly with mask and distancing inadvertently thus adversely affecting our enjoyment of dining and drinking out.

So these days, we’re not eating out much, in fact, we may have stopped altogether. If we keep going out, then the odds increase of contacting this bug, and we’re in the underlying age condition group that gets hit the hardest, which makes us wary the longer this continues.

Honestly, I like to support the neighborhood, but being animal-free there isn’t a lot out there for me. Food isn’t the draw. Being around people is what I like, but with everybody suspicious of everybody else, it’s more of an effort than the relaxing, fun time it was once upon a time.

Some establishments are more lax than others. Some gouge, some hold the product too long, liquor is being diluted. Who knows with what.

To skip the hassle, we’re skipping dining and drinking out.

What to do? I already have a kitchen and a chef, me. Who wouldn’t go for 5 Stars every night, rather than green beans or tater tots?

We didn’t have a bar though. So I made one. Top shelf. With lots of water too. Steve previously bought a few cases of San Pellegrino and we nearly finished them.

So, my restaurant and bar are now in the house! Cheers!






Categories
SALAD & DRESSING

Original Rice Cream Salad Dressing gluten-free – GOAT

Original Rice Cream Salad Dressing

A velvety creamy salad dressing that doesn’t require gum powders or other thickening agents, plant milks or dairy-free cream cheese or sour cream! A rich mouth-feel that one wouldn’t expect coming from rice! A true delight. Easy to make. Comes out perfectly every time!

Makes 1 cup

Categories
AGAR GEL UTILITY MIXTURES

AGAR GEL

AGAR GEL

For thickening purposes. Add to extend condiments. Contributes light, smooth, airy components. Add to scrambled tofu for a gelatinous quality. To soups for the same. Add to peanut butter to reduce fat content. Be creative. Invent your own uses! Or add to smoothies. For weight maintenance eat a couple Tablespoons before or with your meal!

Categories
RICE CREAM UTILITY MIXTURES

RICE CREAM

RICE CREAM

Make RICE PASTE a staple in your home or restaurant kitchen. Get creative with new uses! When looking for the color white – yes believe it or not white is a color – in sauces, soups, gravies, dressings, this is your cheap yet great go-to ingredient. Always have it on hand.

A simple, light, soft-cooked – to a mash – rice and water. Served as is with various toppings or condiments, much like thick grits or mashed potatoes. Or used as a base for white sauces and a thickener wherever you need one. We’ll be experimenting with all the categories on the menu!

Makes 48 ounces


2 c. parboiled long grain CANILLA GOLDEN rice – by GOYA, rinsed under cold water till water runs clear

8 c. water

In large saucepan combine rice and water. Bring to boil, cover, reduce heat to low and cook 1 hour.

Remove cover, stir up from bottom of pan to be sure there’s no sticking or crusting going on. Lightly smooth top surface with spoon. Replace cover and cook 30 minutes longer.

Stir well, again up from bottom, and remove from heat.

When cooled to room temperature it looks and scoops like thick mashed potatoes.

Transfer to covered container and refrigerate till ready to use.

Notes: Be sure to cook on low heat so as to prevent any sticking on the bottom of the pan. We need the rice to be the same throughout with no char or hard bits from cooking on higher heat. Too low is better than too high.

When using RICE CREAM it’s best to bring it to room temperature first. When adding water for your RATIOS, it’s best to add warm water for more efficient blending in the blender.

What I do is make different RATIOS of water-to-rice cream, cover, label and refrigerate. 

When it’s first made, RICE CREAM is soft and very pliable. Over days in the refrigerator it hardens up. So if using in first 2-3 days, it’s okay like it is. If much older than that, then do your blended water-to-paste RATIOS to use for sauces and dressings or thickener. 

I’ll be doing all of them and including links from here, so you have a reliable guide on how and when to use it. Then you experiment on your own. Alright!

Don’t add salt to the water. Just don’t. We don’t want separate grains. We want mash.

TRY THIS CREAMY SALAD DRESSING using RICE CREAM as a base.

Original Rice Cream Salad Dressing gluten-free – GOAT






Categories
APPETIZER TOMATOES

Appetizer Roasted Grape Tomatoes

APPETIZER ROASTED GRAPE TOMATO

Slow-roasting grape tomatoes brings out the tomato flavor. Pack with grape seed oil in jar with salt and garlic. Serve over lightly toasted French baguette! Wow. Simplicity is beautiful!

