Sunday, April 13, 2014

Finally Some Mac & Cheese For Dinner

 
Its been a very long time since I've eaten Macaroni & cheese. Since I am highly allergic to yeast that was a meal I had excluded from my diet. I was happy to find at Nature's Bin a Provolone cheese that is non dairy, gluten free, yeast free, no gmo, no corn and free of toxins from the Daiya product line. This cheese has now become my best friend when it comes to cooking. It is highly expensive, you only get 11 slices for $4.99 and the slices are round the exact size of a rice cake.
 
So this passed week I made some Mac & cheese with this delicious melting white cheese. I also grilled some great veggies like seedless cucumbers, Bella mushrooms, big sliced onions, green & yellow sweet peppers and some chopped tempehs. Served also with my meal was a spinach, tomato and radish salad. It was divine and I was enjoying every bite.
 
 
 
I also made one day for lunch some homemade Arepas (tortillas) and I topped it with some spinach leaves, tomato and this delicious provolone cheese....it was divine.
 
 
From my Caribbean Vegan kitchen to yours...SALUD!
 


Sunday, April 6, 2014

History and Preparing the Platain Banana

Hello my peeps...its so nice to see you again.
 
I have posted many recipes with plantain bananas, but today I am teaching you a little bit concerning this tropical food.
 
 
Plantain bananas are usually grown in tropical countries. They can sustain intensive heat from the sun and this crucial heat helps them grow. Plantains are a member of the banana family. They are a starchy, low in sugar variety that is cooked before serving as it is unsuitable raw. It is used in many savory dishes somewhat like a potato would be used and is very popular in Western Africa and the Caribbean countries.
 
 
 Plantains are usually fried, boiled or baked.
 
Green Plantains fried. They are usually eaten with rice & beans, with sea food, and with any root family. 
 
 
 
 
Ripe Plantains are yellow in color and they can be fried, stir fried or boiled. When ripe they are very sweet. They are usually eaten with any meal but they are eaten for breakfast in many countries as a side dish with eggs.
 
 



Plantains are native to India and are grown most widely in tropical climates. Plantains are sometimes referred to as the pasta and potatoes of the Caribbean. Sold in the fresh produce section of the supermarket, they usually resemble green bananas but ripe plantains may be black in color. This vegetable-banana can be eaten and tastes different at every stage of development. The interior color of the fruit will remain creamy, yellowish or lightly pink. When the peel is green to yellow, the flavor of the flesh is bland and its texture is starchy. As the peel changes to brown or black, it has a sweeter flavor and more of a banana aroma, but still keeps a firm shape when cooked.

 
Plantains grow best in areas with constant warm temperatures and protection from strong winds. They have been grown in scattered locations throughout Florida since the 16th century. Because of the occasional freezes, Florida is considered a marginal area for plantain production. They are available year round in the supermarket.
 
Green plantain can be fried and served as a side dish sprinkled with salt to increase the flavor. They can be boiled and served with olive oil and salt, cut in thin slices and then baked to eat as chips and it can be boiled, then mashed well mixed with lots of mashed garlic, salt & pepper for taste and olive oil...it looks like mash potatoes. This is called MOFONGO. It is delicious.
 
Highly Nutritious
  • Good Source of Potassium and
    Vitamins A & C
  • High in Dietary Fiber
  • Energy Booster -
    High in carbohydrates

  •  

    Here is the way to peel a plantain. It can be peeled or sliced.

     
    Slicing it allows you to manage the slimy texture but I prefer to peel it whole.
     
     
     This is me peeling a plantain. First make sure your knife is very sharp, then as you peel the plantain constantly rinse it in cool water because the plantain oozes a slimy liquid that tend to stain a bit the hand. By rinsing it in water as you peel prevents your hands from staining.

     
    Slice the plantain down the middle then with your knife slowly push back the peeling, like the photo below.

     
    By moving back the peeling with the knife you will remove the hard peeling from the plantain.

     
    This is the peeling to be discarded. 

     
    Then slice the plantain on a slanted angle and immerse them in salt water for about 10 minutes.

     
    Then put to heat up the skillet with oil to fry the plantains. Make sure that before you throw in the hot oil the salted plantain they should be damp dried with a paper towel to prevent splattering of the hot oil and personal skin burns. Place them in the hot oil and once they become a light tan color remove them from the pan and press them well with a plantain presser or you can use the bottom of a glass bottle. Press downward until the plantain oozes outward. Then re-fry them until they are golden brown. Place them on a dish covered with about 3 paper towel to drip dry, sprinkle salt over them and eat them hot...ENJOY they are DELICIOUS!
     

     
    From my Caribbean Vegan Kitchen to yours...SALUD!
     
    

    Tuesday, April 1, 2014

    Homemade Avocado Guacamole

    My ongoing love for guacamole keeps on growing.
    I imagine many of you feel the same.
     
    This past week I had a few ripe avocados made me make this scrumptious guacamole. 
     
     
    It was very good and very delicious with vegetable crackers.
     
    Here's my recipe.
     
    3 very ripe avocados
    a hefty hand full of fresh cilantro
    (chopped)
    1 medium (diced) yellow onion
    1/2 tsp. garlic powder
    1/2 tsp. onion powder
    1/8 tsp. crushed peppers
    2 T. lemon juice
    salt & black pepper for taste
     
    After mashing well the avocados add the lemon juice, mix well then add the rest of the remaining ingredients. Mix well and enjoy with your favorite chips.
    I ate mine with Simply Made Chips made out of baked yams, batata, roots & tomatoes...delicious.
     

