Category Archives: savories

Delicious Dairy-Free Lasagna Roll-Ups

Last week a craving for lasagna hit. We’re talking Garfield style craving. I hit two issues though. The first issue was that a pan of lasagna, even eaten as leftovers, is simply way too much for the two of us. The second issue was that I really needed to find a way to make it dairy-free (reasons why I limit dairy found here).

Lasagna RollupWhile looking for dairy-free alternatives, I started seeing a lot of lasagna roll up recipes. Excuse me?! I had not only never heard of them, I had never thought of making them. I knew this was perfect because it meant I could make only as much as Andy and I wanted. As far as dairy-free, that turned out to be a bit more difficult. A lot of recipes used processed vegan parmesan and other “cheeses”. Then I came across multiple blogs mentioning cashew cream and I bonked myself on the forehead. Cashew cream is incredible for both sweet and savory purposes. It’s simply cashews (soaked if you have a regular blender) and water thrown in the vitamix into a smooth velvety mixture. Add chocolate and you have a chocolate like mousse / pudding. Add basil, a little garlic, Italian seasoning and you get an absolutely delicious spread for lasagna or just to put on top of pasta as is.

DSC_8974The cashew cream really added a delicious velvety texture and awesome flavor. In addition, the cream really helped the fillings stick while rolling.

Speaking of fillings I did both a vegan filling and a meat lovers filling using local hot italian sausage from Farmers Gate Market here in Maine. The best part is that you can put whatever you want in these roll ups, just like any other lasagna you would make. I sweated down some onions, garlic, spinach and mushrooms. On the vegan ones I left as is, on the meat ones I simply crumbled already cooked sausage on top. Because these typically are just heating up in the oven for a short period I would definitely make sure any meat is thoroughly cooked.

DSC_8977When it came to rolling up I first put down a layer of cashew cream on the noodle, then topping, and then rolled it up. Note on rolling, as you roll press in to make sure it’s tight. Some of the filling might fall out but that’s okay. I found if I kept an inch or two of noodle at the end filling free it helped it all hold it together easier.

DSC_8979DSC_8984Once I finished rolling I topped them with tomato sauce, put in the oven at 350 for 10-15 minutes, and then served! So incredibly easy, and so incredibly tasty.

DSC_8986These are definitely going to become a staple in our house. I know the cashew cream might sound odd if you’ve never made it before but I definitely encourage you to try it—even if you’re a regular dairy eater! I’m going to be honest, I actually liked the flavor of these better than when I’ve had lasagna with cheese which I certainly didn’t expect.

Dairy Free Lasagna Roll-Ups
A delicious dairy-free lasagna roll-up using cashew cream.
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Ingredients
  1. Few handfuls baby spinach
  2. 1/2 large onion, diced
  3. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1/2 container small mushrooms
  5. Lasagna (as many noodles as rollups you want)
  6. 2 cups raw cashews
  7. 1 cup water
  8. Italian seasoning (to taste)
  9. Salt (to taste)
  10. Dried or fresh basil (to taste)
  11. Spaghetti sauce
Noodles
  1. Cook according to directions. Noodles should be al dente.
Filling
  1. Add onion to a hot skillet, cook until translucent
  2. Add garlic & mushrooms to the skillet
  3. Add spinach and cook until wilted
  4. Remove filling to bowl
  5. Add meat to skillet and cook thoroughly if using
Cashew Cream
  1. If using a Vitamix or other high powered blender, add raw cashews, spices and enough water to create a smooth paste. If using a regular blender, soak raw cashews overnight before using.
Rolls
  1. Drain noodles and slightly cool.
  2. One noodle at a time smear with a heaping tablespoon of cashew cream. Spread leaving 1-2 inches of noodle bare at the end.
  3. Add vegetables in a thin row and meat if using.
  4. Slowly roll the noodle tightly around the filling
  5. Place each roll, seam side down, into a rimmed baking pan for cooking
Bake
  1. Top the rolls with spaghetti sauce
  2. Bake at 350* for 10 minutes or until heated through.
Notes
  1. Fillings should be whatever you love best in a regular lasagna. Our favorite is spinach, onion, garlic, mushroom and local sausage. Meat should be thoroughly cooked before using as stuffing. Vegetables should be reduced properly as they will not cook down in the oven.
Like A Cup Of Tea http://www.likeacupoftea.com/
Roll ups – win.
Cashew cream – win.

xo,

Heather

 

Hearty Avocado Open-faced Breakfast Sandwich

DSC_8744-01 I love a hearty breakfast, but I like a hearty breakfast which leaves me feeling awake and ready to go. For me, unfortunately, animal products tend to leave me feeling a big sluggish. While this means the recipe below is a plant-based (vegan) breakfast, before you write this off, try it! Even if you’re a meat eater, this is not disappointing. For those who’ve never eaten tempeh, it’s wonderful, high in protein and very good for you. I tend to use the whole grain and/or flax one but use whichever looks best to you.