Makes about 2 cups

Categories
ANIMAL-FREE MEAT APPETIZER SLOPPY SOMETHING SPINACH SPRING ROLL TOFU

Sloppy Something Spring Roll

SLOPPY SOMETHING SPRING ROLL

Sloppy Something mix rolled in spring roll skins with fresh spinach, baked, then cut into appetizer size pieces. Served on a bed of fresh spinach with a dipping sauce and pickled ginger slices! Textures like a delicate sushi with skin reminiscent of baked trout skin! All animal-free of course!

Makes 12 rolls equals 36 pieces

Categories
SANDWICHES SLOPPY SOMETHING

Sloppy Something Beans

SLOPPY SOMETHING BEANS

Serve cold on sandwiches or hot as a side dish or small plate! Never heard of a bean sandwich? This one is special! Give it a try!

Makes 2 cups

Categories
APPETIZER TOFUTTI

Sloppy Something Cracker Spread

SLOPPY SOMETHING CRACKER SPREAD

Most cream cheese spreads are absent the meaty factor. Meat-eaters, animal-freers, vegetarians and all those in between will come back for more. Guaranteed! Just serve it – you don’t have to dissect it for them before they taste it. Discipline! If you have to say something, say there’s no animal products in it!

Makes almost 2 cups

Categories
ANIMAL-FREE MEAT SLOPPY SOMETHING TOPPERS and CRUMBLES

SLOPPY SOMETHING

SLOPPY SOMETHING

Sloppy Something is really SOMETHIN’ Sloppy Something wasn’t expected to be really SOMETHIN’. But Sloppy Something wanted more than Something. So Sloppy Something turned Something into REALLY SOMETHING’! 

Makes 5 cups 

Categories
MUSHROOMS TOPPERS and CRUMBLES

Fresh Mushroom Saute Topper

FRESH MUSHROOM SAUTE TOPPER

Fresh mushroom, green pepper and sweet onion sauteed in extra virgin olive oil. Seasoned with garlic and smoked paprika! Simple yet delicious!

Makes enough for 8-12 toppers or serves 4 – 6 as a side dish


2 T. extra virgin olive oil

1 c. diced sweet onion, 3/8 inch squares

1 c. diced green pepper, 3/8 inch cubes

8 oz. pkg. white button mushrooms, washed, stems trimmed and sliced

1 t. pink Himalayan salt

1 t. garlic powder

1 t. smoked paprika

fresh grind black pepper


In large skillet, over medium heat, melt oil.

Add onion and green pepper then saute while you’re slicing the mushrooms.

Add the mushroom along with salt, garlic, smoked paprika and fresh grind black pepper. Saute till tender, keeping some of the liquid extracted from the mushrooms during the cooking process, so the topping won’t be too dry. Remove from heat.


Serving Suggestions: Serve over grits, mashed potatoes, baked beans, rice, home fries, scrambled tofu, over plant meats, on sandwiches and subs, as a pizza topping, or as a side dish with just about anything. Use on tacos, in tortilla wraps and on and on.






Categories
FOOD PREP TOFU TOPPERS and CRUMBLES

OLD BAY BAKED TOFU CUBES


OLD BAY BAKED TOFU CUBES

Makes about 4 cups, depending on size


Preheat oven to 300 degrees

2, 14 oz. containers water-packed extra firm tofu – rinse, pat dry, then wrap in cloth towels and place a brick or heavy object on top to press for about 1 hour – when ready, cut the blocks into 3/4 inch cubes

1 T. OLD BAY DRY RUB sifted to remove hard bits

1 t. salt

1 t. mild Hungarian paprika

2 t. onion powder

2 t. garlic powder


In large mixing bowl combine sifted OLD BAY RUB, salt, paprika, onion and garlic powders. Stir well to mix.

Place tofu cubes in bowl and flip the bowl with some wrist action till cubes are coated.

  • If you flip too long, as I did, the coating won’t be as even, but that’s how we learn. Next time, when you see the cubes evenly coated, which doesn’t take long, stop flipping! Either way, they’ll taste great.

Place 2 cooling racks over two baking sheets. Lightly oil the racks using paper towel with a little oil drizzle on it.

