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Archive for January, 2013

Ginger ale and Lemonade

Ginger ale, lemonade and other refreshing summer drinks…

Fresh Ginger Ale

serves 4-6

1 liter sparkling water

1 T freshly grated ginger root

1 cup pineapple juice

1-3 T sweetening of choice: honey, agave, dissolved raw sugar

Combine, strain, serve over ice

Lemonade

serves 4-6

Juice of 3-5 lemons to make 1 cup lemon juice

1/2-1 cup sweetening of choice: honey, agave, dissolved raw sugar

3 cups of purified water

10 leaves of freshly crushed mint, optional

Juice and strain lemon pulp and seeds from liquid, combine with sweetening and water to taste. Add some freshly muddled mint leaves to each glass, serve with ice.

Apple Limeade

We had a lime tree in our backyard and discovered this treat one hot summer day and blew all the other lemonade stands out of the water!

1 gallon of unfiltered apple juice

10 ice cubes

1-2 cups of fresh squeezed lime juice

Combine all ingredients in a blender, in stages (since most folks don’t have a gallon sized blender), prop your Limeade stand up on the street corner and sell away…

Fruity Iced Tea

Combine your favorite fruit flavored brewed iced tea with organic unfiltered fruit juice in equal portions. Enjoy!

Tazo Passion tea and Peach Juice

Argo Charitea with Cherry Juice

Teekanne Rosehip Hibiscus with Blueberry Juice

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Brussels Sprouts on stalk

Brussels Sprouts on stalk

Gullible kid. But what could I do? The adults were smacking their lips, closing their eyes and “mmmmmm-ing” eating tiny green cabbages off their plates.

“How come they taste so good?” I asked.

“If you eat those Brussels sprouts you might find one with chocolate inside…” came the lip smacked answer.

I tried one. Then another. Then another, desperate now and dissecting each one leaf by leaf for the hidden treasure. They weren’t bad, but they certainly were not chocolate filled.

Now as an adult, I have tried Brussels sprouts again. No chocolate, again.

But there must be a way to make them taste better than this… Here is one result with lemon flavored olive oil, that has me closing my eyes, smacking my lips and “mmmmmm-ing” to my Brussels sprout hating friends.

“Try some, you might find one with chocolate inside….”

You might find one filled with chocolate....

You might find one filled with chocolate….

Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts

1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil for roasting

2-3 Tablespoons soy parmesan cheese or vegan parmesan alternative

2-3 Tablespoons lemon, garlic or other flavored olive oil

1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon creole seasoning

Cut Brussels sprouts off the stalk, if they have already been removed from the stalk, you might need to cut the end off closer to the head of the sprout. I slice them in half lengthwise (yes, I am still looking for hidden treasure), and cook them face down on a lightly oiled baking sheet 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes or until they turn bright green (do not overcook). The secret comes after the sprouts are roasted and slightly caramelized. Toss the warm sprouts with soy parmesan cheese, lemon olive oil, balsamic vinegar and creole seasoning.

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Baked Tofu

A simple way to bake flavor into tofu.

Contrary to popular belief, tofu does have a flavor: soybean-ey. If that is not your thing try some of these simple ideas:

Baked Tofu:

1 pound Firm/Extra Firm tofu

3 Tablespoons Tamari soy sauce

3 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (aka EVOO)

1-2 T of your favorite seasoning (Mrs. Dash, Creole Seasonings, etc…)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice the tofu lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick pieces. Oil a baking sheet (with an edge to catch the liquid or use a baking dish), arrange the slices on the sheet slightly overlapping. Bake for about 10-15 minutes. Serve over rice, or quinoa.

Frozen Squozen Tofu

“How do I make my tofu more meaty?” asks a friend trying to adapt a meat dish which calls for diced chicken. One way is to freeze and then thaw the tofu. “Okay, now I have frozen and squozen the tofu, now what?” The last step before seasoning is to squeeze the excess water out of the tofu, the consistency feels very similar to squeezing water out of a sponge. Simmer the tofu in your favorite curry, barbeque, or teriyaki  sauce. The flavors will absorb easily. Or try crumbling the prepared tofu, as in the following recipe, which makes a great salad topping, or addition to pasta sauce.

Crumbled Baked Tofu

1 pound of tofu, freeze, thaw, squeeze out excess water then crumble into olive sized pieces

3 Tablespoons Braggs Liquid Aminos or Tamari soy sauce

3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon fennel seeds (crushed slightly to release flavor)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon creole seasoning

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine tofu with the above seasonings, spread evenly on the bottom of a baking dish. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until desired crispness, stir occasionally while cooking. Serve on top of your favorite salad or pasta dish.

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