There are three things I prefer in a good breakfast: carbs, lacto-fermented veggies, and greens. I tend to have more energy, and overall feel better throughout the day. Oh, and one last thing, I need a quick breakfast. Even on weekends I don’t like to spend a ton of time in the kitchen in the morning. It’s delicious too.

Secret’s out though – it’s also great for lunch or dinner.

P.S. Husbands out there – my chainsaw wielding, carpenter, all around Maine man thinks this is delicious too.

Hearty Avocado Open-faced Breakfast Sandwich
Serves 2
A delicious plant-based, vegan breakfast sandwich which carnivores will love too if they give it a chance.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 thick slices hearty bread
  2. 1 block tempeh
  3. 1 large handful baby kale
  4. 1 avocado
  5. Garlic powder
  6. Splash soy sauce (optional)
  7. Splash mirin (optional)
  8. Green salsa (optional)
  9. Lacto fermented veggies (Kimchi works great with this)
Instructions
  1. Heat dry cast iron skillet on medium heat.
  2. Add two slices toast & weight down with a plate or sandwich press to get a nice toast on either side.
  3. While bread toasts, cut tempeh into four equal squares (standard tempeh block cut in half, and each half block halved again length wise).
  4. Place tempeh in a bowl and a splash of soy sauce and mirin. Gently ensure each piece gets coated.
  5. Remove toasted bread from skillet and set aside.
  6. Add tempeh & large handful of kale to the dry skillet
  7. Flip tempeh when browned and brown other side, stir kale and cool until wilted
  8. Cut avocado in half, remove seed, scoop out flesh with a spoon and cut into slices
  9. To toast, add two tempeh squares, topped with kale, a sprinkle of garlic salt, and avocado.
  10. If using green salsa drizzle on top of avocado
  11. If using kimchi either place to the side, or on top of avocado
Notes
  1. Photo includes kimchi and lacto-fermented beets from Gracies Garden, a Maine company.
Like A Cup Of Tea http://www.likeacupoftea.com/
 xo,
Heather

My Method For Freezing Chicken Stock

Whenever I roast a chicken, about once every couple months, I like to toss the carcass into a pot with onions, garlic, celery, carrots, bay leaves and thyme. In other words, homemade chicken stock is my jam. It’s my comfort food, and frankly if I’m going to eat an animal I feel like I should at least use every part of it that I have if possible.

My recipe is always changing, but if you want a solid go to I’d guess this one from Barefoot Contessa (Ina Garten) is pretty awesome. She has some killer recipes and I have yet to make a bad one. My only tip is that I always use roasted chicken bones. I roast the chicken, let it cool and pick it, and then put the bones into the stock instead of the whole chicken. I have tried both ways and I not only prefer the flavor of the roasted bones, but I do not like boiling a chicken. Roasted chicken is just too delicious. That’s just my preference though, do what you love most.

In order to freeze the stock in larger quantities, here’s my go to method:

  1. Let your stock cool to room temp and then put it in the fridge for a few hours. This coagulates the fat on the top.
  2. Once the fat coagulates, skim it off the top.
  3. Now that you have cooled stock fill your zip-lock bags (I use the ones that are thicker and a bit bigger than the sandwich bags) about 3/4 full. This is really important as liquids expand when they freeze. Once you have them each filled 3/4 full triple check that the bags are 100% sealed (no leaks wanted)! Next, lay them flat in the freezer and shut the door.

That’s it. If you’re really concerned about the stock potentially leaking, place the bags in a large deep cake pan before you put them in the freezer. If a bag is overfilled and bursts, or the bag wasn’t sealed properly to begin with, it will at least leak into the pan. In this case you can simply thaw the pan out and re-liquify the chicken stock and use it up. I don’t recommend thawing and re-freezing chicken stock (or meat in general).

Here is a photo of the stock as it first went into the freezer:

DSC_8296And here is a photo of the stock after it was frozen:

DSC_8301You can see the expansion pretty significantly in the top bag.

All in all I really like this method of freezing stock, and once it’s frozen you can stand it up to save room, etc. It’s so easy to grab one of these out, throw it in a pan in the fridge to thaw for use at night, or just to take it out of the back totally frozen and simply throw it in a pot with about a cup or two of water to melt. I tend to make my chicken stock a bit concentrated so I often thin it with water regardless. 

So there you have it, a simple way to store larger quantities of chicken stock. 

Enjoy!

xo,
Heather

Winter Plantings

Today has been a day indeed for starting the 2014 growing season, in so many ways.

