iscribblings

Charting life's circuitous path


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Vegan Baking Butter

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I never thought I’d be the kind of person who would make her own butter.  When there are countless varieties available at the store with a range of prices to fit any sized pocket, there really isn’t any justification for making your own except for the thrill.  Or if you owned your own cow and wanted to get back to the basics.  Mooo. 🙂

Our house is now vegan.  And not quite by choice. The hubby has found that dairy prompts headaches so we’ve given it up in house.  Going shopping for dairy alternatives felt odd since I found myself looking for a “vegan” label.  I’m not vegan. I’m definitely a vegetarian (and have been for over half my life), but I can quite happily drink milk and eat toasted cheese sandwiches. Eating vegan was inseparable in my mind with “being” vegan.  I almost felt like I had to cut my hair and invest in a new, hip wardrobe so that when people saw me they’d say “ah, I bet she’s vegan”.

In a lot of ways, I am vegan.  I try not to buy chemicals that are tested on animals and I am a vegetarian because of my love of animals.  I’m not quite sure how my idea of vegan became a lifestyle that fit a type of person, but it had.  So I felt a bit like an imposter buying my vegan and gluten free food.  I felt like someone would point me out and say “she’s a fake!” and I’d have to shuffle away in shame with my basket of almond milk and daiya cheese.

But here I am, making my own vegan butter.  butter2

And loving it. 🙂

I found myself seeking out a recipe when I found my trip to Whole Foods cut off and hence my source of Buttery Sticks.  I didn’t trust plain margarine for anything and my only alternative was to buy the sticks at a huge markup.  So I went cheap and looked around online for ideas.

I found this recipe on Vegan Baking and after finding a jar of soy lecithin in my local health foods store, I whipped up a batch in less than 10 minutes.  I then went on and made more batches to freeze for future use.  It’s easy, tastes “clean” and bakes up really well.  I even made it to go in hubby’s Victoria Sponge birthday cake with great success!  (It makes a yummy frosting and whips well.)

butterI did adapt it slightly from the original recipe. I use slightly less soy lecithin since I find the taste a bit overpowering.  I double the recipe each time I make it since I find that it stores well in the freezer and you get more in one go.  I also just use a silicone muffin pan to make my rounds of butter since it’s the only silicone pan I have on hand and it works really well (they just pop right out once frozen).

Please see the original post here for all of the interesting details about vegan butter.  It’s very informative and made me more confident about making my own.  In all honesty, though, it’s one of the easiest things to make.  I’ve yet to have it fail on me and I’ve tweaked the amounts of oil, salt and even soy milk with no ill effects.  It really is fool-proof. 🙂

Vegan Baking Butter (Coconut Oil Based)

Ingredients

1/2 cup soy milk
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup refined coconut oil, melted but not hot
2 tbsp vegetable oil (you can use other oils such as olive, canola, etc)
1 teaspoon liquid soy lecithin
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

Directions

  1. Mix soy milk, salt and vinegar and let sit about 10 min to thicken/curdle.
  2. In a food processor, add oils and process for about 30 seconds, or until blended.  Add milk mixture, soy lecithin and xanthan gum.  Process again until mixture if thoroughly mixed (it will thicken to like a pudding texture).
  3. Scoop butter into a silicone mold.  Freeze for 10 minutes, pop out and store in an airtight bag or container.  I freeze mine but you can keep it in the fridge for a softer consistency (but it will still be solid).


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Mediterranean Tabbouleh Hummus Dip – Gluten Free

Blue cupcakes, curely wurleys and jammie dodgers.

Throw in a trivia game, big screens and a lot of people and we’re talking Doctor Who Season 8 Premiere!

What did you think?

I liked Capaldi.  Obviously, I’ll have to see more to get an idea of how he’ll develop, but in all, his performance was what kept me watching.  The rest of it?  Not sure I really cared an awful lot. :/ I really wanted to see more Capaldi and less of everyone else, even though there were some really funny scenes (Strax’s fall and Jenny’s posing scenes got a big laugh out of our group).

This was definitely an episode that was FOR the audience.  It spoke directly to us and it wasn’t ashamed to do so.  We were Clara as she  watched this new (older) man who was “not our boyfriend” anymore dash about and act so much differently and yet familiarly like the “old” Doctor (the phone call scene was well done and sweet).  It told us that we need to accept change, to help and be there for others as they go through change and that relationships aren’t just one dimensional.

It told us to re-evaluate who we are and to question our expectations.

I quite liked that. 🙂 It was refreshing, maybe a bit preachy at times, but very much befitting a first episode.

And the intro sequence.  Can we just say it was fantastic? 😀 I LOVE the intro and while the original black and white intros are still the best, in my book, this one was right up there as one of my top intros.  SO much better than the time tunnel effect.  Blah!

