Cilantro Lime Rice in Rice Cooker

This evening I started rice in my rice cooker and about 10 minutes later realized what I really wanted was cilantro lime rice.  I googled for inspiration and didn’t find a recipe that exactly fit my needs.  My mother-in-law makes wonderful cilantro rice, but hers is stovetop and I was already past that point and I didn’t have all the ingredients.  I decided to try my hand at makeshift rice.  As suspected, I was able to just add the desired ingredients to the rice once it was cooked, so I didn’t have to mess with stovetop rice.  Yay!  If you don’t have a rice cooker, you could just do this on the stovetop.

Ingredients:

2 c. uncooked brown rice

water (the amount your rice cooker says to use for 2 cups of rice)

2 T. non-dairy butter

juice of 1 lime

1 tsp salt

1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped

 

Directions:

Cook rice according to rice cooker directions.  Once it is cooked, add the butter, lime, salt, and chopped cilantro.  Stir well and serve as a side.  Pairs well with my enchiladas.

 

Adapted from: http://www.familyfreshmeals.com/2015/04/copycat-chipotle-cilantro-lime-rice.html

 

Refried Beans

The name isn’t actually true.  I didn’t actually recook these.  They really should be “mashed and seasoned beans,” but that just doesn’t have the same ring to it, and it is a highly unlikely google search.

 

Ingredients:

3-4 cups cooked and mashed pinto beans, or 2 cans of pinto beans, drained

1/4 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 clove garlic, minced

1 can of rotel with juice (10 oz can)

Juice of half a lime

 

Directions:

Soak beans overnight.  Drain and put in crockpot.  Cover with water with an additional inch of water on top of beans.  Cook on low all day (6-8 hours).

Drain water.  Mash beans (I used an immersion blender.)  Add in all ingredients and stir well.  May be served as a side dish or used as the bean portion of my enchiladas.

Quick Sweet Potato Mash

I have a habit of buying potatoes and then letting them sit around for a really long time.  I know I should use them quicker, but sometimes they seem like they take forever to make and that effort seems wasted if it’s just on one potato.  When I recently had oral surgery, I was on a soft food diet for several days.  I quickly tired of guacamole, yogurt, and applesauce.  That’s when I saw my poor lonely sweet potato sitting on the counter.  I figured I could make a mash in the microwave pretty easily.  This is the result!

 

Ingredients:

1 large sweet potato, washed and pierced with a fork all over

3-4 T. non-dairy butter (SmartBalance)

1 T. non-dairy milk (cashew milk)

 

Directions:
Wash sweet potato and pierce it with a fork all over.  Microwave on one side for 3 minutes.  Turn over and microwave for another 3 minutes or until you can easily pierce all the way through the potato with a fork.  Carefully peel with a fork or knife, scraping excess potato off of the skin and onto your plate.  Mash with a fork.  Add in 3-4 T. butter to hot potato and mash in.  Add 1 T. cashew milk to make it fluffier (you may need more or less depending on the size of your potato).

This works well as a quick side for one or two people or as a snack.

Oven fries

I love steak fries.  The thin ones just don’t cut it for me.  Here is a simple recipe for oven fries.

Ingredients:

1-2 large Russet potatoes or 4-5 golden potatoes

4-5 T olive oil*

1 tsp salt*

1/2 tsp pepper*

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Wash potatoes well being sure to remove any dirt.  Do not peel.  Slice potatoes into thick strips.  Mix olive oil with salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Dip potato strips into oil mixture and place on an aluminum-lined baking sheet.  Bake at 450 for 15-20 minutes or until you can pierce easily with a fork.  You could turn them part way through but I never do.

*Measurements are approximate.  I do it by how it looks, but this should be pretty close.

 

Cauliflower and Potato Indian Curry

Sometimes I buy produce because it’s a good deal and then I get it home and it just sits there.  Does this ever happen to you?  That’s why I typically buy frozen veggies, but sometimes the sale price is just too good to pass up.  Usually the problem is that I didn’t have a plan when I bought it.  The upside is that this habit has led to me finding several new recipes.  In this case, the cauliflower was a good price as well as the potatoes.  After they sat around for about a week I decided it was time to make something happen with them.  This is the result.  It has been labeled a keeper by my husband and me. 🙂  The best part?  It is naturally everything free!

