Chunky Tomato Sauce

I was honestly surprised at how easy it was to make amazing tomato sauce. Rago and Prego have nothing on homemade sauce.

IMG_20150821_072601620

This is also the recipe I used when learning how to can. Canning is a little scary because nobody wants botulism, but if you make sure to do it correctly canning is really rewarding. My source for correct canning procedure comes from here. Obviously if you’ve never canned before please read up on it independently as it’s very easy to do improperly.

Canning Fact: The canning process changes lycopene in tomatoes to a more usable form for the body to utilize. Lycopene is a pigment found in many red fruits and vegetables. It is an antioxidant that helps protect cell damage and there is research suggesting it helps prevent some cancers.


Continue reading

Summer Squash Bread

This was my first time ever growing my own vegetable garden all by my self. And honestly, I wasn’t expecting so much of it to be successful. I planted too much ofSONY DSC everything expecting most of it to die. Instead it all lived and it’s producing enough vegetables for a family of six, and it’s just Mike and I. Since I don’t want to waste any of it, I’ve been working hard developing easy recipes that use these vegetables in new and unique ways. Hey a girl can only eat so much grilled squash right? In particular I’ve been making things that can be frozen easily so that in a couple months when the garden is dead I can enjoy the fruits of my labor.

Horticulture Fact: Summer squash is a cultivar of cucurbita pepo. Huh? Yeah I know, It’s a species with cultivars so different that many of the sub-species have been mislabeled as other species. Things like pumpkin, winter squashes, and summer squashes are all cultivars from the same species of plant.


Continue reading

Hearty Tomato Soup

SONY DSC

So, you might be asking yourself why I would post a recipe on hot soup in the middle of the summer. But really, it’s because if you grew tomatoes at all in your garden this year then you’re getting pretty sick of making tomato sauce and salsa. It’s time to mix it up!

This recipe is perfect because all the vegetables are in season and thus are more affordable, then after you make it you can store it in the freezer until fall rolls around.

Personal Fact: I actually successfully grafted a tomato plant this past March. The scion (top part) is an heirloom variety, and the root stock (bottom) is just a regular more hearty variety. It’s currently producing tomatoes the size of softballs in my garden and they’re delicious.


Continue reading

Easy Creamy Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge

SONY DSCSome times you just need to treat yourself. And sometimes you don’t want to put in a lot of effort for said treat. This fudge was my go to for a treat while I was in undergrad. All you need for this recipe is a microwave and fridge. No stove top or candy thermometer needed. Which is perfect for a college student, or if you’re in a hurry, or if you just don’t have/want to use a candy thermometer. It’s also great for when you’re doing lots of cooking as it doesn’t require precious stove top real-estate.

Fun Fact: Fudge’s history is not entirely clear but it is thought to have originated from Baltimore.

Continue reading

Tomato Tofu Scramble

 So if you’re like me and you grew tomatoes in your garden this year and you’re trying to think of something else to do with your tomatoes besides sauce and salsa, this recipe can use up one large tomato or a handful of little ones.

 

Or maybe you’re just normal.

 

Whatever. Either way it’s yummy.

 

Tofu scramble was one of the first meals that I made/tried as a vegan. It’s one of those meals that if done right makes you so not miss the disgusting unfertilized egg embryo everyone else is consuming.

 

Plus, tofu itself has some incredible health benefits. It’s high in protein and calcium (Two of the biggest nutrition related questions I get) and it’s cholesterol free.

 

Fun Fact: Soy beans are ground up, cooked, and separated into two parts, the pulp (called Okara) and the milk (used for milk and tofu). Okara is considered a by-product of tofu/soy milk and is mostly used as feed for animals. Though it can be used as fertilizer because of it’s high nitrogen content. A small portion of its usage is for human foods. For example, it can be used to make tempeh.

Avocado Peanut Butter Chocolate Pudding

I’ve been on an avocado kick recently. Don’t mind me.
But really, avocado chocolate pudding is the filling dessert that kicks unhealthy craving in the butt.
This pudding is great plain, but is also an amazing filling for a pie. I will post a recipe to one of my yummy vegan pie crusts that would pair well with this soon.
Anyways! This pudding was really easy to make, and I experimented around adding flavors until I was pleased with how it tasted. (And no, it didn’t taste distinctly like avocado when I was done with it.)
The great thing about this pudding is there is no baking steaming or boiling, but is much healthier than insta-pudding.
History Lesson: The first puddings were sausage-like foods, and it wasn’t until the 19th century in America that the creamy dessert we know and love today was actually referred to as pudding.

Guacamole

IMG_20150807_193933Guacamole is my go-to when I need a party dish.
It’s always a hit, and I always get my bowl back.
It’s also my go-to snack when we actually have avocadoes in the house.
This recipe is single serving, if you eat it as a meal (normal), or you can share (abnormal) with maybe one other person as a snack, if that person is nice, and you feel like sharing.
One thing I absolutely love about guac is that it is so fresh and healthy, while being a satisfying and filling snack.
The tomatoes for this one came from my garden! Which is finally producing things besides mountains of kale.
Also, side note, I like my guac chunky. If chunky guac isn’t your style then this recipe isn’t really for you.
Horticulture/History lesson: All Hass avocado trees are grown from seedlings grafted from the same single tree that was planted in 1926.

Nice Cream

Nice Cream is one of my favorite guilt free snacks out there!
It’s incredibly easy to make and if you come prepared like me it doesn’t take very long to be snacking.
One of my favorite things about nice cream (besides its delicious taste) is how inexpensive it is. Processed vegan ice cream from the store can cost upwards of $6/pint. Two cups of ice cream costs $6!
But bananas are relatively cheap.
I’m going to break it down:
If you buy your bananas at Trader Joe’s they’re $0.19 each.
Three bananas are about a cup so to make 2 cups of nice cream would need six bananas.
6*$0.19 = $1.14 for two cups of plain nice cream. Can’t beat that price for yummy dessert.
Fact of the Day: Ben and Jerry’s is currently working on a dairy-free ice cream. And despite how delicious, inexpensive, and healthy nice cream is, I’ll likely still buy the B&Js when it comes out. Are they going to start offering dairy-free sample on the tours of their now? I would totally go visit if they did.