Roots Juice Bar: Restaurant Discovery

20170228_125510
Roots Juice Bar, 6 third street, Dover NH

Rushing around doing errands one morning, I realized I hadn’t made time for breakfast and I hadn’t even had my first cup of coffee. I had haphazardly planned to stop for a leisurely cup of coffee at the opposite side of town, but I had forgotten my plan after I finished my errands in that area. I was downtown Dover when I was reminded by my complaining stomach how hungry I was, When I saw a restaurant sign of a place I had always thought about stopping at but never seemed to have the time to explore.

It was a restaurant called Roots Juice Bar, a vegan restaurant offering  fresh juices and smoothies, house brewed kombucha, assorted coffees and teas, breakfast, lunch and nibbles. All offerings were vegan. So I decided right then, this would be a good place to take a moment and catch my breath before continuing on with my busy day.

I parked on the street, finding a parking spot only half a block away. When I opened the door and walked inside, I was greeted by a cozy looking and pristinely clean restaurant with a few tables and a nice comfy decor.20170228_125042 The cashier/ordering counter looked inviting and friendly, as was the pleasant looking associate waiting to take my order.The time was 2pm  and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get breakfast; but she assured me they provide breakfast menu items anytime during the day. The restaurant hours are 8am to 4pm, monday through saturday. The kitchen area and food prep area were in full view, directly behind the cashier counter.

20170228_125510.jpg
Roots Juice Bar, 6 third street, Dover NH

I ordered a Breakfast Bowl, which was made with quinoa, strawberry, raspberry, cranberries, almond butter, cashew cream, fresh mint and chia seeds, priced at $8.00 a bowl. I ordered a cup of organic coffee with coconut whip, for $3.00. I could see them preparing my order, and it came out and was served to me within a reasonable amount of time. Everyone was friendly and accommodating.

20170228_125007_001
Quinoa Breakfast Bowl with Berries and Mint

The breakfast bowl was delicious and refreshing, and exactly what I needed on that day. The quinoa was warmed and the berries over the top were cold, and the juxtaposition of the two temperatures was very pleasant. The different textures of quinoa and berries, rounded together with the creamy almond butter and then a pop of flavor as the mint asserted its herbaceous zing, was also very, very pleasant. Very definitely, I found this to be a flavorful surprise.

20170228_125459
Fresh French Pressed Coffee

When my coffee was delivered to me, I was once again, pleasantly surprised. I was expecting a solo cup of coffee, which might have been sitting in a coffee urn for longer than I might imagine, but lo and behold, the server bought out a french press. She had poured me a cup of the fresh, hot coffee and added the coconut whip. Left in the french press, was enough coffee to pour another generous half cup, at least. I was very pleased. The coffee was fresh, hot and delicious.

I was glad I stopped in and broke up my day to finally try a place, I had often seen but hadn’t yet found the time to explore. I will definitely go back and I would wholeheartedly recommend anyone in the area, who is looking for a friendly and healthful place to enjoy a tasty breakfast, lunch or snack, give Roots Juice Bar a try!

Thank you for visiting me today, at Vegan Mami’s good food kitchen. Remember to feed yourself and your loved ones good whole foods that are tasty and attractive. And remember to take the time to treat yourself, and give yourself some rejuvenating time, so you can share more of yourself with those that matter to you the most!

Saturday Morning Market Finds

20170225_152808
Tiger Eye Dried Beans

 

Welcome back to Vegan Mami’s Good Food Kitchen! Saturday morning I enjoyed a shopping trip to my local Farmer’s Market. I’ve always enjoyed the atmosphere of the market filled with like-minded shoppers, who crowd in around the different tables and displays offered by the farmers and  venders. Customers are generously plied with samples and antidotes about items for sale. The venders are talkative and happy to answer any and all questions about their businesses. And there is a general sense of community among everyone, and a sense of relaxation and enjoyment, as people visit with one another sharing their hauls and munching on an appetizing treat or two, maybe accompanied by a steaming cup of coffee or tea. They also crowd around  and enjoy the audible art of the performers, who are more likely than not, local musicians.