Place tofu cubes away from each other on the racks. Bake in preheated 300 degree oven 20 minutes. The higher rack will cook sooner, so check to see how they’re doing. I went 10 minutes longer, since I was looking for a drier cube.

Remove from oven and cool at room temperature before removing from rack to storage container. Refrigerate till ready to reheat to use. Or use cold.

When ready to reheat to serve, do it in a skillet with a little oil on low heat, covered. It won’t take long. Or microwave them – also won’t take long.


Serving Suggestions:

1 – To add protein content to a green salad, add a few baked tofu cubes as a topper – warm or cold.

2 – Mix into macaroni or potato salad.

3 – Mix in with any vegetable saute.

4 – Top a bowl of soup with a few cubes.

5 – Use in sandwich wraps as the protein ingredients in place of plant meats.

6 – Or serve as a snack with toothpicks.






Categories
FOOD PREP ONION, SNOWY

SNOWY ONION

SNOWY ONION is simply fresh sweet onion, peeled and diced, then processed till evenly mushy, looking like snow.

Use in salad dressing when you want a sharp onion flavor and added texture without the chopped onion effect.

Or, use in white sauces that when cooked, melt into the sauce creating a smooth texture and sweet mellow onion flavor.

Or, use in small amounts in cocktail sauce, uncooked, to add texture plus onion flavor in place of, or in addition to, horseradish.

Or, invent your own use for this easy to make addition to condiments, dressings, sauces and soups.






Categories
AFC SAUCES & CONDIMENTS FLOUR MAKING A ROUX

White Wine Mushroom Sauce


WHITE WINE MUSHROOM SAUCE 

Wherever you use an animal-based white sauce, this animal-free white sauce works as well! A basic animal-free plain yogurt based white sauce with Pinot Grigio white wine, canned mushrooms and seasonings and fresh tarragon leaves. Thickened from a roux of oil, margarine and flour! A multi-purpose sauce!

Makes about 6 cups


28 oz. bottle FORAGER brand Probiotic Cashewmilk Yogurt, plain, unsweetened (organic, dairy-free)

  • Or, use any other animal-free plain, unsweetened yogurt that isn’t flavored with vanilla; add equal part water to the yogurt and whisk or process till smooth – 28 oz. (3-1/2 cups) is what you want – so 1-3/4 c. plain yogurt and 1-3/4 c. water (or less water depending on thickness of yogurt – you want the consistency of a yogurt beverage)

2 T. extra virgin olive oil

1/4 c. margarine

1/3 c. all-purpose unbleached flour

1 t. salt

2 t. garlic powder

2 t. onion powder


1 c. Pinot Grigio (white wine semi-sweet)

1 t. black Himalayan salt (sulphuric)

fresh grind black pepper to taste

2 c. diced sweet onion – placed in small processor and processed till it becomes like soft snow – mushy (called SNOWY ONION)


2, 6.5 oz. DR. WT. cans mushrooms stems and pieces including liquid from cans

fresh tarragon leaves, about a light handful


In large saucepan, over medium heat, melt oil with margarine.

Add flour and whisk immediately till dissolved into the oils (this is the roux). Keep whisking for about 3 minutes without leaving stove.

Add 1/2 cup wine and whisk till smooth.

Add another 1/2 cup wine and whisk till smooth again. Keep whisking for about 2 minutes.

Add salt, garlic and onion powders and stir to dissolve.

Add about 1/3rd of the yogurt liquid and stir till smooth.

Add another 3rd and do the same.

Add the last 3rd and do the same – whisk till smooth.

Add black Himalayan salt and black pepper, whisk.

Now, add SNOWY ONION, whisk well.

Reduce heat to low and cook till onion melts into sauce – about 20 minutes.

  • The onion, when slow-cooked, will flavor the sauce as it becomes one with it. You’ll still see some bits, but upon tasting they should taste sweet and texture soft.

Now add the mushrooms including the liquid from cans. Stir well and cook for another 10 minutes.

Add about a light handful of fresh tarragon leaves, submerging them in the sauce.

Salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat.

  • As the sauce sets, the tarragon will flavor the sauce. Then when you eat it and bite into a piece you’ll find the flavor a delight – instead of cooking the flavor into the sauce. Tarragon is mellow, but still a beautiful addition.

Set sauce aside.

Notes: The sauce will thicken more after refrigerated. If too thick for you, thin with a little salted water. Heating it will thin it out, so don’t add extra liquid till very hot. Adjust seasonings.

