February 19, 2018

Leia’s Sweet and Spicy Cauliflower Wings

I used to LOVE sweet and spicy chicken wings!! Every Christmas party or get togethers  it was the "must have " thing on my menu. I have nothing against chicken wings, but if you are like me, trying to eat healthier, or maybe looking for a change, (less meat and more veggies) in your diet, or just something different, this is truly the recipe for you.

Trying to incorporate more veggies in our diet it is not always easy. It takes time and effort, and getting used to the changes in your taste buds, it can take a while. Not to mention,  dealing with all the cravings...!  It is especially true when you want to make the switch to a complete vegetarian diet altogether. Trust me, I know.
Well, not to worry. I've got you covered. These little cauliflower "wings" will dazzle you and the taste of sweet and tangy with just the right amount of spiciness, will satisfy your most daunting cravings!

Okay. Enough said! Make some and see, and taste for yourself.

Enjoy!

PS. Love you hear what you think. Drop me a comment in the box bellow.

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INGREDIENTS

1 medium cauliflower head
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup milk (or water)
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 cup bread crumbs

For the Sweet and Sour Sauce:

2 tbsp olive oil ( or vegetable oil)
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 cup of water
4 oz. jar of hot pepper jelly
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp. Sriracha sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp smoked salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp paprika

DIRECTIONS

Wash cauliflower and separate into florets (approximately to be the size of chicken wings). Set aside.

Take 3 small bowl:
In the first bowl, using a fork whisk the eggs, milk (or water) and salt together to make an egg wash (just until frothy).

In the second bowl, stir together the flour and black pepper.

Add the bread crumbs to the third bowl.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Take each floret, roll into the flour until coated, dip into the egg wash and roll them into the bread crumbs. Place them single layer onto the baking sheet and bake at 400 F for about 20-25 minutes or until fork tender. ( They should be slightly browned).

While they bake, prepare the sauce.

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For the sauce, place oil into a pot; add crushed garlic; sauté on medium heat, (carefully, not to burn), just for a few seconds, then pour the water over.

Stir in all the remaining ingredients and bring it to a boil. Let simmer for 5 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper if needed.

Remove cauliflower wings to a bowl and drizzle the sauce over them. Gently stir to coat.

Serve warm on their own or with  Vegetable Stir and Fry Rice

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TIP: If you don’t have smoked salt on hand, use sea salt and replace paprika with same amount of smoked paprika for that touch of smoky flavor.

Bon Appetit!

Leia

February 16, 2018

Leia’s No Bake Coconut Balls


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Being health conscious while satisfying your sweet tooth craving  just got easier with these treats. These little balls are awesome!! They are easy to throw together  and take no time at all to make.  Since they are  raw,  no special equipment, (oven or stove) needed.

They also freeze well. Just place them into a Ziploc container and they will keep well in the freezer for a few weeks, (unless you won’t be able to stop eating them... :)  I don't know about you but I surely like to have some handy when the cravings hit.

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup finely ground walnuts
1/4 cup finely ground tiger nuts ( or other nuts)
1/2 cup date paste
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 grounded black sesame
1 tbsp. tahini paste
3 tsp. cocoa powder
1 tbsp. honey
2-3 tsp. rum flavoring
1/3 cup shredded coconut, for rolling

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DIRECTIONS

Mix all of the ingredients together except the coconut. If you prefer to make them more vegan, replace honey with agave syrup.

Form into walnut size balls; roll each in coconut.

Place them on the tray in the refrigerator until serving or freeze them for later.

Makes 2 dozens

Enjoy!

Leia


September 15, 2017

Cranberry-Blueberry Scones


One thing I like with the changes that fall brings; it  feels good to be in the kitchen and warm up the place by baking something warm and delicious!

Do you like scones? Which kind do you like? 

My favorite ones are these ones! They are soft and fluffy and very easy to make. They are less sweet than the ones I buy.... I am trying to cut down the sugar amount  I use in my recipes which I did for this recipe also. To my taste, I think is sweet enough to balance the tartness of the berries. If you want them sweeter, fell free to adjust the sugar amount to your liking or use the tip at the bottom of post.

Hope you'll enjoy them as much as I did. :-)


INGREDIENTS

2 cups all-purpose flour
3  tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup frozen cranberries blueberries, (half and half mix)

DIRECTIONS

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles to coarse crumbs. 

Add sugar and  buttermilk; stir together mixture just until moistened. Stir in berries.



Turn onto a floured surface; knead gently 6-8 times. Do not over knead - it makes the scones tougher.

Place dough into a pan lined with parchment paper. Pat into a 9-inch circle. Cut into eight wedges.

Bake at 400° preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until light brown.


Remove from oven. Let cool slightly.

Serve warm. 

Makes: 12 scones.


NOTE: I replaced 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour with same amount of whole wheat flour.

