Friday, August 22, 2014

Gas Station Hot Sauce

Vegan
Serves 4
Chinese

Gas Station Hot Sauce is a very special hot sauce. I was first introduced to the very unique blend when Iih (our aunt) took our family to this special gas station in Dakota Dunes, South Dakota that had a Chinese restaurant on the inside!

Like most of you probably would be, I was extremely aprehensive! Gas station + Chinese restaurant does not usually equal appetizing but oh we're we surprised!!

This place has THE BEST fried rice I have ever tasted! And I am a strict critic when it comes to fried rice because I like mine a certain crispness that not many people can get it too. Anyways this post is most certainly not about the rice because I have not figured out their secret for that rice yet. 

BUT along with the rice this Chinese place served a very special hot sauce on the side of the fried rice. The first time I tried it was one of the biggest parties in my mouth ever! The crunchiness from the fried rice was already exhilarating but then the hot sauce taste was spicy but also so sweet! I was hooked and fascinated!

I walked up to the kitchen right away with wide eyes and asked the sweet Chinese lady chef, "How did you make this?!"

She smiled sweetly and said, "It's a family recipe."

Then I asked again while I was about to burst, "Can you tell me?!"

She whispered..."ketchup."

Ingredients
-1/4 cup Sambal Olek
-1/4 cup Organic Ketchup

Instructions
-Mix well and Enjoy!

P.S- This was the FIRST hot sauce Shannon EVER asked me to make for her. She usually doesn't care for spicy but said that she LOVES this recipe! It made me so happy!!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Vegan Spicy Mayo


Vegan
Serves 6
Japanese American

Who doesn't love the creamy orange sauce that comes on top of about every piece of sushi made in America? We do!! I use to call the waitress over and ask, "can we have more of this sauce?":)

Well that was the past...when I came to the realization the creamy texture was from mayonaise I sadly bowed out and waved goodbye to those creamy sushi days. Normal mayo is made out of eggs for one and then has dozens of synthetic oils and preservatives. Not a beauty food, my friends! Stay away from it if possible!

Well, after years of not having the spicy mayo sauce at the Asian restaurants.....my mom brought home this VEGAN mayo! I wasn't sure about it at first but then I read the ingredients and it was a breath of fresh air! 

So here you go for all my spicy mayo lovers, like myself and my family! This one is for you!

Ingredients
3 tablespoons Veganaise Mayo
3 tablespoons Siracha Hot Chili Sauce

Instructions
-Stir and Enjoy!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Pure Journeys | INDONESIA


Below are pictures and stories of our recent travels to Indonesia! Indonesia has been a place of growth for me in tremendous ways. Not only do I learn more about cooking by sneaking into all of the Indonesian kitchens, but also learning what it means to "cook with feeling". Cooking has a tremendous connection with the passion and desire that is placed in our hearts, and the food prepared reflects that.

Our family, along with Bread of Stone, has a ministry in Indonesia called THE LIGHT PROJECT. We have wrote many stories documenting our ministry adventures in Indonesia on www.lightourworld.org (our ministry blog). 

Today, I am excited to share with you a taste of our food journey's while in Indonesia! My whole life I have enjoyed eating food! I have always gotten so excited about each meal and about snacks! Well, after marrying into this Indonesian family, my love for food and eating has excelled intensely! Indonesians ARE ALL ABOUT FOOD! Everywhere we go...we eat! 

Above, Shan and I along with our BIG family visited this place called, "THE FLOATING MARKET". Everyone making and selling food in this market are floating in a boat while they are cooking! How extravagant is that? We tried about every food available but the one we are holding is called, "MARTABAK MANIS". Which is loosely translated as a "Sweet Pancake"! Traditionally this is NOT a plant-based vegan dessert but we always like to try the original recipe before we start conjuring up ideas for a VEGAN version of the food!

Here, after snacking away at the THE FLOATING MARKET, we found a nice man selling fresh coconuts, and we GOT SOME! In Indonesia there are coconut trees EVERYWHERE which means coconuts are for sell EVERYWHERE and this makes me smile! As many of you know, coconut water and coconut meat have endless hydrating and digestive benefits! We enjoy them so much while in Indonesia!

Oh my goodness! What a special bakery this is! While in Indonesia we visited Salatiga, Indonesia where our husbands dad went to school. While he was showing us around the city, he took us by this bakery that his mom (OMA) loved to snack at while in Salatiga! Oma always ordered a specific kind of bread from this bakery and we were so excited to get to try it! Indonesia is famous for their bread! It's not known for being healthy but I think Shannon and I can come up with a healthy version of "Oma's Roti". =)

Here we are simply having a fun lunch while getting ready for a afternoon of visiting many churches in the mountain villages of Indonesia! This day we are having a plant-based, traditional Indonesian meal consisting of tempe, steamed veggies, peanut sauce, and red rice! And of course the star of the picture, Miss. Magda, she enjoyed keeping eating time super entertaining for us!

