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Monday, January 14, 2019

Some Fun Veggie Recipes!

Here are a few extra recipes I've concocted throughout the years. Try them out!


VEGAN BEAN BURRITO
-1 or 2 whole wheat or corn tortillas
-2 cups of whole grain brown rice
1 to 2 cups vegan refried beans
½ cup to 2 cups low sodium black beans
½ cup to 1 cup sweet potatoes
HOWEVER MUCH OF THE FOLLOWING:
Yellow non-sweet corn
Mixed greens or garden greens (kale, spinach, lettuce)
Red onion
Red pepper
Serrano or poblano pepper
Mild pico de gallo (add more cilantro if you want)
All-natural Guacamole
OPTIONAL:
Shredded carrots
Hot sauce of choice
INSTRUCTIONS:
Cook rice and beans either together or separately, and to instructions on package. Set aside.
Brown chunks of sweet potatoes until crispy. Set aside with the rice and beans.
Spread enough mixture onto the middle of the opened tortilla to cover about 1/3 of tortilla space.
Add an even mixture of the rest of the ingredients. If you want a creamier or cheesier taste, add more corn and guac. Experiment with ratios until you find something you enjoy, and always wash your ingredients.
Wrap the tortilla into a burrito, folding the ends inwards.
Grill on either an open grill or stovetop for 3-6 minutes or until burrito is browned and crispy.
Serve with chips and salsa (I prefer mango salsa) and enjoy!
*TIPS*
When cooking any type of bean, legume, pasta, or rice, it is best to go for as little salt and sugar as possible. Your body will thank you. Instead of using regular stock, I use reduced sodium veggie or garden stock (the latter tends to be vegan). For rice, I like to use a little bit of coconut aminos or low sodium soy sauce.
Instead of boiling water, try a mixture with half water and half coconut milk.
Spices are great antioxidants and super good for your digestive health. They also are shown to prevent certain life-limiting diseases. Add a little spice to your life! – For guacamole, I really enjoy adding cinnamon, cayenne, and turmeric. For beans, I add a little bit of peppercorn and anise. And for rice, I enjoy a bit of ginger.
FIVE BEAN SALAD – Who said protein was hard?
This recipe is LOADED with protein – a minimum of 13 grams per serving. A healthy adult only needs about 50 grams per day, so in just a half cup of this recipe, you’re getting over 20% of your daily protein needs. It’s also super tasty!
½ to 2/3 cup tricolor (or regular) quinoa
¾ cup red or green lentils – packaged, no additives
1 cup black beans, low sodium, rinsed
¾ cup chickpeas
¾ cup shelled Edamame
2/3 cup cannellini or kidney beans, low sodium
½ tablespoon ground cumin
¼ tablespoon black pepper
1 clove garlic
1tsp lemon juice
½ small red onion
½ red bell pepper
½ green pepper
1/4 cup chopped parsley
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1 tsp chives
OPTIONAL:
¼ cup Sesame seeds
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
INSTRUCTIONS:
Prepare quinoa according to package.
Sautee peppers, garlic, onion, and spices. (no olive oil necessary – the onion will release plenty of juice)
Add lemon juice.
Add all of the beans and about 2 cups of liquid (using a mixture mentioned in the prior recipe or low sodium veggie stock, coconut milk, and/or water) to a pot. Bring to a boil, and simmer until liquid is absorbed to the beans.
Toss mixture together with quinoa. Garnish with cilantro, parsley, and chives.
GRANDMA’S ELIXIR SOUP
This recipe is based off of a drinkable soup used in a favorite videogame of mine that is used to replenish all of the user’s health and magic. It also supercharges your weapons with energy for 5 minutes. Needless to say, with all of the different vegetables of the rainbow in this soup, you’ll be feeling charged with energy and “magic” as well!
INGREDIENTS:
1 cup chopped white onion
1 cup chopped yellow onion
2 Garlic Cloves
1 Teaspoon Crushed Dried Chilli (Optional)
1 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon pumpkin spice mixture (even mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and allspice)
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
