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“Cheese” Sauce

This recipe is for those that cannot do dairy, yet miss the cheesy goodness. I promise this is a life saver in the cheese department. It is very easy to make too. I made this “cheese sauce to go in a Southwestern Bean and Rice Casserole, which I will share the recipe in an upcoming post.

  • 4 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1/3 c GF Flour blend
  • 3 c almond milk
  • 1/2 c nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp yellow mustard, dried
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric, ground
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

In a large pan melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and cook butter/flour mixture until a paste forms, stirring continuously.

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Add milk, nutritional yeast flakes, tomato paste, salt, mustard and onion powder.

Bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until sauce has thickened.

 

Add lemon juice and stir.

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This sauce can be used for so many different dishes.

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Enjoy.

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Alfredo Sauce – Vegan

I came up with this sauce because I wanted a creamy “cheesy” sauce for a sandwich I was going to make. Back in the day when our boys were young we would take the boys to Downtown Disney. I think it is called Disney Springs now. It was an inexpensive day trip. There was no admission charge, that was huge plus. There was a lego store, another huge plus. And, they had pontoon boats you could rent. Even with all those cool and fun things the favorite place we liked the most was the restaurant called Rainforest Cafe.

The boys loved all the animatronics. They would go and watch all the vignettes of animatronics. It was a lot of fun. The restaurant had a sandwich I ordered every time we went there. It was called a Plant Sandwich. I remember it having a giant portabella mushroom, a slice tomato and some greens. Those are a few of the ingredients that I remember. It has probably been at least 15-20 years since we have been there, but I still remember that sandwich.

Thinking of that time period inspired me to come up with my own plant sandwich (will post soon), and this sauce was just what I needed to complete that feat.

  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 c raw cashews
  • 1 1/2 c water, hot
  • 2 tbsp white miso paste
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 c nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • fresh parsley, chopped, garnish

In a large skillet drizzle olive oil. Heat oil over medium. Add onions and garlic and cook until they are translucent and softened. Remove skillet from heat and set aside.

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In a blender add cashews and water. Let the cashew soak for at least 15 minutes.

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Add onion and garlic mixture, lemon juice and salt to cashews.

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Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy.

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Chinese Brown Sauce

This sauce should be a staple in your refrigerator, if it is not already. By using this sauce you can make stir-fried: noodles, rice, veggies and anything else your heart desires to stir fry. It goes with just about everything. I had all the ingredients in my pantry so I did not have to make a special trip to the store for any of the ingredients.

This recipe is a dump all the ingredients in a saucepan at once type of recipe – Easy. It is easy to double or triple the recipe so that you can have it ready to use whenever you want something quick and flavorful to help get a meal on the table.

I will be using this sauce to make Fried rice with Vegetables (post coming soon).

  • 1/3 c vegetable broth
  • 1/3 c coconut aminos
  • 2 tsp ginger, fresh, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp arrowroot or cornstarch
  • 1/4 c maple syrup

In a small saucepan combine all the ingredients. Heat over medium until thickened. Stir occasionally.

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Homemade Seasoned GF Croutons

I do not know what possessed me to make croutons. I really do not like croutons. They are usually hard as rock and have no flavor. Before I realized I had gluten issues I still would not have croutons on my salads. I would always request them to be left off my food. It has been years since I actually ate one – Years.

For some reason I thought they would go really well with some soup I was making. That (the recipe) will be in another post. I think too, it was because I had part of a loaf of my GF bread that was starting to get stale. That bread is too good to waste. So here we are talking about making croutons.

I will be honest I think I am a total convert, at least for my croutons I will be. My husband and I kept eating them right off the pan, still hot from the oven. Just thinking about them makes me smile. I have already got some ideas for these little gems of goodness.

You can make these with any bread, but honestly my GF sandwich bread is awesome. Which will make these croutons even better. You only need 3 ingredients.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut bread into large cubes. Spread out evenly onto sheet pan. Drizzle olive oil over bread cubes. Generously sprinkle all-purpose seasoning onto bread. Stir with hands so that bread cubes are evenly coated with olive oil and seasoning.

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Bake in oven for a total of 20 minutes, until the bread cubes are golden. Stir after ten minutes.

Remove from oven. To store the croutons make sure they are cooled completely and put into an airtight container or ziplock bag.

Use for salads or as a garnish on soups. You could even turn them into bread crumbs. There are lots of possibilities.

Enjoy.

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Compound Butter/Flavored Butter – Savory

Compound butter also known as flavored butter is one of the easiest ways to pack a punch of flavor in any dish. You can make the butter savory or sweet. I have made both and thoroughly enjoy each and everyone I have made.

I made this savory version because I plan on roasting two chickens tomorrow. Two chickens? Well, it is just as easy to roast two chickens as it is to roast one. Then I will have plenty of chicken for various meals this coming week. Sorry, back to topic.

It only takes about 5 minutes to makes this flavored butter. See how easy it is.

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Combine all ingredients into food processor.

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Blend ingredients until well combined.

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Spoon butter mixture on to waxed paper. Roll into a log. Twist ends and fold.