First, I found out on Monday I’ve been accepted into graduate school. So if I’m not already sporadic enough on this little shindig this new adventure will do one of two things – make blog posts more frequent due to time management needs, or make it less frequent due to time management needs. It’s a crap shoot at this point. I won’t be starting class until May though so we have a few month more of shenanigans.

Second, I started our vegetable growing season Monday evening. A few weeks ago Andy and I were given a large bag of pearl onions. While cooking dinner Monday, I found a few sprouted onions in the bag. I took a look to my right and noticed my 60lb bag of seed starting soil from Johnny Seeds which came in a few days ago. I then remembered a planter I had in the house.

DSC_8387-01I had read about replanting sprouted onions and I came up with three answers:

  1. They’re junk. Throw them away.
  2. They won’t grow other onions, they’ll only grow stalks which are edible and then turn to seed. 
  3. They’ll grow another onion.

So in other words, I had no answer. What does no clear answer mean? It means a hypothesis and an experiment! I love plant experiments. Especially ones that aren’t really all that scientific when it comes to my garden.

First, one of the two onions was rotting on the outer layers. I’d seen this before so I knew I could peel it off. As I peeled away and away and away I decided to get down right to the shoots. I was careful to keep the root intact as I peeled. As I got down I realized the one onion had two shoots and if I was really careful I could separate them. For the second onion I decided to leave the bulb intact, and see if it changed anything.

DSC_8378-02After separating the onions I found my planter and knew the holes in the bottom were way too large and would cause too much soil loss. To counter this, but allow water to drain easily, I cut and placed a single layer of cheesecloth on the bottom.

DSC_8370-02Then I filled up the planter with potting mix, and watered it down until it was just damp and could hold together but didn’t release water when I squeezed it gently. No soupy soil. The picture below is hard to see the clumps because I sort of broke them back up, but they are there.

DSC_8387-01Finally, I simply dug a little hole for each onion and put it in, making sure there was enough aeration around the roots, and that the soil came up to the green part.

DSC_8391-01Now it’s time to see how they grow. I’m not sure if I’m going to try and let the double shoot that I split turn into onions, or if I’ll just use them as green onions which totally invalidates my own experiment of seeing if they’ll turn into onions or flower only. Then again, green onions are so darn tasty it would probably be worth it.

xo,
Heather

 

Dairy-Free Buckwheat Pancakes

Sunday mornings tend to include a special breakfast around our place. Sometimes it’s waffles, sometimes it’s some sort of fancy egg sandwich, and sometimes it’s pancakes. Yesterday morning though Andy asked for buckwheat pancakes and that sounded pretty good to me.

DSC_8362While I am about to give you a recipe, let’s state the obvious—this isn’t a new recipe by any means. Google, “pancake recipes” and about 11 million results turn up. I googled, it’s actually 11,100,000 at the time of writing this. I’m simply going to make this 11,100,001.

DSC_8347In my search for delicious buckwheat pancakes, I came across this awesome recipe from The Kitchn via Megan at Not Martha. I really wanted something dairy-free though. I don’t eat a ton of dairy normally, and lately I have been. My skin has been paying for it and I’ve been more congested than normal so back to dairy free it is. I really don’t miss the dairy in things like pancakes. I’d rather save the dairy for something like goat cheese on a burger, which I ate last night. Now that is worth the dairy.

DSC_8365Bon appétit!

Dairy-Free Buckwheat Pancakes
A delicious dairy-free buckwheat pancake recipe.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
  2. 1 1/4 cup sprouted wheat flour (or regular wheat flour)
  3. 2 tsp baking powder
  4. 2 tablespoons sugar
  5. 1 tsp salt
  6. Splash lightly flavored oil like vegetable or grapeseed (no more than 1/8 cup)
  7. 1 cup rice milk or other preferred nut/seed milk
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 1-2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  10. 2–3 cups frozen blueberries
Instructions
  1. Combined 1 cup of each buckwheat and sprouted wheat flour in a bowl with the baking powder, sugar and salt.
  2. In another bowl add oil, milk, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk lightly until combined.
  3. Add liquids to dry gently, until combined. Do not over stir.
  4. Add in blueberries. I use frozen blueberries and have no issue with them cooking through. I do not thaw my blueberries ahead of time as is sometimes recommended.
  5. On low heat add about 1/2 cup of batter to a hot cast iron skillet. Once the edges are slightly cooked and the batter is consistently bubbling, turn. Cook on the other side for another minute or so, until cooked through.
  6. Add whatever you'd like to the top - I love real maple syrup or applesauce - and enjoy!
Adapted from The Kitchn - Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes, Megan of Not Martha
Like A Cup Of Tea http://www.likeacupoftea.com/
 

xo,

Heather