 

Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef

2 T. coconut oil

1 onion, chopped

6 cloves garlic, minced

2 cans of diced tomatoes with juice, or fresh tomatoes, diced

1 c. water

1 can (14-oz) coconut milk

1 T. molasses

1 cinnamon stick

3 T. curry powder

2 T. ground coriander

 

1 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets

1 large baking potato, unpeeled, diced into 1/2 inch cubes

1-2 tsp salt or more

1/2 tsp pepper

 

Directions:

Brown the ground beef.  Melt coconut oil in a large skillet (I used a wok).  Add onions and garlic and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add 2 cans of tomatoes with their juices and allow to simmer for another 5 minutes.  Add 1 c. water and can of coconut milk and stir.  Stir in molasses, cinnamon stick, curry powder, and coriander.  Allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes.  Add chopped cauliflower and potatoes and cooked ground beef.  Bring to a boil and stir occasionally until potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork (at least 15-20 minutes).  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve over rice.

 

I made the original recipe a long time ago, but this time I adapted it for the ingredients I had on hand.  Here is the original:

http://m.allrecipes.com/recipe/166485/coconut-curry-lentil-stew-served-over-quinoa

Vegan Milk Chocolate Frosting

This was my first real attempt at pretty frosting.  I bought an icing decorating kit a few years ago but didn’t have an frosting recipe that was firm enough to use it with.  Not so anymore!  After I made my Oreo frosting, I realized I had a good recipe.  This recipe is almost the same except for no Oreos and it’s a little moister and has cocoa powder.

I frosted my Great Divide cupcakes with this frosting.

 

Ingredients:

3 1/2 c. powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2 T. plus 1 tsp. butter (I used SmartBalance)

2 T. shortening (I used Spectrum.  You could probably use butter instead but it may not hold its shape as well.)

1/4 tsp salt

7 tsp non-dairy milk (I used Silk’s Original Cashew Milk but you could also use coconut or almond)

1/4 to 1/3 c. cocoa powder (depending on how dark you want the chocolate to be)

 

Directions:

Combine powdered sugar, vanilla, butter, shortening, and salt in a bowl.  Combine with a fork or a pastry cutter.  Add cocoa, starting with 1/4 c.  You can always add more later.  Add non-dairy milk one teaspoon at a time.  You will need at least 4-5, but stir well before adding the last couple.  If your frosting will hold its shape, stop adding liquid.  Mix with a mixer for about a minute to combine well and to add a little fluff.

If you have a cake decorating set, put the frosting in the bag/canister, add your favorite tip, and frost away! If you don’t have a kit but don’t want to just smear the frosting on your cupcakes, you could fill a plastic Ziploc bag with frosting and then cut the tip off of one end and squeeze it out to swirl it on the cupcakes.  Enjoy!

Pork Roast

I still get a little nervous when I am feeding more than 2-3 people.  I haven’t had much practice with it and I am always afraid there won’t be enough food.  One way to get over this is to practice having dinner guests.  The real reason we have dinner guests is that we want to get to know them, but the side benefit is I am starting to get a feel for how much food is needed.  This was an eight pound pork roast.  It turned out to be way too much food for us and our dinner guests, but fortunately we live in the modern era and have a freezer.  Some of it has come back out of the freezer already and has been used for carnitas.

This recipe was originally intended for a small pork loin.  I made it for a pot luck once and it was a hit!  This time I decided to try it with this humongous roast.  At $1 a pound, how could I refuse?  The large roast had a mild flavor because the spices had difficulty getting to the middle of the roast, but if you have a small roast or pork loin, it will permeate just fine.  You could probably stand to double the spices if you are using a large roast.  We ate the parts that had been sitting in the juice without adding any sauces or anything.  The middle parts we have been using for other things like BBQ pulled pork and carnitas.  The great thing about cooking is that it is extremely flexible, so you can use this recipe as you wish.

 

Ingredients:

2-3 pound pork loin or pork roast (can use up to an 8 pound roast)

3 T. lemon juice

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp crushed rosemary (didn’t use the time I took it to a potluck, but I did use it this time)

1 tsp parsley flakes

1/2 tsp thyme

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp salt

 

Directions:

Put the loin/roast in a crock pot.  Spread all ingredients on top of the roast and turn to coat (this was impossible with an 8 lb roast, but was easy with a smaller porkloin.)