SNOWY ONION – PROCESSED SWEET ONION TILL EVENLY MUSHY LIKE SNOW






Categories
AFC SAUCES & CONDIMENTS BLACK HIMALAYAN SALT CARROTS

Spicy Carrot White Wine Gravy

SPICY CARROT WHITE WINE GRAVY

Carrot and Pinot Grigio wine? Why not? Sugar and spice and fresh rosemary too? Sure. Sesame oil with nutmeg? You bet! This is what the experimental process tastes, textures and looks like when it turns out great! Gravy anyone?

Makes 3-1/2 cups

Categories
CELERY FOOD PREP

STORING CELERY


Looking back on it, I doubt that I ever used an entire bunch of celery once stored in the refrigerator. The reasons being that it was too far toward the back and partially froze, or the water evaporated from the container and the celery went limp, or it just didn’t look good enough to use after a while.

Problem recently solved.

Before, I’d cut off the bottom, cut off the tops, wash the stalks and then place them in a tall upright container with water in the bottom, much like a vase of flowers. Then I’d refrigerate it.


Now what I do is basically the same thing, but I purchase the celery in a long plastic bag with holes in it. I fit a container to the circumference of the bag, put the celery stalks in water in the container. Then I slide the bag it came in down over the tops and stalks and container – about halfway down the container so it’s a tight fit.

I poke a hole in the top – not too big, just big enough to slide a stalk out when I need it.

I then of course refrigerate it.

So far, so good. It must have needed a cover with holes in it and not be exposed to so much air in the refrigerator.

It’s lovely to use now. When I want celery, I take a stalk, close the poked hole up a bit and return it to the refrigerator. It’s remarkable how much longer it lasts. Who would think?







Categories
CAULIFLOWER FOOD PREP

QUICK RICED CAULIFLOWER


RICED CAULIFLOWER can be purchased in some grocery outlets fresh or frozen. Or you can make your own from fresh, by breaking the buds apart and processing them in a food processor till evenly riced (mealy). Of course you still have to cook them and even if you don’t, such as when added to a salad, the texture of the fresh uncooked version isn’t all that pleasant.

I discovered when I wanted some for a soup that all I had to do was thaw frozen cauliflower, cut it in smaller chunks and process the entire bag till the ricing effect was achieved.

It takes little time and the texture of the thawed frozen is as desirable as the cooked riced cauliflower – the chew is springy, tender and somewhat glutinous, which are all the features of cauliflower that we like so much. It’s a little like eating barely cooked large shrimp in texture.

Yeah, so go ahead, rice away the easy way, using thawed frozen cauliflower.






Categories
BURGER KING EATING OUT ANIMAL-FREE PHOTOS

BURGER KING IMPOSSIBLE WHOPPER







Categories
EATING OUT ANIMAL-FREE PHOTOS KING WAH

KING WAH








Categories
EATING OUT ANIMAL-FREE PHOTOS STACK’D @ JACK CASINO

STACK’D @ JACK CASINO Impossible Burger




IMPOSSIBLE BURGER BEFORE IT’S COOKED





Categories
HERBS & SPICES

HERBS AND SPICES

Within the category of plants that we commonly call herbs, are herbs and evergreens.

Herbs are annual, biennial, or perennial plants in which the stems die down to the ground after flowering. An annual plant lives only one season or year. A biennial plant lives for two years. And a perennial plant lives more than two years. Examples of herbs are basil, dill, tarragon, oregano, marjoram and thyme.

Evergreens, on the other hand, are shrubs or trees having green needles or leaves throughout the entire year, that is, the needles or leaves of the past season do not fall off the tree until the new foliage has been completely formed. Examples of these are rosemary and bay leaf. Since the needles and leaves of evergreens do not accept moisture readily, the needles and leaves of these plants must be pulverized or crushed before using them or in the case of bay leaf, used whole, then removed after cooking. Herbs and evergreens can be used fresh or dried.

Although fresh herbs are fragrant and delicious, I prefer to use dried herbs in cooked dishes. Fresh herbs lose their gentle flavors more quickly in the cooking process, whereas dried, which are more flavor potent, stand up better under cooking conditions. Making cold sauces, marinated antipastos, salads, or when I can add the herb near the end of cooking time, I’ll prefer fresh.