Today I purchased potatoes,  dried beans and bok choy. The bok choy, which I purchased from Heron Pond Farm, from South Hampton N.H., was on the smallish side (baby bok choy), and its leaves were dark green and gloriously generous. I could just imagine seeing them swimming luxuriously in a brothy bowl of soup!

20170225_172142
Bok Choi

The dried beans, from The Root Seller located in Nottingham NH, were just lovely, and I was excited about trying them. I chose Tiger Eye, Flageolet, Jacob’s Cattle, Cranberry and Arikara Yellow. As soon as I returned home I set about soaking the tiger eye variety, to see how those cooked up and tasted.

20170225_173122
Bean Haul

 

img_20170225_152620_341
Tiger Eyes Soaking in Water

I boiled the Tiger Eye beans with 1/2 onion, one bay leaf and one smashed garlic clove and them cooked until tender. The beans were nice with a mild flavor and a texture similar to chickpeas (garbanzo beans). I cooked them a bit longer  to see if they would become creamy, but they still retained a small bite and seemed to begin breaking apart. Seems like they would be a versatile bean, working well in soups and stews and definitely standing on there own as a solo plate of beans. They would also puree well and make a nice bean dip or spread, in the same way chickpeas can be made into hummus.

I also purchased two five pound bags of potatoes from Riverside Farm Stand and Greenhouse  from Berwick Maine. I chose Yukon Gold Gem, and Rose Gold. I know from past experiences, my husband and I enjoy the Yukon Gold as an all purpose potato; using it for oven fries, mashed potatoes, in soups and stews, and baked potatoes. The Rose Gold, we had never tried before, and I thought it would be interesting to see what the difference could be.

20170225_173412
Spuds!

I cooked one potato of each kind in a saucepan filled with cold water, bought to the boil and then cooked over medium heat until the potatoes were tender. I cooked them this way, because I wanted them as unadorned as possible, even using no salt, to taste them just as they are with no condiments whatsoever. I wanted their individual flavors and textures to shine through.

20170225_161933
Potato Taste Test

The Yukon Gold Gem cooked up as I had expected, but it was not as gold as others we have had, and it seemed to share a bit of the floury texture of a russet potato. But it was definitely a waxy potato with very thin skin, which could easily be left on for cooking and eating.It was mildly sweet, with a rounded almost nutty, potato flavor.

And then came the Rose Gold! Wow! What a surprise! A waxy texture with no floury consistency whatsoever. The color was definitely a lovely rose gold hue, and the skin was also thin and suitable for leaving on the potato, if desired. The flavor was creamy and sweet and needed no embellishment at all. I imagined steaming them and having them with a salad; either cubed and tossed on top, or sliced and served on the side. I could imagine preparing these potatoes in any way imaginable and they would only improve the recipe. A new favorite, without a doubt!

All in all, it was a good, enjoyable trip to the Farmer’s Market. Even though it was not a good day for finding moneysaving values, I did find  items, that are local and of the highest quality as compared to what I would find in the chain grocery stores. My shopping haul total came to $31.80 cents. The dried beans were $5.00 a 1lb bag; I purchased 5 bags, which allowed me to get one bag free (special pricing from The Root Seller). The potatoes were $5.00 a 5lb bag, which is an average price for local  potatoes grown in the Seacoast area. The bok choy I chose came to $1.80 and I was very happy with that purchase.

Thank you for visiting Mami’s Good Food Kitchen today, and letting me share with you my market finds. Remember to feed yourself and your loved ones good, honest food. Eat as unprocessed as possible, as local as possible and always try new things!

Eat like it matters- because it really does!

Snow Fungus; The New Superfood?!!

img_20170220_231248_655

Welcome to Vegan Mamis Good Food Kitchen! Thank you for stopping by, today. I want to share with you a new item I found while shopping in my local Asian grocery store. It’s called Dried White Fungus. This is how I saw it in the store, on a shelf, nestled in its festive box:

20170213_104320
packaged dried white fungus

It looked like a gift, and I was intrigued. I could tell it was delicate because the package had been designed to guard the delicate little fungi from being crushed. I was drawn to it and decided it would be my next adventure into the culinary unknown.