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Wrap butter in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until use.

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Note: You can slice off as much as you want to use. Also, you can freeze the butter until needed.

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Peach Guacamole

I had all the fixings for guacamole and decided to give it a little twist. Fresh peaches takes this from ordinary guacamole to extraordinary. The peaches add a little sweet.

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  • 3 Haas avocados, diced
  • 1/4 large onion, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 peach, diced
  • 1 lime zested, juiced
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 c cilantro, chopped

Combine all ingredients and stir thoroughly. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Balsamic Syrup – Round I

This week I want to share with you how to transform one main meal into other meals for the future. There are some people who do not like leftovers, and there are others who like to just warm up the leftovers as is. I am in both groups depending on the mood. However, I do like a culinary challenge. This week my challenge is to see how I can transform one evening meal into one and maybe two others meals for later in the week.

My thought is to start with a Smokey Southwestern Pork Tenderloin (This recipe is on my website) as my protein. I think a large sheet pan of veggies will go well with the tenderloin and give me many options for future meals.

I added a balsamic syrup drizzle to complement the Smokey Southwestern Pork Tenderloin. The balsamic syrup is very easy to make and it adds so much flavor. I have drizzled it on flatbreads, and I have another use for it in Round 2.

Balsamic Syrup

  • 1 c balsamic  vinegar

Reduce balsamic vinegar over medium heat until it is about half in volume. Reduce it down until it becomes a syrup consistency.

I put mine into a squeeze bottle and keep it handy for many of my dishes. the vinegar reduces down to a sweet and tangy condiment.

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Creamy Herb Dressing/Sauce

I initially made this sauce to go with salmon patties. However, it has taken on a life of its own. This makes a nice dressing for a salad, dip for veggies, and even a marinade for chicken. It is very versatile. This has become a staple in my refrigerator.

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Combine all ingredients and mix well. Chill for 30 minutes. Store in a a 8oz. mason jar with lid. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Strawberry Jam

It is strawberry season down here in Florida, and that is what inspired me to make strawberry jam. It is not hard to make fruit jams, however, it does take a little time. This would be a great project to do with your children. There are lots of teachable moments in the process. Also, they make wonderful personalized gifts.

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  • 9 1/2 c fresh strawberries, hulled, chopped
  • 1 c coconut sugar
  • 1 c water
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 4 1/2 tbsp pectin

You will also need a large stock pot, canning jars with rings and lids. There are canning kits online that are inexpensive.

In a large dutch oven combine all ingredients are cook over medium heat. Cook until fruit is at the consistency you desire. Transfer to sterilized jars and lids. Do not tighten lids too tight before you put them into the water bath. You can tighten when the jars have cooled.

Place jars in a large stock pot with boiling water. This takes about 10 minutes. You can tell when the jars are ready when you touch the lids and they do not make a popping sound. Share. Spread. Enjoy.

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Blackberry Jam

Blackberries are one of my all time favorite berries. Actually, there probably is not a berry I don’t like. I like jams too, however, I do not like all the sugar that are usually in jams. This recipe has only two tablespoons of coconut sugar for this entire recipe. This make me a very happy girl. The fruit’s natural sugars help sweeten this jam. Delicious.

Make sure you have prepped all your jars and lids before starting this recipe.

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  • 36 oz. fresh blackberries, crushed
  • 1 pkg. no sugar/low sugar pectin
  • 1/2 c water
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar

In a large dutch oven add all the ingredients; stir well  and bring to boil over medium heat. Cook until the jam is as thick as you like. This will probably take a little longer than making traditional jam because of the lack of refined sugar.

Meanwhile bring a large stock pot filled with water to a boil. You will process your filled jars in this stock pot.

Fill jars, leaving a half inch space at the top. Place lids on jar; screw on ring loosely Place jars in stock pot and boil about 10 minutes. They will be done when you press the lid and it doesn’t pop. Set aside and leave alone to cool. This recipe made 3 – 8 ounce jars.

 

 

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Lime Gremolata

I love to make gremolata. The traditional ingredients are parsley, lemon and garlic. It is a wonderful combination. This is a twist to the traditional recipe, and just as good. I like this recipe for southwestern and asian recipes. Remember, this is good on salads, omelets, soup, and flatbreads. I like to keep both kinds in my refrigerator to jazz up a dish.

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  • 1/2 c cilantro finely chopped
  • 1 lime, zested
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced

Just like the traditional gremolata, this version only has three ingredients. All you have to do is mix and refrigerate.

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Gremolata

Gremolata ? If you have never had gremolata then you are missing out on some spectacular flavor. Gremolata is a great way to top a dish with freshness and flavor. I try to keep a container of this goodness in the refrigerator. I use it on salads, omelets, oven potatoes, and flat breads. As you can see it is extremely versatile and yummy. It is amazing that something so simple could punch up your dish to the next level.

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  • 1/2 c flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced

Only three ingredients, that is it. Combine all the ingredients. That is all you have to do. Now that is easy. Top. Eat. Enjoy.