I took this wonderful recipe from Joanne’s website to the party and it was delicious!  I changed it up a tad by using quinoa instead of the bulgur and I omitted the mint (not keen on mint) and swapped out half the lemon for half a lime. 🙂 It was a fast and really pretty dish to bring to the party and one of the healthiest items at the table!

hummus

Bring on the Doctor!  I think we’re ready to see how he stands up to the Daleks. 🙂

Mediterranean Tabbouleh Hummus Dip

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water with a dash of salt
  • 12 oz container of regular hummus (Joanne uses Pacific but I used Lilly’s)
  • 12 oz container of roasted red pepper hummus
  • 1/2 lemon, juice
  • 1/2 lime, juice
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped parsley
  • 2 roma tomatoes, deseeded

Directions

  1. Add water, salt, and quinoa to a medium pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook about 15 mintues (or however long your packet says).  Set aside and let cool (I popped mine in the fridge to speed up the process).
  2. Mix together chopped parsely, juices, tomatoes and quinoa.
  3. In a serving dish (about the size of an 8×8 pan), layer regular hummus, half the tabbouleh, the roasted red pepper hummus and then the rest of the tabbouleh.  Serve with your choice of chip.

 

 


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To Thine Own Self

I’m in my 30s.  I’ve gone from being the burrito eating couch potato teenager who hated to even walk across the parking lot let alone down the street, to a woman who’s realized that her body isn’t entirely her own.

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It doesn’t belong to someone else, either.  Apparently, it belongs to itself.  I only live off of it like a camper van with limited access parking on someone’s land.  I just take up residence and from time to time, stomp all over it, mow it, tidy it and generally live off of it.

And I had no idea what it was going through. 😮

I still don’t, not really.  Yesterday, my mood decided to pack its bags for the south and I turned into a short tempered, upset and angry ball of sap.  I dripped malaise everywhere and brought our entire house down with me.  Had anything happened to make me mad?  No.  Everything was going really well and in fact, just hunky-dory!  But I was back to where I had been during the winter: verge of tears, shaky emotions and short of wick. 😦

What I had done was eat dairy on Thursday.  For the first time in over two months, I had milk, cheese and butter.  I was expecting typical lactose intolerance reactions – bloated tummy, stomach pains, etc.  What I got instead, was a revisit of Winter Hell 2014.

pickles2I’m not 100% sure if the dairy caused my emotion spiral, but there are apparently a lot of people who have experienced the same thing.  I just never knew that something so inconspicuous could be so dramatic.  I’ll be giving the dairy thing a go again later in the month, but this time I’m going to pay attention to how I really feel.  If dairy does cause me to experience a mild depression for two days after eating it, trust me, it’s gone.

And that’s the funny thing about this whole elimination diet thing.

I never knew that I would be so sensitive to food.  When we reintroduced wheat/gluten last week, I had the most horrible stomach cramps.  I had to clutch my blue heated rice bag to my tummy all night to get to sleep.  The experience was so bad, that I don’t think I want to go through with it again, but we will at least once more to see if I react the same way with only a “bit” of gluten.

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How’s the hubby, you might ask?  He’s actually doing better than me and I was only doing this to go along with the ride!  We both felt bloated from the gluten, but the dairy hardly fazed him.  Except for a bit of tummy twinge, he did okay.  No headaches, no nothing, really.  Disappointing, since that would have given us at least something.

Then there’s me.  All in pain and with a shattered emotional well-being.

Go figure.  🙄

And you know what really upsets me about all of this?  It isn’t that I might have to be gluten and dairy free for the rest of my life.  Sure, it’s a bit of a social pain to be the dreaded triad of any guest list (no, sorry, I can’t eat that bread with butter or the steak you lovingly prepared…).  But that’s not really all that bad.  What’s really bad is that I didn’t even have a clue that the food was doing all of this damage to my body and all the while it was just trying to do its best.  The poor thing had to deal with the constant barrage of gluten and dairy and I was ignoring all of it.  😥 Just thinking about all of the stress it had to go through when I was a teenager makes me want to cry.

Well, not any more.  I’m going to be better at helping my body be the best.  I’m going to try to listen to it more carefully and not ignore the subtle shouts to “just stop it!” it sends my way.  Try is the key word here.  I’m nowhere as in tune with my body as I ought to be.  But at least I’ll stop to listen. I think it deserves at least that. 🙂

picklesHere’s a recipe for pickles that’s easy and delicious.  I tweaked it slightly from the Flour, too cookbook.  They’re amazing on salads, sandwiches and on their own.  Both slightly sweet and tangy, they fit the bill for complex flavors.  Oh, and those croutons poking out behind my spinach leaf?  Ian’s Gluten Free Italian Croutons. They’re so delicious that I plan to buy them regardless of whether we’re gluten or dairy intolerant.

Pickles

Ingredients

  • 4 English cucumbers (or homegrown cucumbers that are at least 6 inches in length)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 4 tsp Ball Dill Pickle spice (or your own pickling spice, if you have some)
  • 1 tsp mustard seed
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seed
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder

Directions

  1. Slice cucumbers about 1/4 in thick and place in a large container with a tight lid.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and vinegar and heat on medium until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Remove pan from heat and add all of the spices.  Pour over cucumbers and let cool to room temperature before you refrigerate.