Later, when I returned home and was able to do my research, I found  snow fungus goes by many names such as: snow fungus, white fungus, silver ear, white jelly mushroom and white wood ear. It’s latin name is Tremella Fuciformis, and it is a mycoparasite which means it isn’t cultivated on wood like oyster mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms and other mushrooms, but it feeds on the mushrooms that are cultivated on wood. (You can learn more about the mushroom world by going to TomVolkFungi.net).

The snow fungus has been used in chinese medicine for centuries and is credited as a beauty enhancer and digestive aid and possibly improving lung immune function. Now I am not a doctor, and I know nothing of these claims, but if you would like to see more information on this type of thing, you can find it at Ping Ming Health- Accupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine  http://www.pingminghealth.com/article/773/white-fungus-and-lung-immune-function

More benefit information is found at  http://www.herbmuseum.ca/content/medicinal-benefits-snow-fungus

But I am learning about this snow fungus because it heightened my curiosity, and I’m always happy to try new foods and discover how I can use them. To begin, I had to reconstitute the dried fungus in water, which involved soaking the yellowish fungus in water for about 2 hours. It grew into a good sized ball and turned a beautiful white color with a soft and yet firm consistency. Before I could cook the snow fungus I turned it over and trimmed off the hard yellowed bits that looked to be part of a stem.

I read quite a few recipes from the internet and they were all a bit different, but the simplest recipe was to boil the fungus with jujubes (which are chinese red dates) and a handful of goji berries, for approximately one hour , or until you feel it is done. This procedure is meant to create a bowl of soup served warm or cold that enhances beauty; and really, who could turn that down? When cooked, the fungus had a crunchy texture that was at the same time, soft and gelatinous. Cooking it made the water thicker and slippery, as though I had mixed an arrowroot slurry into the soup pot. The fungus had no taste. The interest about it was in the texture. I had noticed some recipes called for adding sugar, other recipes added fruits to cook with the fungus, such as peaches or apples to add flavor.

This was not a culinary treasure in the taste department, at least not these recipes, but if one was interested in the purported benefits of the snow fungus, than its not a bad way to get it down. I tried the soup hot and cold, and the texture of the soup hot, was interesting but when I tried it cold, the next day, it was hard to eat until I became used to the extra silky body of the broth and the gelatinous and crunchy texture of the fungus.

 

I was determined to try another recipe, to see if I could make it more enjoyable. This time I made it as part of a stew. In a large pot, I put the snow fungus, torn into pieces, tofu, zucchini, onions, leafy greens, carrots, sweet potato noodles, a couple large spoonfuls kimchi and one green chile pepper. Then I filled the pot with vegetable stock to cover the veggies, and added a spoonful of gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste). Bought everything to boil, and turned to low, covered with a lid and let it simmer for 35 to 40 minutes.

The flavor of the stew was good, and the snow fungus added its magic as it thickened the stew, ever so slightly, giving the stew juices a silky feel. The snow fungus stubbornly retained it’s soft chewy- yet crunchy texture. Although it added no taste, it added an interesting texture to the stew, and was not in the least disagreeable. So this recipe was a yes, and I could see myself making it again.

I have other recipe ideas to try with this beautiful little gem, but I will leave that for another time. I am sure I have not even begun to tap the possibilities. Thank you for visiting with me today, and remember to keep an open mind and try new things, and always

always

always,

feed yourself and your loved ones good foods, real foods, and foods that are as unprocessed as possible.

 

 

No-Cheese Cheezy Sauce

20170109_235408
No-cheese cheezy sauce turned into nacho cheeze sauce

Welcome  to Vegan Mami’s Good Food Kitchen. This past weekend my grandsons came over to visit, and what a fun visit it was! Both boys are growing so fast and always playing so hard! Along with growing and using up their energy stores they bought with them their ever increasing appetites. One of their very favorite meals is macaroni and cheese. You know the kind, the one that comes in a box and has a very creamy, rich sauce.

