CHEESY AUTUMN BUTTERNUT SQUASH MACARONI

CHEESY AUTUMN BUTTERNUT SQUASH MACARONI

Serves 6-8

 

1 diced butternut squash or other winter squash

1 (798mL) can diced tomatoes

2 cups water

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 sprig fresh thyme or 1½ Tbsp dried thyme

2 sprigs fresh rosemary or 1 Tbsp dried rosemary

1 cup nutritional yeast flakes

1½ cups unsweetened non-dairy milk

1 bag (454g) uncooked macaroni

Salt and pepper, to taste

Variations: Add in some chopped greens or fresh broccoli.

Add the first ingredients (squash through to rosemary) to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours.

Purée the contents of the slow cooker with an immersion blender, then add the nutritional yeast and milk (spiral the milk into the mixture, so the temperature shock isn’t too great). Stir in the macaroni, cover, and cook on high for 30 minutes.

Stir well and add more milk if the sauce is getting too thick. Cook for 15 to 25 minutes more or until the pasta is al dente. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Make sure to check on the pasta every 10 minutes or so until you get good at gauging how fast it will cook in your slow cooker. It cooks faster in the smaller slow cooker.

CARIBBEAN JERK CHICKEN

Serves 4

5-6 scallions, coarsely chopped

2 Tbsp grated ginger

1 ½ tsp ground allspice

½ tsp ground cinnamon

1 Tbsp olive oil

3 jalapeño peppers, coarsely chopped

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

½ tsp salt

Pinch red pepper flakes

2 cloves garlic, coarsely minced

2 Tbsp brown sugar

1 Tbsp cider vinegar

1 Tbsp orange juice

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

8 boneless chicken thighs

Combine scallions, ginger, allspice, cinnamon, oil, chile peppers, black pepper, salt, red pepper flakes, and garlic in food processor. Process until very finely chopped, almost smooth.

Stir in brown sugar, cider vinegar, orange juice, and Worcestershire sauce to form paste. Coat chicken pieces completely, and place in slow cooker.

Cover and cook on LOW for 5 hours or until chicken is tender and cooked through. Serve on rice, either plain or fried with veggies.

 

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FRIED PORK ON CAULIFLOWER RICE

FRIED PORK ON CAULIFLOWER RICE

Serves 6

1 head cauliflower, broken into large pieces

2 Tbsp coconut oil, divided

4 scallions, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 eggs, whisked

½ pound pork tenderloin, cut into 1cm cubes

¼ cup tamari or soy sauce

Using a food processor with shredding disk attachment or the largest holes of a box grater, shred the cauliflower. Place in a microwaveable bowl, then cover and microwave on high for 4 minutes, stirring once, or until desired doneness.

Meanwhile, in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 Tbsp of the oil until hot. Cook the scallions and garlic for 2 minutes. Add the eggs and stir continuously until cooked through and lightly browned. Remove the egg mixture to a bowl and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium. Add the remaining 1 Tbsp oil to the skillet. Cook the pork, stirring frequently, 5 minutes or until no longer pink. Stir in tamari/soy sauce, steamed cauliflower, and reserved egg mixture.

Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until heated through.

Adapted from Wheat Belly 30-Minute (Or Less!) Cookbook, by Dr. William Davis

 

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PEANUT BUTTER LOVER’S CHOCOLATE TART

PEANUT BUTTER LOVER’S CHOCOLATE TART

 

Crust

¾ cup salted roasted peanuts

1¾ cups gluten-free rolled oats

¼ tsp fine sea salt

¼ cup virgin coconut oil, melted

3 Tbsp pure maple syrup

1½ tsp water, if needed

Filling

1 (14oz/400mL) can full-fat coconut milk, chilled 24 hours

5¼oz (150g) non-dairy dark chocolate (55-60%)

⅓ cup pure maple syrup

⅓ cup natural smooth roasted peanut butter

Pinch or two of fine sea salt, to taste

Garnish

Peanut Butter Caramel Sauce (recipe), for serving

⅔ cup (150mL) salted roasted peanuts, chopped, for garnish

Make the crust

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9” glass pie dish. Cut two long, 2” wide strips of parchment paper and place them over the pie dish in a crisscross fashion. This will make it easy to lift out the tart after it freezes.

In a food processor, combine peanuts, oats, and salt and process into a coarse crumb. Add oil and maple syrup and process until mixture comes together into a dough. The dough should stick together when pressed between your fingers, but shouldn’t be super sticky. If too dry, add water and process again.

