Sunday, August 23, 2009

Cashew "Ranch"

This dressing is SO good. For all you ranch lovers who think you could never go vegan, try this recipe! I have made this so many times that I just eyeball it now. I can't find the original recipe that I began using years ago, so just play around with it until you get what you like. The amounts will vary depending upon the consistency and spice that you enjoy in your ranch.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup of cashews (soaked for four hours or overnight)
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1/2-3/4 cup water (more or less depending on the thickness desired)
  • lots of seasonings- I add garlic powder, sea salt, ground pepper, lots of dill, parsley, Italian seasonings, and a few fresh basil leaves
  • Optional- some recipes call for one small avocado. This adds the fat to the dressing and gives it a creamier taste. Warning: it does turn your pretty white "ranch" kind of a drab green (The first picture above is a batch with avo, the second, whiter batch, is without).

Blend all the ingredients in a blender, and then chill in a glass container. Will stay good in the fridge with avocado one week, without avocado up to two weeks..

Let me know if you like it!!

Counting Soup





video


We also got this recipe out of "Salad People" by Mollie Katzen. We modified it a bit, but here are the ingredients we used:
  • 2 cups of peas (we used frozen and rinsed them under water until they thawed)
  • 2 cups of corn (same thing as above- you can use fresh peas or corn and lightly steam them as well)
  • 2 cups of grated carrots
  • 1/3 pound green beans, steamed and cut into small pieces
  • 2 cups of cooked noodles (whatever kind you like- we used the pasta shells)
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth, heated (you can make your own or use the "box" kind)

    Put the peas, corn, carrots, green beans and cooked noodles in separate bowls on the counter with individual spoons in them where your child can reach. Here is where the counting comes in:

    Hand him ONE bowl. Allow him to scoop TWO spoonfuls of shredded carrot into his bowl, THREE spoonfuls of peas, FOUR spoonfuls of corn, FIVE green bean pieces, 6 spoonfuls of noodles, you pour the heated broth in the bowl and have him blow SEVEN times, and lastly, he stirs all the ingredients EIGHT times and eats! Very cute, very fun, and very nutritious!

Crunchy Fruity Granola

We make homemade granola every other week or so. We use different types of grain (from oats to rye flakes or barley flakes), different chopped nuts (almonds, cashews, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pecans, walnuts, etc.) or dried fruits, and different sweeteners (usually agave nectar, honey, maple syrup or molasses). I found this great book at the library titled, "Salad People and More Real Recipes" by Mollie Katzen. It's a great book with recipes to do with your kids using fruits and veggies. This granola recipe was in here, but there are dozens online, or just create your own! Here is my little sous chef, Benjamin. Can you tell, he has been sampling???








Ingredients:

3 cups of rolled oats
2 cups of seeds or chopped nuts
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup of oil (coconut is the best!)
1/2 cup of honey
1/3 cup of brown sugar (I use agave or maple syrup or more honey)
1 Tb of vanilla extract
1 cup of assorted dried fruit (we use rasions, or dried blueberries or cranberries)
We always add a couple Tbs of cinnamon too

Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl (except the dried fruit). Mix the wet in another. Combine, and spread on a greased baking tray. Bake at 325 or 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until golden brown. Mine took a bit longer. Stir every 5 minutes or so. Let cool and become crunchy, and then add the dried fruit. Yields 6-8 cups.