Hello everyone! So I survived the semester and I’m currently at the beach for the week with my ladies. First night was so much fun. I lost my Chat Roulette virginity. Let’s just say that we did our fair share if screaming in shock! I also may not be posting regularly since I’m at the beach and the day I get back is the day I fly to New York!
Anywho, there are a few beliefs I have and one of them is that I don’t think it should cost an arm and a leg to eat well. Especially when essentially most of the things I eat come straight from nature. I’d like to say that I eat well. When I say well I mean that I don’t sacrifice good taste just because something has nutritional value. Shots of wheat grass? No thank you. Maybe I’m a food snob, but I don’t care because I eat what I like and try new things as well. Sometimes I give things a second chance like my beloved brussels sprouts. And there are some things that I loved in my childhood that never get old. As a college student and a lover of food I’ve learned how to cook deliciously on a budget. I’ve learned that hummus is a cinch to make and usually ends up tasting better than what I get at the store–aside from Sabra’s miraculously creamy hummus. Some secrets are just too good to give out I guess. Oh well, I have a few of my own too!
- I made my own creamy tomato sauce recipe!
And I am definitely sharing this one! Although I must warn you that the measurements aren’t precise because as usual when I cook, I just put in things by my taste. Mine turned out more like an arrabiata (spicy sauce) since I was generous with the black pepper. Oh! And it’s also vegan. Since I didn’t have any creamer on hand I opted to make a vegan alternative I’ve done many a time and have loved each time: cashew cream.
Vegan Creamy Tomato Sauce
Canola oil for cooking
3/4 cup onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1/8 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
2 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press
1 grated carrot stick
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
Sliced sun-dried tomatoes
A little less than 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes with juice
1/3 cup cashew cream
Fresh ground black pepper
Dried sweet basil and tarragon
1. Heat pan first then canola oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, bay leaf, pepper flakes, and salt and cook, uncovered, stirring often, until onion is soft and beginning to turn golden.
2. Add garlic and cook until aromatic, about 1 minute. Increase heat to medium-high, add tomato sauce, grated carrot, dried basil, tarragon, and sun-dried tomatoes and cook, stirring constantly, until slightly darkened, about 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Add balsamic vinegar and cook, stirring often for about 2 minutes. Add can of crushed tomatoes and bring to the boil.
4. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, stirring often, until sauce reduces and is thickened, about 25 to 30 minutes.
5. When sauce has thickened, remove and discard bay leaf. Stir in the cashew cream, and cook until warmed through, about 1 minute. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
- I served the sauce with sautéed garlic, yellow squash, onion, mushrooms, and cannellini beans over penne pasta.
- I also made another batch of granola!
Honey Cranberry-Almond Granola
1 1/2 cups oatmeal
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/3 cup honey
1 1/2 tbl canola oil
1 tbl almond extract
1/2 cup dried cranberries
White chocolate chips
1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients except the dried cranberries, shredded coconut, and white chocolate chips.
3. Spread out the granola on a nonstick baking sheet.
4. Bake the granola for about 30 minutes, stirring every 8 minutes or so. Halfway through sprinkle on the shredded coconut when stirring. Remove from oven, allow to cool.
5. Once cool mix in the dried cranberries and white chocolate chips
It’s so easy! I love coming up with combinations, and they’re perfect as yummy gifts. Just think of the flavors a loved one enjoys and make their very own mix. You can put it in a mason jar with a delightful tag, and I’m sure the lucky recipient will name their first-born after you.
- Almonds, dried cranberries, and white chocolate chips is one of my favorite combinations.
- Homemade hummus too?!
Sun-dried Tomato Hummus
4 garlic cloves, minced and then mashed
2 15-oz cans of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
1/4 cup avocado oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1. In a food processor, combine the mashed garlic, garbanzo beans, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon juice, 1/2 cup water. Process until smooth.
2. Slowly add in the avocado oil. Add salt, starting at a half a teaspoon, to taste.
Serve with anything your heart desires.
Gosh it feels good to share my own recipes with you all again! During the semester it’s hard for me to actually sit down and think about that. Even though I’m an only child, I love to share. So being able to share these recipes is awesome–from my kitchen to yours!