Crumble dough all over bottom of prepared pie dish in an even layer. Starting at centre, press dough into pan with your fingers and work outwards and up the sides. If the dough starts to stick to your hands, lightly wet. With a fork, poke the base of the tart seven or eight times to allow steam to escape while baking.

Bake the crust, uncovered, for 13-17 minutes, until lightly golden. Cool completely on rack.

Make the filling

Open the can of coconut milk and scoop all the solid white cream into a medium pot. Remove ⅓ cup of the water and discard. Add remaining coconut water to the pot. Turn heat to medium. Add chocolate and cook, stirring occasionally, until melted. Add maple syrup, peanut butter, and salt, and whisk until completely smooth and uniform.

Pour filling into cooled crust. Carefully transfer dish to flat spot in freezer and freeze, uncovered, for 4-6 hours, until solid. If freezing for longer, you can cover the tart with foil once the filling has firmed up.

Let sit on counter for a few minutes. Using the parchment “handles,” carefully lift the tart out of the dish (this might take some wiggling). Slice the tart. Plate each slice and top with a generous drizzle of caramel and a Tbsp of peanuts. Store leftovers in airtight container in fridge for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for 4-6 weeks.

 

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NO-COOK CARAMEL SAUCE

NO-COOK CARAMEL SAUCE

Makes 1 cup

Swap in smooth peanut butter instead of cashew, for peanut-caramel sauce.

 

⅓ cup virgin coconut oil, softened

½ cup pure maple syrup

¼ cup smooth raw cashew butter, or store-bought

2 Tbsp raw coconut nectar (or 2 Tbsp brown rice syrup & 1 tsp lemon juice)

¼ to ¾ tsp fine sea salt, to taste

In a food processor, combine the coconut oil, maple syrup, cashew butter, and coconut nectar and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the salt and process again until combined.

Using a spatula, spoon the caramel into a jar. You can use the caramel immediately or chill it in the fridge, covered, for about an hour. It will firm up when chilled; you can melt it over the stove on low heat. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or you can freeze it in a freezer bag for 1-2 months.

 

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LEMON CHEESECAKE WITH STRAWBERRY-VANILLA COMPOTE

LEMON CHEESECAKE WITH STRAWBERRY-VANILLA COMPOTE

 

Crust

1½ cups raw almonds

¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

½ cup pitted Medjool dates

1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil, softened

Pinch of sea salt

1 tsp water

Filling

1½ cups raw cashews

1 Tbsp lemon zest

½ cup lemon juice

½ cup plus 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup

½ cup virgin coconut oil, melted

Pinch of fine sea salt, to taste

Compote

2½ cups hulled fresh strawberries or thawed frozen strawberries

3 Tbsp pure maple syrup

1 tsp arrowroot powder

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped, or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Fresh sliced strawberries, for garnish

Soak cashews in a bowl of water overnight, or at least 1-2 hours.

Grease a 7” springform cake pan with coconut oil and line the base with a circle of parchment paper cut to fit (8-9” pans are fine, but will be shorter).

Making the crust

In a food processor, process almonds until a coarse meal forms. Add shredded coconut, dates, oil, salt, and 1 tsp of water and process until the mixture comes together. It should stick together when pressed between your fingers. Add water 1 tsp at a time if necessary.

Set aside ½ cup of crust mixture for later. Spoon remaining crust into pan; spread evenly, then press firmly with your hands until smooth and even.

Make the filling

In a high-speed blender, combine cashews, lemon zest & juice, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, and salt. Blend on high until super smooth – there should be no grittiness at all. Using a spatula, spoon the filling onto the crust and smooth it out evenly. Scatter the reserved crust mixture on top of the filling.

Cover with foil and transfer to the freezer. Freeze until solid; at least 6 hours, or overnight.

Make the compote

If the strawberries are fresh, toss them in a processor and pulse until coarsely chopped or smooth (your call). Thawed frozen strawberries can usually be mashed like potatoes. Transfer strawberries to a medium pot over medium heat. In a small bowl, whisk together maple syrup and arrowroot powder until smooth. Stir this mixture into strawberries until combined. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring now and then, 8-10 minutes, until thickened a bit. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla bean seeds. Let cool to room temperature and then transfer to airtight container, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Allow frozen cheesecake to sit on counter 15-30 minutes before slicing. Can slice the entire cake at once and then freeze slices for later.

Serve each slice with fresh strawberries and a generous spoonful of compote. Best served cold. Freeze leftover slices in separate plastic or foil, and in airtight containers. Freeze compote separately.