When chopping fresh herbs for measurement, make sure that they are not wet. Wet herbs, when chopped compact together and measure inaccurately.

Since fresh herbs are expensive, we want to utilize them fully. Wash thoroughly removing any rotted leaves. Cut off bottom 1/2 inch of all stems. Place the stems in a glass of water, stems only; don’t submerge the leaves. Use a glass that fits the herbs, just as you would do with a bouquet of flowers. Now, take the plastic bag you brought the herbs home in, or a similar bag, and slip it over the leaves, bringing it down over the top part of the glass. Fluff it up a little bit, then secure bag around the top part of the glass with a rubber band. Refrigerate. Your herbs will stay fresh for days this way. As you use them, discard and replace the water periodically–just as you do with flowers.

Use only fresh herbs to garnish. Never garnish with dried herbs, that is, sprinkle them over a prepared dish. Their hardness will add an offensive texture to the dish, ruining it. You can, however, grind dried herbs to a powder and use them to garnish.  Spice is different, of course, since it is already ground to a powder, and will garnish many dishes nicely.

Spices are parts or products of vegetable plants, such as pods or fruits, roots, bark, berries, seeds etc., which are always dried, and, unless they are used whole in a recipe, then removed, they are ground for ease in using them. A few examples of these are: ground nutmeg seed (which actually looks more like a nut), ground cinnamon from the inner bark of the cinnamon tree, ground paprika from the pods of sweet red pepper plants (in other words, sweet red peppers), ground ginger from the ginger root, and ground pepper from peppercorns, which are the berries of the plant.

In case you’ve ever wondered where white pepper comes from, it is obtained by taking the black or brown berry and removing the outer coating or cover by friction. What remains is a gray-white berry which is then ground into white pepper. White pepper is less potent than black, and is used in dishes where black would interfere with the color achievement. Black pepper is the worlds most common spice. Throughout the world there exists a multitude of spices, some unique to only particular cultures of the earth.

For best results in any dish, you must begin with a fine grade of herb or spice. An old pepper, a bitter paprika, or highly pungent bay leaf can turn an otherwise perfect dish to ruin. Due to variations in potency between herbs and spices of different brands or different harvests, adjustments may have to be made in measurements from one time to the next.

When shopping for dried herbs and spices, shop where you get the freshest product. An herb that sets too long on a retailer’s shelf is no fresher than if it sets too long on yours. Although spice shops offer a wide variety of herbs and spices, many too exotic to be stocked by most supermarkets, they vary in quality, reliability and consistency. If you find one that suits your needs, then tell your friends. Good shops need business to turn their product. On the other hand, large companies which sell prepackaged herbs and spices to large supermarket chains are now air-sealing their jars and cans, so that freshness is guaranteed (up to a point). If the quality is good and you like it, then it’s just as easy to purchase these.

Poultry seasoning isn’t only for poultry. It just so happened that poultry is what most home cooks used the this combination of seasonings to season. Some vegetarians won’t use it  because of its connection to the bird. I still  use it in some recipes where I don’t want the stronger taste of just the sage. There is a difference between sage and poultry seasoning. A combination of several herbs is always different from just one of those herbs. The flavors are muted and simultaneously enhanced by each other, creating a more complex flavor achievement. This complexity is valuable in cooking plant-based dishes.

Frugalliving.about.com makes her homemade poultry seasoning out of marjoram, savory, parsley, sage, thyme, rosemary and onion powder. I suppose that a homemade poultry seasoning in America would be much like the homemade curries in India, according to one’s preferences.

MINT

The picture above shows fresh picked mint hanging in the kitchen to dry. Mint can grow just about anywhere and multiplies quickly from year to year. When thoroughly dried, as in the picture below, remove leaves, crush and pack into jars. They make a nice gift for the holidays or when you want to bring your dinner host something special to thank them in advance of the meal.

MINT DRIED

WINDOW GARDEN

My window herb garden receives no sun, only light, which proves these herbs don’t need direct sunlight to grow. The way our building is set up, one side gets the sun, the other doesn’t. My herbs grow anyway!

WINDOW GARDEN CLOSE UP OREGANO
WINDOW GARDEN CLOSE UP BASIL
WINDOW GARDEN CLOSE UP ROSEMARY
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Categories
BLACK HIMALAYAN SALT CROUTONS TOPPERS and CRUMBLES

CANDIED EVERYTHING CROUTONS

CANDIED EVERYTHING CROUTONS

It’s a party crouton! Pick a salad of greens or a coleslaw and make everybody’s day by topping it with these candied bread croutons. They’ll rave and you’ll be the star of any gathering! They taste like they were grilled over an open-flame – a little marshmallow taste as well!

