Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lime Tahini Sauce

Thanks to Rachael Breneman in Ohio for this recipe!
This is good on many things, especially on salads or vegetables.

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed butter)
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup soy sauce 
1 tsp. minced garlic
Sweetener (agave, organic sugar or stevia) to taste

Combine all ingredients in blender until combined.  Adjust sweetener to taste.  It it thickens, thin with water.

Notes from Lois: Lemon juice can be used in place of lime juice, and almond butter could replace tahini.

If you live near a Trader Joe's store, or will be near one in your travels, keep in mind that they sell delicious almond butter in 1 pound jars for only $4.99.  It's double that price many other places, so I always stock up when I get the chance.

Crockpot Breakfast Casserole

Thanks to Linda Crosby in Virginia for this recipe!

How about a delicious breakfast all ready when you get up? 
Try this:
Ingredients:  (Adjust to your family size)

30 oz. package of plain frozen hash brown (shredded) potatoes
Cooked sausage, or leftover diced ham (I used turkey sausage)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
12 eggs
1 cup skim or fat free milk
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced thin

(I used a 6 quart Smart-Pot for this recipe.)

Spritz the inside of your crockpot with oil. Dump in the whole package of hash browns. Spread them out, and break up any clumps.

In a mixing bowl, mix the eggs with the milk, salt and pepper, cheese, diced meat, and diced vegetables. Pour everything on top of the hash browns.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4. This is done when the eggs are fully cooked and the edges start to brown a bit. If you want the cheese to brown and get a bit crispy on the sides, cook it longer.

Almond Butter Carob Crunchies

www.hacres.com - Used by permission
A recipe I definitely want to make for my grandchildren!  This would be great for our summer vacation when our family will all be together!

3/4 cup almond butter
1/2 cup carob powder
3 Medjool dates, pitted, soaked 2 hours, and drained
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup almonds, walnuts or pecans, chopped
1/2 cup unsweetened grated coconut

Reserve 1/4 cup coconut.  Combine remaining ingredients in a food processor, and with an S blade, mix well.  Shape mixture into bite-size balls.  Roll in reserved coconut.  Store in refrigerator in plastic container with wax paper between layers.
Note: Natural peanut butter and cocoa powder could be substituted for the almond butter and carob powder if you wish.

Cooking Dried Beans for Easy Digestion

Satisfying, versatile, and very inexpensive  -about $1 per pound - at a time when budgets need to be stretched to put gas in our vehicles!   I just cooked another 4 pounds today!  They freeze very well!

A few months ago I shared how to cook beans to be easily digestible.  A nutritionist told me to soak grain overnight by adding 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar for every cup of grain.  However, I adapted this recipe and found it works just as well without the beans soaking up so much vinegar.

Soak the following overnight in a large Dutch oven or cooking pot:
4 pounds of dried beans, washed thoroughly in a colander (Great Northern or pinto beans are very good)
1 gallon of distilled water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
Note: Do NOT add any salt at this point!  Salt will prevent the beans from getting tender.  Salt and season later.

After soaking overnight or at least 8 hours, drain and rinse the beans several times.  Cover with more pure water and bring to a boil.  A foam may cover the top after they come to a boil.  Skim off the foam with a large spoon.  I hold the lid in my left hand and spoon the foam into the lid, then pour it down the drain.  This needs to be done until the foam is about gone (5 minutes or so).  Simmer beans for about an hour or more until the beans are tender.  I drain the beans unless I plan to make bean soup.  You can season at this point or wait until serving.  Spoon some of the beans into containers to freeze.  Save some with the liquid for bean soup, and make hummus with the remaining beans for dipping carrots, celery or crackers into this high protein snack.

Complete protein:  By eating a grain with beans, you will have a complete protein (a meat substitute).  Whole grain bread or crackers, rice cakes or crackers, or a bean and rice dish will suffice.

Making Your Own Fresh Ginger Paste

Ginger helps aid digestion and adds great flavor to many soups and other dishes!  Pureed ginger is available to purchase in small jars, but here's how you can save money by making your own pureed ginger that will be even more fresh than jarred ginger.  Buy a large hunk of ginger root in the produce department of the grocery store.  Cut it apart into easy-to-peel sections, and peel with a vegetable peeler. Slice the ginger and put it into a Vita Mix or other blender with a little water and olive oil.  You want it to be the consistency of paste, so just add a tiny bit at first.  Blend until pureed, and spoon the ginger paste into Tupperware Midget cups or very small containers, and freeze.  I keep one small container handy in the refrigerator door to add to recipes.

For delicious lemon-ginger tea, drop a few slices of fresh ginger root into a large teacup with a lemon zinger teabag.  Fill with boiling water and steep (covered) for about 5 minutes.  Add stevia and enjoy!