 

No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake

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CHOCOLATE & HAZELNUT TORTE

CHOCOLATE & HAZELNUT TORTE

 

Cake

100g (⅔ cup) whole, blanched hazelnuts

250g (8½ oz) dark/bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped

100g (7 Tbsp) salted butter

6 eggs, separated

½ tsp cream of tartar

120g (⅔ cup) caster/granulated sugar

Topping

200g (6½ oz) dark/bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped

1 stick salted butter

4 Tbsp whole, blanched hazelnuts

A 23cm/9” round, springform pan, greased and lined with parchment paper

Preheat oven to 170°C (325°F).

Toast all the hazelnuts. Do not burn. Allow to cool, then set aside the 4 Tbsp for the topping and grind remaining nuts to a fine powder in a food processor.

Melt chocolate & butter in heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water.

In a bowl, beat egg yolks together with a whisk for 2 minutes, or until pale in colour. In a separate large bowl, with a clean whisk, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks are formed.

Add beaten egg yolks to melted butter/chocolate and whisk lightly. Add half the egg whites to this mixture and gently fold together with a spatula. Transfer this mixture to the bowl with the remaining egg whites, add the ground hazelnuts and gently fold everything together.

Spoon mixture into prepared cake pan and bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes or until skewer inserted into the middle of the torte comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before removing from pan.

For the topping, melt chocolate and butter together as described above. Add 2 Tbsp warm water and stir until smooth. Remove bowl from pan and allow to cool. Spread over the top of the torte using a palette knife. Roughly chop reserved hazelnuts and sprinkle them over the middle of the torte, to decorate.

 

MAPLE PECAN PIE

 

Makes one 9-inch pie or one 11-inch tart

½ cup sugar

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup pure maple syrup

¼ cup non-hydrogenated margarine

6 oz extra firm silken tofu (½ of a tetra pack)

¼ cup cold unsweetened plain non-dairy milk

2 Tbsp cornstarch

½ tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups pecan halves

Prepare one Single Pastry Crust (see elsewhere), pressed into a pie pan or tart plate.

Caramel

In a 2 quart saucepan, mix together sugars and maple syrup. Heat over medium heat, stirring often with a whisk. Once small bubbles start rapidly forming, stir pretty constantly for about 10 minutes. The mixture should become thick and syrupy. It shouldn’t be boiling too fiercely, if it starts climbing the walls of the pan in big bubbles then lower the heat a bit.

Add the margarine, and stir to melt. Turn the heat off, transfer mixture to a mixing bowl. In the meantime, prepare the rest of the filling, working quickly so that the caramel doesn’t completely set.

Filling

Crumble the tofu into a blender or food processor, along with the milk, cornstarch and salt. Puree until completely smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender to make sure you get everything.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

With the caramel still warm in the mixing bowl, add in the tofu mixture and the vanilla, and mix well. Fold in the pecans to incorporate.

Transfer to prepared pie crust and bake for 40 minutes. The pie is going to be somewhat jiggly, but it should appear to be set.

Let cool for a few hours, slice and serve! No cheating and pulling pecans off the pie.

 

 

GRASSHOPPER PIE

GRASSHOPPER PIE

Makes one 9-inch pie

1 recipe Graham Cracker Crust (see elsewhere)

Filling

½ cup whole unroasted cashews, soaked in water 2-8 hours or until very soft

1 (13oz) can coconut milk, at room temperature

¼ cup crème de menthe

½ cup plain unsweetened almond milk

½ tsp agar powder

⅔ cup sugar

¼ cup coconut oil

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

½ tsp mint extract

1 to 2 drops green food colouring

Topping

¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips

2 tsp coconut oil

Bake the crust for 10 minutes at 350℉, then remove from the oven and let cool.

Drain the cashews and place them in a food processor or blender. Blend with the coconut milk and crème de menthe until totally smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. This can take up to 5 minutes depending on the strength of your machine.

In the meantime, stir together the almond milk and agar powder in a small (2qt) saucepot. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 30 seconds, then lower the heat so that you’re just getting small bubbles and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Whisk in the sugar. Add the coconut oil and mix until melted.

With the food processor running, stream the hot mixture in until thoroughly blended with the cashew mixture, then add the vanilla and mint extracts and food colouring. Pulse to combine.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared pie crust and refrigerate until set, about 4 to 6 hours. If there’s a little extra filling, just put it in a cup to set and don’t overfill the pie. The filling is very thin at first, but don’t worry; that is how it’s supposed to be!

When the pie is just about set, prepare the topping. In a bowl, microwave the chocolate chips using 50 percent power for 1 ½ to 2 minutes. Stir with a fork to thoroughly melt. Stir in the coconut oil to melt.