½ Tbsp olive oil
1Tbsp of earth balance (or other butter substitute)
2 cups chopped parsnips
½ cup butternut pumpkin, peeled and roughly chopped
1/4 Cup Cauliflower, chopped
2 cups chopped carrots
1 cup Yellow Squash, chopped
1 ½ cups turnips, peeled and chopped
3 cups of low sodium veggie stock
1 cup of soy or almond milk (or creamer, for added thickness)
INSTRUCTIONS:
Heat oil, butter substitute, and spices in pan. Sautee onions, garlic, chili, and pepper until tender, about 3 to 5 min.
Add all of the vegetables and sautee them until they are slightly squishier and start to release their juices, about 5 min.
Add non-dairy milk or creamer and veggie stock, bring to a boil, and simmer with lid mostly on for about 20 minutes or until all vegetables are soft and tender.
After cooling off of the stovetop for 5 to ten minutes, puree the soup in a blender and transfer to a serving container.
Enjoy a big bowl of this soup hot or cold, and with a helping of your favorite bread or crackers!
Homemade Seitan
If you make this per the standard recipe, you should have enough seitan to throw in the freezer and last a month or two. A very versatile recipe that can be made to taste like many different substitute ‘meats’. Will yield approximately one pound of seitan.
THE BASICS:
1 package of vital wheat gluten
1.5-2 cups nutritional yeast flakes
1 to 2 cups of water (add more water for thinner consistency)
0.5 to 1 cup of low sodium soy sauce or liquid aminos (I prefer the latter)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
Enough vegan veggie stock to cover a pan or pot (about 2 cups)
FOR “TUNA” FLAVOR:
½ cup chickpea flour
½ cup vegan mayonnaise
2 tsp ground mustard seed
½ tsp ground thyme
FOR “BEEF” FLAVOR:
½ cup ketchup or tomato paste
1 cup spelt flour
½ tsp lemon zest
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp liquid smoke
FOR “CHICKEN” FLAVOR:
¼ cup chickpea flour
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp coriander
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ea. Of ground sage, rosemary, majoram, and thyme
FOR “PORK” FLAVOR:
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp caraway
½ tsp ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp liquid smoke
HOW TO DO IT:
Fluff all of your dry ingredients together with a fork, being careful not to spill any. Then, add the soy sauce/liquid aminos and the ketchup/vegan mayo/mustard if you are using it. Then, add half the water and work with hands into a “dough” for 4 or 5 minutes, making sure to soak all dry particles. Add more water as needed. From here, add a quarter of your veggie stock.
For a softer “ground beef” texture, simmer your seitan in a pot on low heat for an hour with your veggie stock. Can be done as a whole loaf or as small chunks.
To make “Sausage” texture (Best with pork or beef style), add half the amount of water, and use half the normal amount of veggie stock. Roll into a long tube-like thing, and then loosely roll it up in tinfoil or aluminum and bake at 425*F for 1 hour.
For rib style seitan, the hardest texture, use half the total liquids, and form into long slices about half an inch thick in each direction, by about 3 or 4 inches long. Set on a non-stick baking sheet and place in the oven at 425*F for an hour, basting occasionally with a mixture of veggie stock and your favorite marinade/sauce.
VEGAN CHEESE SAUCE
This versatile “Cheese” will have everyone coming back for more!
1 to 2 sweet potatoes
1 carrot
½ of a sweet onion
½ cup of cashews
1 to 2 cups almond milk or coconut milk, depending on how thick you want it to be
1 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 tsp lemon juice
FOR “NACHO CHEESE”:
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp Sriracha or favorite hot sauce
Wash and grill vegetables until soft. Add veggies and all ingredients to a food processor. Blend until smooth and not chunky. Spread on your favorite cracker or sandwich roll and enjoy!
*Notse: you can also let it cool and congeal into cheez “slices” or a cheez “ball” by adding ½ cup of chickpea flour, as well as a small amount of arrowroot powder.