Because I don’t have boxes of mac-n-cheese in my pantry or cheese in my refrigerator to make it from scratch, I decided to try a no-cheese sauce for them and see if I could get them to eat it and hopefully enjoy it. The following is the recipe I like to use when I want to make a sauce that is easy to put together, cheezy, versatile and  is healthier than loading cheese and butter into a recipe.

No-Cheese Cheezy Sauce

  • 2 yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ chunks
  • 2 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 inch piece fresh turmeric, peeled. Or use powdered turmeric, 1/2 tsp.
  • 1 large onion, or 2 small, peeled and chopped into quarters

put all ingredients listed above into a medium saucepan and fill with water until all vegetables are covered. Put pan on burner over high heat until water begins to boil. Turn heat to medium and cook until veggies are fork tender.

With a slotted spoon, put all veggies in a blender, or food processor, with no more than 1/4 cup of cooking liquid. Add 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast, and 1/2 tsp. ground yellow mustard. Carefully blend veggies until a smooth sauce develops. It will take about 30 to 45 seconds.

At this point you can add more of the cooking water if you think the sauce is too thick. Add salt and white pepper to your taste, and if you want a cheezier flavor, add more nutritional yeast, but only add in 1 tablespoon at a time and taste to see if the flavor is  where you want it. You should have approximately 3 cups.

To make macaroni and no-cheeze, cook your favorite pasta shape and put into a bowl, and spoon a bit of sauce over all and mix well. Very good, and very satisfying. Both boys enjoyed it and asked for seconds.

You can enjoy this sauce as a dip for your oven baked potatoes, and you will have a low fat and low sodium snack or side dish. Or you can ladle the sauce generously over a hot, steamed cauliflower sprinkled with bread crumbs, and enjoy a decadent dish!

Or, you can do as I did this afternoon, and bake your own corn chips by cutting corn tortillas into four wedges, baking them in a 425 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until they become golden brown and toasty. Remove from oven and set on serving plate. Take some leftover No-cheese sauce and stir in some chili powder seasoning, cumin, smoked paprika and a couple shots of your favorite hot sauce, all to your taste. You can add tomato salsa or black olives or chopped green or red onions, depending on what you like and what you have on hand. Mix all together and warm the sauce in microwave or in a pan on the stove. and voila! Your have just made a healthier alternative to Tortilla chips and Nacho Cheese sauce!

Enjoy! Thank you for stopping by, I hope all your meals are tasty, nourishing and healthy  and your heart is filled with love.

Local Values at Local Grocery Stores

Good morning, and welcome to Vegan Mami’s  Good Food Kitchen. Sit down for a moment and enjoy a nice, warm comforting cup of tea. Today I’m having a nice little herbal from Celestial Seasonings, called Watermelon Lime Zinger. Very light; very refreshing; it’s a delicious little tea.

This morning as I was going through my mail, I noticed some really good prices in the circulars of the local grocery stores in the Seacoast NH Area. Right away, my attention perked up when I noticed sales on the produce pages of the circulars. I don’t usually bother with the rest of the circulars because I am only interested in whole foods or produce and other items that might be of value.

First, in the SHAW’s advertisements, I noticed

  • fresh  collard greens or kale,  .99 per bunch
  • Pricing good Dec. 9th thru Dec. 15

 

Second, in the Hannaford advertisements, I noticed

  • clementines, 5 lb box  $3.99
  • cauliflower head, $1.99 each
  • Hannaford brand light or dark kidney beans, 15.5oz can  .69 each
  • Hannaford brand frozen vegetables, all varieties, 16 oz    .99 bag
  • 25% off all selected holiday merchandise (excludes candy)
  • pricing good Dec. 11th thru Dec. 17

 