To assemble: with a rubber spatula, transfer the melted chocolate to a plastic bag. Snip the very corner of the bag (with as tiny a snip as you can manage) and drizzle the chocolate all over the pie in a zigzag or crisscross pattern.

Return the pie to the fridge to set for 20 minutes.

Optionally garnish with vegan whipped topping.

 

 

COCONUT CREAM PIE

COCONUT CREAM PIE

Makes one 9-inch pie

Crust

10 oz vegan vanilla cookies (~1¾ cups once processed)

2 Tbsp sugar

3 Tbsp melted coconut oil (refined or virgin)

1 Tbsp plain non-dairy milk (I prefer almond)

Filling

½ cup cashews, soaked in water for at least two hours and up to overnight

1 13 oz can coconut milk at room temperature

¾ cup plain unsweetened almond milk (or non-dairy milk of your choice)

½ tsp agar agar powder

⅔ cups sugar

3 Tbsp coconut oil (refined or virgin)

1 ½ cups shredded unsweetened coconut

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tsp coconut extract (optional, another teaspoon vanilla will work, too)

Garnish

Blackberries and coconut flakes

Prepare the crust

Preheat oven to 350℉ and have ready a 9 inch pie dish.

In a blender, pulse the cookies into fine crumbs. They should measure out to be 1 ¾ cups. (You don’t have to clean the blender after this, you can just get out as many of the crumbs as you can, and then proceed with the filling recipe which follows.)

In a mixing bowl combine cookie crumbs and sugar, then drizzle in melted coconut oil. Mix to moisten the crumbs, then drizzle in the milk and mix again to form a crumbly dough. Use another tablespoon of milk if it seems very dry. Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate and press crumbs on the sides then work your way down to the bottom.

Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven and set aside.

Make the filling

Drain the cashews and place them in a food processor or blender. Blend with the coconut milk until totally smooth, scraping down the sides occasionally. This can take up to 5 minutes depending on the strength of your machine, but give your blender a break every minute or so, and check frequently that the mixture feels smooth and not grainy.

In the meantime, stir together the milk, agar, and sugar in a small (2 quart) sauce pot.

Bring mixture to a boil, stirring pretty consistently. Once boiling, lower the heat so that you’re just getting small bubbles. Let cook for about 5 minutes, then add the coconut oil and mix until melted.

With the blender running, stream the hot mixture in until thoroughly blended, then add the extracts and pulse a few times to combine. Stir in the shredded coconut, but don’t blend it again, just mix it with a spatula – you want the coconut to remain intact. (It’s important that the mixture goes in hot, and is poured into the crust immediately, to prevent it from setting up before it’s in the pie.)

Transfer mixture to the prepared pie crust (being careful not to overfill) and refrigerate until set, at least 5 hours. The filling is very thin at first, but that is how it’s supposed to be, so don’t worry, it will thicken as it sets.

Once set, slice and serve! Top with coconut flakes and a berry, if you like. If not using immediately, wrap tightly in plastic wrap for up to 4 days.

Recipe via Vegan Pie in the Sky, by Isa Chandra.

 

BANANA BREAD MUFFIN TOPS

BANANA BREAD MUFFIN TOPS

Makes 10 muffin tops

(via Oh She Glows)

2 large very ripe bananas

½ cup packed pitted Medjool dates

¼ cup coconut oil, softened

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tsp ground cinnamon (or more to taste)

1 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp plus ⅛ tsp fine sea salt

2 cups gluten-free rolled oats

¼ cup non-dairy mini chocolate chips or chopped toasted walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Add the peeled bananas, pitted dates, coconut oil, and vanilla into a food processor. Process until smooth (around one minute). Add in the cinnamon, baking powder, and salt and process again until combined.

Add in 1½ cups of the rolled oats and process for only 4-5 seconds, just long enough to roughly chop the oats.

Remove processor from the base and then remove the blade and set aside. Carefully stir in the remaining ½ cup rolled oats and the chocolate chips.

Spoon a large portion of dough (about 3-4 Tbsp or so for each) onto the parchment. Do not press down on the dough to flatten – simply leave it in a mound on the baking sheet.

Bake cookies for 10 minutes, rotate the pan, and bake for another 7-9 minutes until golden brown on the bottom.

Immediately transfer the baking sheet onto a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Then lift off muffins and place on the rack to cool completely.

Tips

Make sure you use very soft Medjool dates. If you are using firm dates, be sure to soak them in water until softened before proceeding with recipe.