This is a pineapple growing wild outside of one of the churches we visited while up in the mountains! We just thought it was positively beautiful and exotic!

In this picture you can see a man sitting beside some type of contraption. Well this is actually the mechanism of how many Indonesian people sell their food. They carry it on a piece of wood. They distribute the weight on either side dividing up the cooker, skillet, veggies, utensils and balance it on the piece of wood! Our Aunt Elizabeth (who we stay with while in Indonesia) wanted us to try this guys "Mi Goreng" or "fried noodles". This is a staple and extravagantly traditional dish in Indonesia. He typically sets up on the main street of the town but this night he agreed to come park in our garage and feed the whole family supper! I enjoyed watching his techniques and was specifically impressed with his ability to chop veggies WITHOUT looking! HE EVEN AGREED TO MAKE US ALL VEGGIE NOODLES with NO MSG! He was so corporative and our tummies were sooooo thankful! 

Above, Shannon and I are drinking our most FAVORITE INDONESIAN beverage while enjoying the sunset from THE STONE CAFE (our families restaurant)!  It's called, "Jus Alpukat" (avocado and chocolate shake)! We already have a recipe in the making for this one and it will be posted...eventually! =)





















Okay, so in all of our years of cooking, eating, and enjoying food; we never thought we would be modeling with food! Ever! Once we arrived in Indonesia, one of the first events we had on the calendar was a photo shoot for THE STONE CAFE's new menu! We were shocked and excited! The funny part is we were late for the photo shoot because we were out exploring and lost track of time! We had a total of 15 minutes to get ready, an audience of people watching, and almost drank and ate most of the food before the pictures were done...and we enjoyed every minute of it! 

www.thestonecafe.com | www.lightourworld.org | www.breadofstone.com

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Oh My Brownies!

Serves 12
Vegan/Gluten-Free
American

When we first tried black bean brownies in catering at a show this past June..Let me just tell you... I will never forget the look on Shannon's face when she busted through the doors of catering with leftover chocolate on her lips and she ran up to me saying...."TRY THIS"!

Our vegan dessert eating lives have not been the same since! 

All we can say is..."Oh my brownies"! Try for yourself and enjoy the bliss!:)

Instructions
-1/2 Avocado
-1 can Black Beans, 15 oz - low sodium
-2 tablespoons Almond Milk, unsweetened
-1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
-1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
-1/2 cup Organic Palm Sugar
-1/4 cup Organic Dark Chocolate Chips
-3/4 cup Raw Organic Cacao Powder, unsweetened 
1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon Coconut Oil
1 tablespoon Flax Seed

Instructions
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Greese a 8 X 8 baking pan!

-Place flax seed and almond milk into food processor. Process for about 1 minute until it thickens up. Add in black beans, avocado, vanilla, and brown sugar. Process until smooth! Add in cacao powder, baking soda, baking powder, and process until smooth again!

Add batter into prepared pan and spread the batter evenly!

On low heat on the stove, add the coconut oil until it's hot and then add 1/4 cup chocolate chips and stir until melted. Once melted pour over batter. Use a knife to swirl chocolate into the batter. Dash 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips on top and put it in the oven!

Bake for 22-30 minutes or until you poke it and it comes out relatively clean. We don't want these too dry or raw! The top batter should be set and no longer dance around!

Let them cool completely and enjoy these..."Oh my brownies"!




Friday, July 11, 2014

Brunchy Baklava


Serves 8
TURKISH
Vegan

Since the very first time I waltzed into a Mediterranean restaurant and was introduced to falafel, hummus, pita bread, and BAKLAVA my outlook on the Mediterranean Sea has never been the same! The beautifully random nuts that are thrown into each of their dishes in some form or fashion is intriguing! 

My husband is half Persian which makes me intricately excited about all things MIDDLE EASTERN! We recently began planning a family trip to Turkey to vacation with our Persian family so acknowledging that one of my favorite deserts is Turkish makes me tickled turquoise! 

Baklava, surprisingly, is a super easy middle eastern dish! The hardest part would be trying to make your Phyllo dough which would be a bit ridiculous for me. Phyllo dough is the thinest slice of dough you will ever see in your life. Thankfully, most grocery stores have them readily available in the frozen food section which makes making this desert much easier and less time consuming! Maybe one day when we make it over to Turkey I will learn the trade of making Phyllo dough, but until then, I will stick with the frozen!

INGREDIENTS
-1 Package of Phyllo Dough
-1/2 cup Organic Coconut Oil, melted (you may need more depending)
-1 1/2 cups of finely chopped nuts of your choice (I like pecans and walnuts)
-1/8 cup Coconut Palm Sugar
-1/8 tsp cloves
-1/8 tsp nutmeg
-1/8 tsp cinnamon
-1 cup of Simple Syrup (recipe below)
-ground pistachio (or any ground nuts for garnish)

INSTRUCTIONS
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix nuts, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and sugar together. Brush the melted coconut oil on each layer of the Phyllo dough and layer four sheets at a time then add nuts and repeat the layers. If you run out of nut mix towards the end, it's okay, just keep brushing the coconut oil on the rest of the Phyllo dough layers (because it makes the baklava taste even better when there is a thick layer of crust on top).