And lastly, in the Market Basket advertisements,

  • Roma Plum tomatoes  .99 lb
  • Idaho potatoes  1.99 per 5 lb bag
  • Eggplant  .99 lb
  • European Seedless cucumber  .89 each
  • Brussel Sprouts  $1.99 lb
  • Red Onions  .69 lb
  • Green Beans .99 lb
  • Zucchini squash .99 lb
  • Celery with leaves 1.29 bunch
  • Butternut Squash .49 lb
  • Yams .49 lb
  • Jumbo Stuffing Mushrooms 40 0z pkg, $6.99
  • Ginger Root, $1.49 lb
  • King Arthur Flour 5 lb bags, 2 bags for $4.oo
  • Pricing good Dec. 11th thru Dec. 24th

Easily I could see Market Basket was the clear winner in the store offering more discounts in the fresh produce section. So if you’d like to save a few pennies and need to stock up on your fresh veggies, I would definitely suggest you start off there.

Remember, the healthiest way to shop is by having a list and sticking with it as close as possible and keeping your pathway to the parameter of the store. The prepared foods containing chemicals, sodium and other unwanted and non-nutritive ingredients, are usually in the middle isles. Of course there are exceptions, such as dried beans, rices, pastas, oatmeal and some canned products; such as tomatoes or canned beans or jarred tomato sauce. Just read labels and make sure you know what you are getting, and that it’s something that you are willing to pay for, and is something you are choosing to feed your family or yourself. While it’s important to enjoy our food, it’s also important to remember food is necessary  to nourish our bodies and help keep us healthy. And being as healthy as we can be in this life is undeniably the best path to be on.

So thank you for dropping by and letting me share my information with you.At the very least, I hope this encourages and reminds you to look for ways to get more fresh produce into your life, and onto your table. And remember, be patient with yourself and your family as you try a vegetable that may be new and out of the ordinary from what you are used to; sometimes it takes more than a couple tries to know for sure if you and your loved ones will become accustomed to it.

Happy Shopping! Always remember to feed your body good foods, prepared well; and feed your soul happy and loving thoughts!

Cha Cha Cha Chia Tea!

20160811_093502
Red Roobis Tea with Chia Seeds

Good morning everyone! This morning I started off the morning experimenting with hot beverages, once again. Even though the weather has been  scorching hot lately, I like to wake up and begin my day with a hot drink, and sometimes coffee just seems a bit too heavy.

Have you seen those drinks in the produce section, that cost three dollars (sometimes more) and they contain chia seeds?  The label says the chia seeds add omega threes and are very good for digestion?  Or have you ever had a bubble tea? Bubble teas are served hot or cold, can be made with teas or fruits and blended with your choice of milk. The really interesting thing with bubble teas is that it has sweetened tapioca balls added to the drink, which at first taste may seem strange if you are not used to it, but if you can appreciate the texture, it’s really a fun drink.

The tea I made this morning was inspired by these two different kinds of beverages. If you enjoy the chia drinks or the bubble tea, I think you would enjoy this too. I started by brewing a simple cup of hot tea. I used Better Off Red, by Now food products, a roobis red tea, which has no caffeine. After letting it steep about 4 minutes, I added just a touch of soy milk creamer which I had purchased at Trader Joe’s grocery store. Then I added approximately 2 tsp. of chia seeds directly to the tea and stirred, untill blended. As the chia seeds absorbed the hot tea, they became as chia seeds do, slightly bigger and viscous (dare I say, slimey?) When the tea had cooled enough to sip, it was pleasant to drink, and nice to have with my unbuttered whole wheat toast and nectarine, as it helped to add an element of interest to an otherwise neutral breakfast. Although, I do have to comment that the nectarine was divine, mother nature at her best!.

20160811_095015
Chia seeds in my Tea !?!

Thank you for visiting Vegan Mami’s Good Food Kitchen!

Have a blessed day, and remember to feed yourself and your loved ones Good Food!

Tumeric Latte- Caffeine Free and full of Tumeric Goodness!