For a smaller piece of meat, cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 6-8 hours.  For a larger piece of meat, cook on high for 6-8 hours or low for 8-10 hours.  I cooked mine on high for 8 hours because it was so large.

img_6207

 

Original recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/simply-delicious-crock-pot-pork-loin-317045

 

Easy Fudge- Dairy Free!

So, I was shopping the other day and found a new product- sweetened condensed coconut milk!  It looks like this:

IMG_4933

I bought the can without any specific plan in mind, but I knew it would come in handy.  I vaguely remembered avoiding some recipes because I didn’t know how to duplicate sweetened condensed milk.  So one day when my husband was driving home after a long day, I remembered this can and the simple fudge recipe I used in junior high, and I was able to make a quick treat for us.  It is simple and delicious and the texture turned out well- no candy thermometer required!

 

Easy Dairy Free Fudge

Ingredients:

2 c. chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips)

1 can sweetened condensed coconut milk

1 T. butter (I used SmartBalance)

dash salt

1 tsp vanilla

1 c. chopped walnuts (may omit if desired or may be substituted for other nuts)

Parchment or wax paper

 

Directions:

Melt chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly.  Once the chips are mostly melted, add the butter, salt, and vanilla.  When the mixture is smooth, remove from heat and stir in the chopped walnuts.

Pour into a wax or parchment paper lined 8×8 pan and allow to cool.  Once it is close to room temperature, you may put it in the fridge to chill.  Once it is chilled, cover and let set for 2 hours or until you are able to cut it with a knife.  Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.  My dairy free and dairy loving friends and family gobbled this up.

IMG_4905

 

Adapted from: https://www.verybestbaking.com/recipes/28655/easy-chocolate-fudge/

Beef and Bean Enchiladas

This is the last lonely enchilada.  I made several pans of them and remembered to take a picture right before I ate the last one!  I served these enchiladas to my family on Christmas Eve.  I did most of the prep ahead of time and just rolled them while the oven was heating up.  The beans make them creamy so you don’t really notice the absence of cheese.  However, if people want cheese but not everyone can have it, I suggest putting some shredded cheese on the table that they can add at their leisure.

 

Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef (omit if vegetarian)

1-2 cups cooked and mashed pinto or white beans or 1-2 cans of refried beans

several dashes of salt if you make your own beans

juice of 1 lime

1 can rotel

2 cans of mild Old El Paso Enchilada Sauce (last time I checked it was gluten free.  Please always take personal responsibility and check the ingredients.  Sometimes manufacturers change things without much of an announcement.)

1 package of corn tortillas

 

Directions for beans: If you are making your own beans, soak them overnight, drain in the morning, and put them in a crockpot all day on low.  They are finished when they are easily squishable.  I drained the liquid into a bowl and then added just enough in to be able to mash them with my immersion blender.  Make sure to add some salt if you made your own beans.  If that sounds too complicated, just get a can or two of refried beans. 🙂

Directions: Brown the ground beef until thoroughly cooked.  Add in the lime, rotel, and one can of enchilada sauce.

Lightly oil a 9×13 baking dish.  Open the second can of enchilada sauce and put a very thin layer on the bottom of the pan, but reserve most of it.  Grab a tortilla and put a spoonful of the beef and bean mixtures into the tortilla.  Roll it and place it in the pan.  Continue until the pan is full and/or all ingredients are used.  Top with remaining enchilada sauce.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

Serve with rice and guacamole if desired.

9 Day Slaw- Grandmother’s Recipe

I recently married and as I was flipping through a homemade cookbook, I said to my husband, “I found your grandmother’s coleslaw recipe.”  I brought the coleslaw to our Christmas gathering and it was a hit!  The best part is I didn’t have to change anything.  This is a no-mayo coleslaw.  It’s easy to make and keeps for awhile.

 

Ingredients:

Slaw:

1 head of cabbage (about 3 pounds), grated or finely sliced

1-2 onions, chopped (I used one)

1-2 green peppers, chopped (I used one)

1 1/2 cups sugar

Combine these ingredients in a large bowl and stir.

 

Dressing:

2 T sugar

1 cup salad oil (I used canola)

1 cup vinegar (I used regular white vinegar)

1 T salt

1 T celery seed

Stir the dressing ingredients together in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Pour over the slaw and stir well.  Keep refrigerated and it just keeps getting better as the days go by.  Supposedly it keeps for 9 days, but I have not tested that part.  🙂 This makes a large bowl of coleslaw, so share with your friends!