     
    From my Caribbean Vegan Kitchen to yours...SALUD!
     
     
    

    Tuesday, March 25, 2014

    My Kitchen's Mini Makeover

    Throughout all my cleaning, painting, purging and organizing, I am also redecorating the apt.
     
    One of the rooms that got done was my kitchen. It got a new fresh coat of paint and then I changed the décor. As I took out the red and black, I then introduced browns, sage greens, beige's with a hint of cranberry as an accent color.
     
    But before I show you what I did I must tell you about what happened to my wooden cutting board.
     As I was cleaning and moving things around one day I accidentally dropped the wooden cutting on the floor. I was heart broken since it had been with me for over 20 years. When it fell it broke in two pieces, like the photo below.

     
    I really wanted to keep it so this was what I did with it...check it out.
     
    Step 1...I sanded them down and then I painted them a tan color.
     
     
    Step 2...Before doing anything else I put 2 frame hangers on the back of each board so I could hang them on the wall.
     
     
    Step 3...I had some black letter cutouts and I glued them on the boards to spell out "JOYFUL VEGAN".

     
    Step 4...I then stained the entire board with a dark brown stain wiping the stain off with a rag as I stained...darkening the paint just a tab.

     
    I also stained the sides and the wooden knobs that held the board above the counter top when in use.


     
     After finishing the 2 boards I hung them above my sink cabinets announcing to the world that I am a "Joyful Vegan".

     
    I then painted my trash can the same tan color as the boards.
     
    This is the trash can before...it was painted black.
     
     
    This is the new painted trash can.

     
     
    This was the before décor over the sink wall and it was changed to a mirror.
     
     
    And this is the after.
     
    I painted the mirror above the sink in black that I found for $1.50 at Goodwill.
     
    This is my decorated kitchen, I hope my new kitchen cabinets arrive soon. These cabinets are hideous. All the red & black is out of the kitchen and my new neutral soft colors look really nice.

     
    Total cost for this mini makeover was $6 dollars counting the small can of cream paint I bought to paint the trash can. I purchased the quart of paint for .50 cents at Home Depot in their mis-tints section.

    More pictures will be posted as the kitchen gets more new items changed and decorated. I am a very joyful vegan.

     
    From my Caribbean Vegan Kitchen to yours...SALUD!
     
     
    

    Sunday, March 16, 2014

    Homemade Vegetable Lasagna Made in Marinara Sauce

    Hi there my friends...
     

     
    This last Friday among all the Spring cleaning I am doing in which I am almost done. I took a moment to make my vegetable lasagna. I had really desired to make one since I had not put one together for 2 years now. So it was long overdue.
     
    I want to share with you my recipe and I hope you really like it.
     
    8 gluten free lasagna noodles
    1 jar of Barilla Marinara sauce
    1-1/2 tsp. sofrito for greater flavor
    (sofrito is in recipe my recipe file)
     
    1/2 tsp. ground garlic
    1/2 tsp. ground onions
    1/2 tsp. black pepper
    1 T. dried or fresh parsley
    1/4 c. sugar
    1/4 c. red wine vinegar
     
    Vegetables needed...
     
    1 c. chopped mushrooms
    1 c. chopped fresh cilantro
    2 c. chopped fresh kale
    2 c. chopped fresh spinach
    2 sweet red peppers (diced) 
    1 c. chopped green onions
     
    1-1/2 pkg. Daiya Provolone cheese (15 slices)
    1 pkg. extra firm tofu
    (diced into small pieces)
     
    Cook you lasagna noodles in water with a 1/2 tsp. salt for 10 minutes only...set the pot aside. In a non stick pot put in your sofrito, sauce, red wine vinegar, sugar and spices. Stir it well and let it cook on low for about 15 minutes. Turn the heat off and remove it from the hot burner. Prepare your work station with everything you need to prepare your lasagna. Chop up all your veggies and mix them all together in a large bowl and set them aside. Dice in small pieces your tofu.
     
    Using a long 9x13 lasagna baking pan pour 1-1/2 large cooking spoons full of sauce onto the pan. Spread it around the pan evenly and then layer the pan with 4 lasagna noodle (place 3 of them the long way and one the on the bottom edge). These 4 noodles should have cover the entire pan. Now spread some more sauce over the noodles, then layer the veggies on top of the sauce, sprinkle lightly some table salt, spread around the tofu over the veggies, add some more sauce over the tofu and then finish it with a layer of cheese... one next to another if your using the provolone slices or if your using shredded Daiya non dairy cheese then cover this top layer with the shredded cheese.
     
    Here is my pan just out of the oven.
     
     
     
    Make another layer exactly like the first one, except the cheese on this top layer is going to be crumbled. You need to crumble it with your hands and make sure the pan is covered in cheese.
     
    Bake for 1 hours. Serve with your favorite non dairy garlic bread. Enjoy.
     


     
    From my Caribbean Vegan Kitchen to yours...SALUD!
     
    

    Monday, March 10, 2014

    Oven Baked Kale Chips...DELICIOSO!!!

     
    If Kale is one of those scrumptious veggies that you love, then you'll love these kale chips baked in the oven.
     
    Just wash your kale leaves well, dry them up with a few paper towels and toss them in a large bowl with some olive oil and adobo. Then arrange the in a scattered way on a large baking pan. Set the oven at 300 degrees and bake for 2 hours. Then turn them over for another hour. That is all.
     
     
    Enjoy these lovely chips any time.
     
    WARNING:
    THEY  ARE ADDICTIVE.
     
     
    ENJOY!
     
    From my Caribbean Vegan Kitchen to yours...SALUD!
      
    
    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...