20160711_095501
Tumeric Latte

Good monday morning to everyone, and welcome to Mami’s Good Food Kitchen! Ever hear of the health benefits of tumeric? I think we all have; just google tumeric and you will find a plethora of information on why its good to include in our diets. One can take a supplement, or use turmeric in powder form, or use it fresh. I believe the best way to use tumeric is to use it fresh. You can buy it in its whole form and it can usually be found in a grocery store, in the Asian or Indian produce section, if you have a store in your area that has those kinds of groceries. If fresh tumeric can’t be found, than powdered is the next best option.

My husband is wanting to give up caffeine, and his morning cup of coffee is the hardest thing for him to give up. Choosing caffeine free coffee is the first obvious route to take, but he didn’t like the taste and just wasn’t happy no matter what brand we tried. He had also heard about the health benefits of tumeric and felt he wanted to try it and see if it gave him positive benefits. Sometimes, when trying to make a drastic change in the diet, such as cutting out something that’s not benefiting you (such as caffeine) the easiest and best way is to totally avoid the item you are trying to eliminate and replace it with something else. I had heard of tumeric milk, a drink made by Indian mothers to give to their loved ones who maybe had a cold or were feeling under the weather, and thought I would research to see if it made sense to make something like that to substitute for my husband’s morning coffee.

After looking at the many recipes I found, I came up with a latte drink, served warm, that just might do the trick. It’s a Tumeric Latte – and this is how I made it:

  • 1  1/2 cups plant based milk (so far I used almond and soy- both came out great)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 thumbsized piece of tumeric, skin scraped off and minced
  • 1/4 ” slice of ginger, skin scraped off and minced
  • 1 tsp ground cardamon, 1 /4 tsp powdered nutmeg, sprinkle of cinnamon

In a saucepan, I added the water and the plant based milk. Turned the heat on to medium. while that was heating up I added in the minced tumeric  and  ginger , and the powdered nutmeg and cardamon. when the mixture just comes to a boil, I turned the heat off and with my stick blender, blend the milk mixture for a few minutes, until the mixture is frothy and well combined. You will still get small pieces of pulp in the drink, which can be strained out before being poured in a cup, but I think you will benefit more from the entire tumeric and ginger, but its a personal preference.

with a ladle, place Latte in a cup and sprinkle with powdered cinnamon.  And then, Enjoy!

This recipe makes two cups latte, and can easily be saved and reheated if you serve only one cup.

My husband did enjoy the latte, and is looking forward to having it again. It made it easier for him to give up that morning cup of joe, maybe because he was distracted by the new tastes in a different, but still warm drink? I don’t know. As for the benefits, well, we will have to wait and see…

But for now, he is happy, and that’s what Mami’s Good Food Kitchen is all about!

Thank you for visiting, and may you have a day that is full of blessings and love.

Supper Tonight at Mami’s

Welcome to Mami’s Good Food Kitchen! Pull up a chair, bring along  your adventurous taste buds and try a dish with a flavor profile that pops you out of your same old, same old meal prep and transports you to a place you may not have expected in your own kitchen.

20160705_203944
Based on Koshari

This recipe is based loosely on a Egyptian recipe called Koshari. I came across it as I was checking out Mommy Tang’s YouTube channel, where she does mukbangs and vegan recipes. She had, as her guest, a young lady named Marion, who shared with everyone her version of Koshari, as taught to her by her father, I believe.

The recipe caught my attention right away, as the spices were different than other spices and flavors I had used, and also seemed perfect to serve as a vegan meal because it looks nourishing and filling and oddly familiar. Even though there seemed to be a lot of prep, it looked as though it would go together easily, once all the components were assembled.  It looked easy to make into a whole foods meal and looked forgiving enough to stand up to omissions or changes one might wish to make. For example, I used a mix of three lentils, whole wheat pasta and brown rice. Came out very delicious!

So the main idea is to use pasta, rice, and lentils. Which are all cooked separately and then served in a dish with a tomato sauce on top to be mixed in before eating, as I’ve pictured above. Although, as I researched on-line for recipes, I noted some directions instructed  to cook the lentils and rice together. I am always concerned  if my rice and lentils will be done at the same time, so I prefer to cook them separately just to be sure.