-CUT the pastry into triangles or squares and then place it in the oven for 30-45 minutes or until golden brown. 

-Drizzle the baklava while in the pan with the SIMPLE SYRUP (RECIPE BELOW) and let it cool completely before serving. Garnish with chopped pistachio (or any chopped nuts).

SIMPLE SYRUP
-1 cup COCONUT Palm Sugar
-1/2 cup water
-1 TBS lemon juice
-1/2 TBS Rose Water
-1/2 TBS Orange Blossom Water

INSTRUCTIONS
-Boil water and then add the sugar. Once sugar is dissolved then add the rest of the ingredients while stirring continuously.  *Rose Water and Orange Blossom Water could be hard to find if you do not live close to a Middle Eastern Food Store. If you are having a problem finding these ingredients, you can omit them completely.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Tasty Thai Yellow Curry

Serves: 8
THAI
Vegan/Gluten-Free

Curry is a family favorite here! Unfortunately a lot of curry is made with CHICKEN BROTH, MSG, and HEAVY CREAM! So, knowing that a simple switch of chicken broth to veggie broth and a few tweaks here and there we could make curry delicious and healthy!

Curry is a staple dish in not only Thailand but Indonesia, Malaysia, Chinese, the Philippines, and of course India! Each country having their own superb way of preparing it. There are three different colors of curry: green, yellow, and red! All of them are wonderful and each have their own health benefits but yellow curry has TURMERIC! Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory (reduces inflammation) which means it is BEAUTY BOOSTING!

Ingredients:
3 cups of Veggie Broth
2 cans of Coconut Milk
2/3 cup of Broccoli (chopped)
2/3 cup of Cauliflower (chopped)
2/3 cup of Chick peas
2/3 cup of Carrots (chopped)
3 Potatoes (cubed)
4 tsp Curry Powder
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Turmeric
1 tbsp Tapioca Starch
1/2 Chopped Onion
4 tbsp Bragg's Liquid Aminos
3 tbsp of Lemon Juice
1 tbsp Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste

1. The best way to start is with food prep! Make sure your veggie are all cleaned and chopped.

2. Bring the veggie broth to a boil in a large pot.

3. Once the broth comes to a boil add your onions and your "tough" veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, chick peas, and carrots.  Wait to add your potatoes so they don't get to soft!

4. Let the veggies boil for about 5 minutes in the broth, add your potatoes, and let the spices fill the air! ...and your pot! Add your coconut milk, curry powder, salt, cumin, turmeric, liquid aminos, lemon juice, and red curry paste.  Bring the temperature down to low or medium so it may continue to simmer but not boil.

5. Take a small bowl and about a cup of your hot broth and mix in the tapioca starch.  If you add the tapioca starch directly to your pot it will most likely not mix well and stay gooey in your soup...not a pleasant surprise while you're enjoying your curry! After the tapioca starch is well mixed add it to the pot.

6. Stir your pot and let sit on low for about 5 minutes and then it will be ready to serve!  We love our curry with a big fresh salad, brown rice, and of course our NO NONSENSE NAAN!

7. Enjoy!

-Shannon

HEALTH FORCE NUTRITIONALS


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I have to bite my tongue when I see others drinking whey protein and all those terrible muscle milk drinks. The results are life-threatening and I always pray for guidance on how to share this information with the people around me.

I theatrically love sharing with people about a healthier alternative to anything, but HEALTH FORCE is one I am especially excited about! I am going to share with you the two different powders that we use and explain their wonderful purposes.


Elite Green Protein™ Elite Mesquite


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The Elite Green Protein -Elite Mesquite has been a revolution to our morning smoothies! Now, let me tell you! This is the greenest green powder you have ever seen and it will turn your teeth and lips green and it will also make people look at your smoothie glass like you are crazy BUT ITS SO WORTH IT ALL! This protein is unique to any other protein we have ever tried! Elite Green MESQUITE'S main two ingredients are Chlorella and Spirulina which are lovely sea vegetables with wonderful cleansing and beauty boosting properties! This is wonderful for cleansing your kidney's, detoxing heavy metals, and helping your digestion, brain function, and immunity function at its ultimate ability!



Warrior Food™ Natural Vegan Protein

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Warrior Food Natural Vegan Protein is lovely for our afternoon snack! Okay, not just the protein, we have a tasty protein shake recipe that blends with this so well (I will be posting that recipe shortly)! This WARRIOR FOOD is the highest quality protein available and enhances your physical appearance and your performance in everyday activities, workouts, and other mentally enduring functions! 

HEALTH FORCE NUTRITIONALS has been such a blessing to our family! We enjoy and support their product and we are convinced you will too! Just simply click on any of the pictures above and it will take you to their website! They have an endless aray of products so I know you will find one that is right for you!

Blessings upon blessings to you and yours,

Brittney