Yesterday I felt like I was running around like crazy! I intended to post last night, but the long day combined with a cold that peaked yesterday led to no posting last night. Anyway, part of my productivity yesterday involved some cooking, which you will benefit from. Since J was using the car, that required me to use the awesome grocery cart that my mom got me for Christmas. I had hesitated using it in the past mainly because of all the snow and slush and I didn’t want to use it. I knew there was no way that I could carry all of the groceries back, so I got it out and pushed it to the store. I got a lot of compliments on it which was exciting. It was also began as a logistical nightmare because I had to figure out if I could put the food in the cart and not use a shopping cart. That worked out well with me dividing the stuff into two towers of “do not crush” and then everything else. Once I got to the store, I also was not sure what to do with my reuseable bags, but quickly found out that they would hang nicely on the handle. The most difficult part was actually getting back to the house, where I discovered the sidewalks would not be accessible to the differently abled. It was fun though and I am trying to see how long I can go without using a car. Its a fun little game for me.
I also got an awesome box from my mom yesterday that included some Teavana teas!
This was super nice for my throat and as you can see I drank the Hazelnut Dolce which was amazing!
So onto, what you actually come to this blog for…
Cranberry Sauce (vegan)
1 c. sugar
pinch of salt
3/4 c. orange juice
12 oz fresh cranberries
Boil sugar, salt and orange juice until sugar dissolves. Carefully add the cranberries and cover if desired (the cranberries will pop). As the cranberries pop, they will thicken the sauce. Cook for 5 minutes and then 5-10 minutes more if a firmer consistency is desired
Notes! I had a craving for cranberries ever since Christmas dinner. I didn’t make any, mainly because J doesn’t really like them, but they were finally on sale at the store. I actually doubled the recipe and it still worked out well. For the orange juice, I used Simply Orange, which I love and was on sale as well ;). They do not have Florida orange juice here which is what I normally purchase so Simply Orange it was. I really liked this sauce. I allowed it to cook for about 10 minutes and then just turned off the eye on the stove while it continued to cook and thicken. I like my sauce nice and thick. I could see this working really well over pancakes or waffles, as a topper for ice cream or some other desserts, or toast.
Lentils and Couscous (vegan)
1 box couscous
1 1/4 c. vegetable broth
1 1/2 c. lentils
3 c. vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
8 oz mushrooms, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
paprika spice mix
Boil 1 1/4 c. vegetable broth and cook couscous according to box directions. In a separate pot, boil 3 c. vegetable broth and add in lentils. Slightly cover and cook 20-30 minutes. In a skillet heat olive oil. Add onions and mushrooms and saute until tender. Mix all components together and add paprika spice mix.
Notes! This was so yummy. As for the paprika spice mix, there is a little story. In Charleston, SC, there is a market and people sell spice mixes with ridiculous names. Anyway, I love smelling their spices and picking them out to test in recipes. In August when my mom and I were there, one of the mixes that I got was called “Collard Greens” and I have decided that it is absolutely addictive. I cannot nail what all is in it, but I’m sure there is paprika, salt, and chili powder, but I’m not sure what else. I use it on everything, and one of my favorite ways is to slice sweet potatoes into rounds and sprinkle them with spice and toss them in the oven. Delicious!
Vegan Chocolate Buttercream
6 tbsp non-hydrogenated margarine
1 c. powdered sugar
2 tsp cocoa powder
non-dairy milk, as needed
Cream margarine until fluffy. Combine sugar and cocoa in a separate bowl. Add sugar to margarine and carefully beat together. If icing is too stiff, add non-dairy milk a tablespoon at a time to achieve a thinner consistency.
Notes! I love this buttercream! It does not melt and stays perfectly on the cupcakes. It also makes a small enough batter that you could frost about 12 cupcakes and not have any leftovers. So you will probably have to at least double it to cover an actual cake.
Chicken Rice Casserole (Not vegan)
2 c. rice
2 cans chicken broth
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 c. skim milk
1 tbsp dried minced onion
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
4 c. cubed cooked chicken
2 c. chopped celery
3/4 c. sliced almonds
Bring rice and broth to a boil; coer and simmer 15-18 minutes. Combine soup, milk, onion and Worcetershire. Stir in chickn, celery, 1/2 c. almons and rice. Transfer to a 13x9dish and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, covered. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining almonds and bke 5-10minues until heated through.
Notes! I don’t have a picture of this because it really wasn’t all that pretty. However, J had two helpings, so I am going to assume that this tasted delicious. For the chicken, I sauteed it with poultry seasoning and olive oil and then trimmed the breasts to bite sized pieces. I like to flavor chicken prior to adding it to a recipe that calls for cooked chicken.