I cooked the rice and lentils separately, but used the same spices for both. and I used a dry roasting method – or dry frying- toasting the spices in the dry pan before adding the rice or lentils and the cooking water. I used garlic, ground coriander, ground cumin, ground cardamon, salt and pepper.In the rice I also put a stick of cinnamon, which would come out after the rice was cooked. For the rice, I used 1 cup rice to 2 cups water and for cooking the lentils I used the same measurement. The rice cooked for 35 minutes at low, and covered, after coming to a boil. The lentils I cooked uncovered and they took about 25 minutes to cook, but I kept checking the lentils to make sure they were not overcooking. At the same time, I cooked the pasta. I used whole wheat pasta shaped as  corkscrews, and followed the package directions. When all three were done, I lined them up on hot plate trivets on my counter in covered pots. Oh Yes, the lentils and the pasta were drained of  their cooking water so they wouldn’t get soggy, as they waited for me to pull  all the components  together.

20160705_203956
Plated and ready for dinner! just add a salad!

As I was cooking the rice, pasta and lentils, I also made the tomato sauce to top the dish. It too, was simple and went together really fast.

I used one 12 0z can of crushed tomatoes and put it in a saucepan. to that I added 1/2 can of water, 3 crushed garlic cloves, salt and pepper and one tbsp of vinegar. Brought to a boil, covered and let simmer for at least 25 minutes, while everything else was cooking.

To serve the dish, layer all ingredients on a plate beginning with the whole wheat pasta, then the aromatic rice, and finally a layer of lentils. Top  with tomato sauce,using however much you like. Finally serve the dish with a side of salad to complete the meal.  I chose a green salad with romaine lettuce, tomato, red onion and cucumber. Very simple, but a good and pleasing side dish.

Even though there were a lot of steps to pulling this meal together, it was very tasty and simple. Filled me up fast- one serving was quite enough and it kept me feeling full for quite a while.

Thank you for visiting Mami’s  Good Food Kitchen and may all your meals be nourishing and delicious and full of love!20160705_204205

Sunday Breakfast with Mami

Happy Sunday morning to everyone! Hopefully you can ease into the day and share time with loved ones and on projects or adventures you find fulfilling and joyful. If you do not have the day to yourself (if you have to work), I still wish you a happy Sunday, and I thank you for providing a valuable service on this day, and hope you find fulfilment and joy in your day as well.

Today, at Mami’s household, we are having a slow start; sipping on coffee and waking up slowly. The weather of the day is lending an even slower-motion feeling. Not sunny, a little chilly, and somehow a  quiet theme is playing itself out .

20160522_094620
It’s What for Breakfast!

So, here’s breakfast because not quite feeling like oatmeal or other cereals, not quite in the mood for toast or fruits, and definitely not in the mood for pancakes. But definitely hungry. So I made tofu scramble with the usual scramble veggies, which are mushrooms, onions, red peppers, and seasoned this mixture with tumeric, Berbere Seasoning from Frontier Natural Products.

1463930320302-1404655060
Berbere Seasoning

1463930284301203197228

After the tofu scramble was cooked and seasoned,  I arranged the scramble and polenta in a bowl and decorated with leftover elements from last night’s supper of veggie tacos. A spoon ful of blackbeans, few chunks of chopped tomato, approximately 1/8th of an avacado, and then sprinkled the food in the bowl with chopped cilantro, scallions and nutritional yeast…oh yes, and my favorite,  non-calorie condiment, lime juice. Very good, very filling and looks pretty nutritious!

And now, onto the rest of the day!

Thank you for sharing your time with me.

Take good care of yourself and your loved ones and remember to cook and serve good food!

 

 

A Totally Cheezy Experiment

I’ve been researching my cookbooks,various recipe websites on line, and watching endless You-Tube presenters, trying to find and comparing recipes for a fairly low fat, easy and delicious, cheese- type sauce.  And all recipes I found were pretty similar and also appeared as if they all used a similar technique. It really blew my mind at how easy a vegan cheese sauce could be. All I could wonder was, could it really be that good? And if it was good, perhaps it would be nothing like a cheese sauce, but more like a white sauce. This idea seemed to logically make more sense to me. But where was the flour and  butter to make a roux, or the cornstarch slurry or arrowroot slurry? Could it really be that easy and also taste good?