TIP: Brush top with egg wash, than sprinkle  with sugar before baking for added sweetness.


Enjoy!

Leia 

March 05, 2017

Whole Wheat Pancakes

Do you like pancakes? We do too! I usually I make them about twice a month and until now,  I used to always make them with all-purpose flour but in my desire to eat healthier,  I decided to give whole wheat flour a run. I was actually impressed! Nice texture and great taste, not to mention, a lot more fiber :-)

We like to eat them with fresh fruit, (depending what I have at that moment) like papaya, cantaloupe, strawberries and blueberries. Sometimes I use frozen strawberries or blueberries and cook them up slightly with a little bit of cornstarch to make a sauce, or other times, I serve them with canned peaches.  Delicious!

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INGREDIENTS

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder   
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg
1/4 cup oil
1 cup 1% milk
1 tbsp. lemon juice


DIRECTIONS

In a medium size bowl combine whole wheat flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In another  bowl, whisk  together egg, oil, milk and lemon juice. 
Add it to  the flour mixture and mix with the fork just until all  moistened. Do not over mix. 

Heat a non-stick pan on medium high heat.  Drop batter with a small ladder into the hot pan. Turn over when bubbles pop on top and cook until golden brown. Place them into a covered  dish to keep them warm until all pancakes are done.

Serve them with hot blueberry sauce and  with fresh sliced fruit of your choice.

Makes  8 pancakes


TIP: Make breakfast fun for kids by making different shaped pancakes, that they would love to eat.

February 08, 2017

Chewy Granola Bars

 My husband likes granola so we bought some the other day. I started nibbling at it myself, even though, I can't say, I love granola that much (not as my husband does) but I found myself going back for more, until  I realized, this sweet treat wasn't quite the best choice as it had high sugar content, a bad culprit, among other things, so I decided to try and make some granola bars instead. Using ingredients such as oats, nuts, dried fruits and seeds, this bars make a delicious, and great vegan snack. It was a breeze to make them and the end result, fantastically delicious granola bars!

Hope you'll enjoy them as much as we do,

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Ingredients:

1-2/3 cups oats
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, cashew or almonds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup agave syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoon water


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Directions

In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, salt and cinnamon; mix well. Stir in cranberries, apricots, cherries, coconut, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds; set aside.


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 In another bowl, whisk together coconut oil, maple syrup, agave syrup, vanilla and 1 tablespoon of water.  Add this to the oat and fruit mixture; stir to mix well adding the remaining water if needed to hold together.

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Pat into a greased 9 inch x 13 inch baking pan. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until edges start to brown.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Cut into bars. Keep in an airtight container.

Enjoy!

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Happy Baking!

Leia

January 31, 2017

Simple ways to Lower Your Grocery Bill

This post is about making your trip to the grocery store less stressful and more efficient while saving you time and money.

I don't know about you but for me, shopping for groceries is not the trill once used to be and I crinch every time I see a price increase specially on items I buy regularly.


Do you also feel that prices just keep going higher and higher? Well, you and me, are not alone!

Yes, we all seen the cost of food going up and if you think about the fact that most consumers throw out 40% of the food they buy, makes us come to the realization that we could do better in lowering our bills by doing a little plan-ahead before actually going out shopping.


Here are a few tips to help save time and money on your next trip to the grocery store.

  • Plan your weekly meals and write them  down. Using grocery coupons and store specials can also help you not only plan your meals but also cut down on your spending. 
  • Make a grocery shopping list! Going grocery shopping without a list is most likely an open invitation to overspend.
  • Check you refrigerator for vegetable and other thing that you might have already on hand so you don't spend extra because you forgot about it. 
  • Shop your freezer and your pantry. 
  • Plan meals using leftovers (if you have any).
  • Go shopping grocery list in hand and stick to the items on the list
  • Never shop when you are hungry. You will buy more things than what you need! (you mean it never happened to you?)

Another way of saving money is buying produce in season at the local Farmer's Market and freeze (or can some ) for latter use, in off season, when prices are higher and you would pay way more. This produce, not only tastes better than what  you would buy in the grocery store but you can also save money if you buy by the case.

Among the things I especially like to buy for the freezer are yellow/green beans, cherries and sour cherries, red peppers (which I freeze to use later to make stuffed peppers), and corn on the cob. (I found it quite expensive during the winter months). For canning my favorites are peaches.

If you are not used to go to the Farmer's Market, I encourage you to check it out. There is always a wonderful selection of fresh fruits and vegetables straight from the growers as well as organic meats and dairy products, something for everyone.

I found this article on the subject of grocery shopping written by Mairlyn Smith, a Professional Home Economist that is packed with fantastic ideas and suggestions.

You can read the whole article here:
  "Grocery Shopping 101"

Hope you find the ideas useful and helpful in saving  you money on your next grocery bill!

Cheers!

Leia