NOTES:
This is a variation of a recipe that originally calls for salted butter, heavy cream, chicken stock, and regular milk. If you aren’t on a plant based diet, or are trying to adopt a plant based diet, you can substitute portions back in that are equal to this recipe.
If you’re eating a plant based diet, you still need an equal portion of pulses and grains in order to get complete protein. This soup is super healthy and hearty by itself, but if you want to make sure you get All of your protein requirements, make sure you eat some pasta, rice, or bread the same day.

*** Though I did not have enough time to jot down my own recipes, look up the recipe for VEGETARIAN OR VEGAN CHEESESTEAKS. These are a classic favorite that even my mother enjoys. For other tasty ideas, google up “LENTIL MEATLOAF” , “LENTIL MEAT TACOS”, and “CHICKPEA OF THE SEA TUNA SANDWICHES”. They are delicious and healthy!

Monday, January 7, 2019

Fly Like a Hawk


Tucked away in a little town called Duncannon is the Hawk Rock Ridge and Trail. The starting point of the trail is marked very differently from where the GPS directs you to go, which led to some confusion the first time I was there. The trail, however, is massive and fortuitous, and boasts one of the best views of Duncannon and the surrounding area for several miles. The trails surrounding Hawk Rock are part of the Appalachian Trail, and extend at least 6 miles. Hawk Rock itself is about 1030 feet above sea level. The path that I have taken twice is only about a mile long though, and gains about 750 feet in elevation.

When you park at the water reservoir to begin your hike up the mountain side, there are a couple of signs four different paths to take. From here, the one pass right in front of you is the most direct. You'll climb for about a half-hour through nearly constant switchbacks, but you'll make it to the beautiful mountain face in no time. The first time I went, I went with two friends, and one had a gimpy leg at the time. The second time I went, I went with an Eagle Scout friend of mine who is also an avid hiker. As such, my first scale of the mountain took about two hours; this one only took about 30 minutes. It is a relaxing trail that can easily be done by any family at their own pace.
The view is immense.
The difficulty for this hike is about a two out of 10. It's not long; it's not terribly intense either. Walking at a comfortable pace, it's not hard to make it to the point of interest within an hour of walking. Scenery wise, although it isn’t the highest or the grandest, it is up there. You get such a breathtaking wide-angle glimpse of the entire surrounding area, and it is amazing. It is one of those mountains that will make you wish you could fly away like a little hawk, and it will leave you pondering just how small we all are.

Pretty much anybody can hike this mountain regardless of stamina or stature. And it is absolutely worth it, because at the end, the views that you will see are incredible. It is a gentle reminder of how inferior human beings are, and just how Grand everything else is. All they're not the best view I've ever seen hiking a mountain, it is well worth the experience once. You will see over all of Greater Duncannon. And, you'll wish that you as well could fly like a hawk.


Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Green Acres... sorta?


After a short-lived Excursion to New York, I visited my friend who lives in East Greenville, Pennsylvania. It is a small town with not much more than a Walmart, is single run down movie theater, a local Burger Shop, a Main Street, a project Zone, and a few local gift shops. I was visiting my friend Hayden from college, as I promised him that I would make a visit to see him. 

There wasn't a whole lot to offer in this little town, but it was still incredibly enjoyable. It is situated about 20 minutes from Quakerville with the big Amish markets, Landisdowne, which is another small family-oriented town, Montgomery Mall in Montgomery County, and Dorney Park. Over the next few days, when not sitting at home watching movies with my friend, I would be exploring all of these areas with him. Although a small town with little activity is occurring, it was a delightful visit, and somewhere I might likely stop by again one day on my way up North.
Such a beautiful little shop!

Although there isn't much to discuss regarding the town, it was still a nice getaway for a couple of days. Anything outside the normal sights of York Pennsylvania was good enough for me at this point in time. This small But Mighty Town also has probably the single biggest Walmart I've ever stumbled upon in my entire life, for whatever interesting reason. This is one of many small towns that can be found in Montgomery County Pennsylvania, and it's definitely worth a visit for anybody who likes the feel of the small town.