Well. I was surprised.

To start with,I soaked 1/2 cup raw cashews in a container with plenty of water to cover. I let the cashews soak for one hour while I was preparing everything else.

In a medium saucepan, I put 3 cups water, 1 small to medium potato, peeled and chopped, 1/2 onion, peeled and chopped, 1 small carrot, peeled and chopped, 1/4 red bell pepper, chopped, 4 cloves garlic, salt and pepper. I let this cook until all veggies were soft, then set aside to cool a bit before blending in a blender.

After an hour, I poured the pan of veggies and all its water into my blender. I then drained the cashews and put them in the blender with the veggies. Also to this mixture I added a pinch of cayenne pepper, a pinch more of salt, and 1/3 cup of nutritional yeast, and then let the mixture whir away in the blender. At first I thought, this is strange, how can this be? But I stayed with it and begun to see a change in the texture of the sauce. I stopped the blender and tentatively lifted the lid to check out the consistency of the contents. I’ll be darned if it didn’t look like a cheese sauce. Then I tasted it. Gingerly, at first, but wait a minute… Wow! That was good! Texture was silky and amazing and the taste was very delicious. And it would pass as a cheese sauce!

I immediately steamed a head of purple cauliflower which I had in my refrigerator waiting for me to get inspired as to how I was going to serve it. I presented the cauliflower in a large bowl then poured the cheese sauce over the entire head, it was beautiful. And it tasted even better!

20160404_180252
Purple Cauliflower with Vegan Cheeze Sauce

But wait, I thought, I can pretty it up with a sprinkling of a few seasoned bread crumbs:

20160404_180326
Picture Ready!

And then I thought, Why not add taco sauce, hot sauce and more nutritional yeast? I gave a sample to my husband and he was very impressed. I  told him it was queso sauce and gave him tortilla chips with it. He said it was very good, and ate the entire serving I gave him. He also liked the cauliflower with cheese sauce and was surprised when I told him how I had made the sauce, and how easy it was to vary the sauce, to get a different flavor spin.

20160404_170719

And for my last experiment using the cheese sauce, I thought I would put it with a lasagna. The stuffing of the lasagna was made with a tofu spinach blend, which consisted of tofu and spinach, of course, and bread crumbs,nutritional yeast, italian seasoning and smashed garlic cloves sauteed with chopped onions and chopped red peppers, and then seasoned with salt and pepper.

I layered the cooked lasagna noodles with the tofu spinach mixture, the cheese sauce, noodle, tofu spinach mixture, red sauce and continuing on until all ingredients were used. I think I had four layers of noodles. I baked the dish for one hour and then let it sit for half an hour. And, another surprise! It was very hearty, and very good. Not to be confused for a luscious Italian lasagna laden with ricotta and parm and all the other cheesy tastes, but it was a good meal. Filling and warmly comforting, with a robust flavor. Yes. It was a very good lasagna. But just not a great lasagna. But then again, I never was a fantastic lasagna cook. I will have to keep at it to see if I can come up with one that is better.

Next time I do a cheese sauce, I will try it without the cashews and see how it does.Even though I only used half a cup of cashews in the entire batch- and the batch made about four and a half cups- I would like to make a cheese sauce with no fat added. I have seen recipes that do not use nuts, everything else was pretty much the same, so maybe that will also be possible, and hopefully I will be just as surprised.

20160404_200557
My Lasagna( non-Italian)

So, all in all, I was pleased with learning this new technique.It opened up another avenue of learing how to make sauces to serve with meals when you need that extra something for flavor, but you just don’t want to add alot of calories or fat in the form of dairy products and processed prepackaged sauces.

Thank you for reading my post, and let me know if you’ve had similar experiences discovering something new!

Till next time, take care of yourself and your family, feed them and yourself, well!