Friday, May 29, 2015

Pressure Cooking Accesssories and Cooking Sweet Potatoes

When I first got my pressure cooker, it only came with a stainless steel (removable) pot. In time, I realized that I would really enjoy also having a nonstick pot (for rice, oats, and other sticky foods), a stand (to keep whatever food I was cooking up off the water), and a steamer basket (for steaming veggies). For Valentine's Day and my birthday, I mentioned these items. ;-)

I really love having these accessories because they make the pressure cooker even more versatile. The following pics show you how I cook my sweet potatoes. We make them weekly for our dogs as well as for ourselves. I add about 1/2 to 1 cup of water to the bottom of my stainless steel pot. Then, I place the stand inside the pot with the steamer basket on top of that. I add the potatoes and pressure cook them from 15-18 minutes (with natural release), depending on how big they are. After they are cooled, the skins literally slip off of them!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Homemade Whole Foods Plant-Based (Vegan) Dog Food

Aubrey Sue
Anneliese (Ana) Marie
Homemade Vegan Dog Food
I've had a lot of people ask me how we make our dogs' food. For the past 2 1/2 years, our #shinyblackpugs have been 100% whole foods plant-based. Our vet says they are the healthiest pugs he has ever treated. Our girls weigh 16 pounds, and they are just the perfect weight for their size.

Here's what we feed our dogs daily:
6:00 AM:  1/3 cup of our homemade food (see recipe below) plus 1/4 cup of V-Dog kibble
12:00 PM (if someone is home to feed them):
One serving of fruit (they share 1/2 apple, 1 small banana, or other fruit)
4:00 PM: 1/3 cup sweet potatoes/organic pumpkin mix
6:00 PM:  
1/3 cup of our homemade food (see recipe below) plus 1/4 cup of V-Dog kibble
7:00 PM: One homemade Peanut Butter Oat Biscuit

ADDITIONAL SNACKS: Periodically, we also treat them with kale stems, colored bell peppers, carrots, lettuce, spinach, and other raw veggies.
Whenever leave the house, we generally give them one or two tiny Homemade Pumpkin Chia Treats.

Homemade Vegan Dog Food
Made in a pressure cooker

1 cup dry organic brown rice
½ cup dry lentils
1 cup garbanzo beans, soaked or cooked
1 cup great northern beans, soaked or cooked
1 bag organic frozen spinach, NOT thawed
1 bag organic frozen peas, thawed
1 bag organic frozen green beans, thawed
1 lb organic carrots, shredded in food processor or chopped small
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
5 1/2 cups water

Shred carrots in food processor. Transfer to pressure cooker.
Then, change to an S-blade and process cooked or soaked beans to a medium coarseness.
Add to pressure cooker. Add rice, lentils, peas, green beans and spinach plus water.
Cook for 14 minutes with natural release. Stir in chia seeds and ground flaxseed. Cool and put into individual containers with tight lids and freeze for future use.

Healing Green Juice

I don't own a juicer because frankly, I wouldn't use it very often. However from time to time, I have the ingredients for my favorite healing green juice in the house. so I make it using my blender and a nut milk bag. It's actually pretty easy, and the cleanup is quick!

Also, I have a nifty cup I got from that I use when I want to take juice or smoothies on the go.

1 bunch of organic celery, chopped into rough chunks
2 organic Granny Smith apples (or Fuji apples, if you want your juice even sweeter), chopped into rough chunks
1 lemon, cut into quarters, remove seeds
1 inch of fresh ginger
2 large handfuls of organic spinach
1 large organic cucumber, chopped into rough chunks
5 ice cubes

Blend ingredients in your high-speed blender, using the tamper to push the mixture down into the blades, or use a spatula periodically to get the ingredients moving. Blend until smooth. WASH YOUR HANDS WELL. Then, place your nut milk bag over a large bowl. Pour mixture into the nut milk back and squeeze juice out with your hands. Makes approximately 2 large glasses of healing green juice.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Cauliflower-Walnut Taco "Meat"

1 medium head of cauliflower (just the florets)
2 cups raw walnuts
3 cloves of garlic
2 T soy sauce
2 t liquid smoke
1/2 t salt
2 t Mexican/taco seasoning (I use Mrs. Dash’s Southwest Chipotle Seasoning Blend)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place the cauliflower, walnuts, and garlic in the food processor and blend. You may have to do this in two batches. Depending on the grain you like determines how long you should blend.
Pour the cauliflower mixture into a large bowl and stir in the soy sauce, liquid smoke, salt, and Mexican/taco seasoning. Stir until you can no longer find unseasoned white clumps of cauliflower.
Spread the mixture onto the baking sheet (one with sides works best) in an even layer.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, returning every 15 minutes to stir and redistribute.
The “meat” is done baking when it is dry, browned, and forms separate clusters.

Adapted from Tasha Edwards (The Sweetest Vegan)

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Extra Creamy Tomato Spinach Pasta

This is a fabulous, super-easy recipe from Simple Daily Recipes.
I made a few modifications to reduce the fat and add more whole foods to it. It was DELIGHTFUL and the whole family loved it!

1/2 cup cashews
1 cup unsweetened soy milk
3 T nutritional yeast
3 T tomato paste
2 t dried oregano
1 t salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

1-pound whole-grain dry pasta
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 26-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
10-12 ounces fresh chopped organic spinach

Boil pasta according to package directions (al dente) in a large pot or dutch oven. While pasta is cooking, make sauce in a high-speed blender by blending the cashews, soy milk, nutritional yeast, tomato paste, oregano, salt and pepper into a smooth consistency. Set aside.

In a large skillet or in your pressure cooker (use the saute or brown feature), steamfry onion and garlic until the onion is translucent, around 8 minutes. Add a tablespoon or two of water if the pot/skillet gets dry. Add in drained diced tomatoes and chopped spinach. Cook another 5-7 minutes, or until the spinach is wilted and lightly cooked.

Meanwhile, the pasta ought to be cooked al dente by now. Drain it off into a colander. Add the pasta and creamy sauce to the veggies in the skillet or pressure cooker.  Fold all ingredients together until everything is well coated with the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. You can keep this dish on "warm" in the pressure cooker until you are ready to eat!

Adapted from Simple Daily Recipes