Serves 7

Categories
ANIMAL-FREE MEAT HOMINY

WHITE HOMINY MEAT

WHITE HOMINY MEAT

A high-end White Hominy Meat filling for soft and hard tacos, enchiladas, empanadas and tamales. Served with an equally sophisticated Tomato Cheese Corn Sauce!

Makes 3-1/2 cups

Categories
AFC SAUCES & CONDIMENTS CORN TOFUTTI V-8 VEGETABLE JUICE

AFC TOMATO CHEESE CORN SAUCE

AFC TOMATO CHEESE CORN SAUCE

Cream corn and V-8 VEGETABLE JUICE lay the foundation for a multi-dimensional culinary experience! Smooth sensations all the way around! Who would think from two common ingredients such a surprise package could catapult itself into the world of animal-free cuisine! Anything is possible when you cook animal-free!!

Makes 3 cups

Categories
THINNING LIQUID FOR SOUPS & SAUCES TURMERIC UTILITY MIXTURES

Turmeric Thinning Liquid

TURMERIC THINNING LIQUID

A neutral thinning liquid with a broth component used to thin soups and sauces after refrigeration or after setting for a while.

Makes 1/2 gallon (8 cups)

Categories
HOW TO MAKE POTATO

BURNT HOME FRIES – 2 versions

BURNT HOME FRIES

Boiled yellow potatoes, pan-fried with an herb-spice mix in a light sesame seed oil till crusted and burnt on most surfaces with tender centers. Plus SESAME BARBECUE HOME FRIES made from leftover Burnt Fries, or you may want to do the barbecue from the beginning. One is a breakfast dish, the other a small plate or appetizer. Restaurants don’t always have to make the same Home Fries all the time. Mix it up now and then!

Serves 4

Categories
AFC SAUCES & CONDIMENTS

Barbecue Marinara

BARBECUE MARINARA

Barbecue spaghetti may be new to northerners, but not to the people in Memphis, Tennessee. AFC leaves the animal out and shows you how to make a quick Barbecue Marinara – two sauces combined – marinara and barbecue! An easy restaurant or home dish!!

Serve over spaghetti or linguini, then top with shredded veggie cheese – Daiya Dairy Free makes a good block of Monterey Jack. Then enjoy the twirl!!

Serves 4


CNAP ClipBoard: Combining barbecue sauce with a traditional marinara sauce creates an exceptionally rich palate experience. You can call it an Italian Barbecue or the Southern Italian. You pick. Or even better, come up with something new!


24 oz. jar DELALLO TOMATO BASIL PASTA SAUCE (or your favorite jarred sauce)

2 T. jarred minced garlic

1/4 c. HEINZ KENTUCKY BOURBON BARBECUE SAUCE – I chose this barbecue sauce for it’s richness and thickness

2 T. extra virgin olive oil

1 t. liquid smoke

1 t. dried basil

1/2 t. dried mint

1/2 t. dried oregano

1/4 t. ground allspice

light sprinkle red cayenne pepper

fresh grind black pepper

salt to taste


1 lb. spaghetti or linguini – cook according to pkg. instructions, in lots of sufficiently salted boiling water, then drain, rinse lightly under cool water


Combine all sauce ingredients in saucepan, stirring after each addition. Cook, on low heat, uncovered, for about 30 minutes.

Serve over cooked spaghetti or linguini, then top with veggie cheese.

7.1 oz. block Daiya MONTEREY JACK STYLE CHEESE, shredded over large holes of hand grater


Notes: All those tiny bits of white you see in the sauce aren’t seeds. It’s minced garlic. We like a lot of garlic in our sauces, so we use a lot. 





Categories
AFC BURGERS ANIMAL-FREE MEAT HOW TO MAKE NUTS & SEEDS SANDWICHES

Quinoa Walnut Sausage Burgers

QUINOA WALNUT SAUSAGE BURGERS

Another homemade burger recipe for those who want a less expensive burger, or for those who just like to make their own now and again. Low fat, nutrient dense is a good way to go.

Makes approx. 6-1/2 cups burger batter