Category Archives: How to…

How to.. cook beets in a slow cooker

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-SLOW COOKER-

I love beets.. A LOT! In fact it’s my all time favorite veggie! I’m so glad when Fall is coming because it’s the season to buy beets!!! this year I planted some in my garden (I fun kind, red and the inside is white with circles) and by the way they were super awesome and delicious!!!

The thing about beet is that when you want to eat them cooked or used them cooked in a recipe, you need to cook them (duh! haha) but cooking beet is so annoying, it’s super long, makes a ton of heat in the kitchen and use electricity for a long time. So cooking beets in a slow cooker is just way too cool not to do it. No more heat or noise in the kitchen, it require only a little electricity (after all cooking with a slow cooker is kind of about that too) and you just let them cook and few hours later.. they are done!

Beets are awesome, did I told you that before? haha!

Joking aside, beets are truly awesome. They are delicious raw or cooked, in baked goods, even pickled. My husband is a big fan of my pickled beets.. on my side I love them in all the forms possible!! Even in juices! (beet-pineapple is the best juice EVER!!!) Beets are a great source of antioxidants, vitamin C, fibers and potassium.

You need..

* Beets

(I used small beets from the local farmer and beets from my garden)

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Steps

* Wash the beets, remove all the greens (the one from the local farmer didn’t had greens, but mine did, by the way, you can eat beet greens, it’s delicious and very healthy) but don’t cut anything else, otherwise the beets will ”bleed” in the cooking water.

* In the slow cooker, place all the beets and pour some water over them, not to cover them, but enough to have most of the beets in the water. close the lid and cook on the LOW setting for few hours. Depending on the size of your beets it can take longer. Mine were kind of small so it took me around 5 hours to have well cooked beets. When they are cooked you can remove the skin very VERY easily.

* Remove from the slow cooker, and peel. (I peel them in the sink to avoid staining everything around, haha)

* Serve and Enjoy (or use later)

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How to freeze Basil

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I love basil… A LOT! It’s so delicious!! and not only in pesto recipes, hehe. the other day my husband and kids were in the spa and I was harvesting basil leaves.. my son got excited and wanted to try some (he’s turning 16 months old soon), well he’s now a big fan, hahaha!!!

This year I planted few basil plants outside and I’m very glad I did, but since it’s producing a lot of leaves, I decided to freeze some.

In the freezer, you can keep them for around 4-6 months.

You need..

* Fresh Basil leaves

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Steps

* Once the leaves are removed from the stems, wash them under cold water.

* Prepare a bowl of cold water with ice cubes in it. Set aside.

* Boil a pot of water. Blanch the leaves for 4-5 sec max. You don’t want to cook the basil and by doing this remove the flavor..

* Place the leaves into the cold water bowl so you can stop the basil from cooking.

* Lay all the leaves on a towel to let them dry.

* Once they are dry, place the leaves on cookie sheets to be able to flash freeze them. Put the sheets in the freezer (it’s very useful to have a big vertical freezer in my house to do things like that, hehe) Remove from the freezer only when they are totally frozen.

* Once frozen, begin to quickly place basil in some freezer safe containers.. Quickly because it will begin to thaw fast.

* Remove the more air you can and label your package.

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How to make Kale Powder

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After buying all that kale the other day I decided to make kale powder (I found that idea on internet while browsing for kale-related articles).

Kale powder can be use in many things like in sauces, in scramble tofu, is salads, in smoothies, as a garnish… the possibilities are.. more than just these few, haha. In fact I stopped pulsing the kale just before having a super fine powder, I wanted to look like dried parsley.. to use as an herb in recipes.

I love kale, I could eat kale everyday of my life (and spinach too… in fact all greens.. I’m a big fan)

KALE

You need..

* Kale

(I used a big bunch, the final product is a little over 1/2 cup of kale powder)

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Steps

* Cut out the thick ribs oh each kale leave.

* Soak kale in water or special veggie/fruit soap (like I did) to remove any sand or dirt. Rinse kale and place on a towel and allow to dry. The dryer the leaves are, the faster they will dry in the dehydrator.

*  Lay out on your dehydrator trays, and then dry at about 125’F (52.5’C) until they are all dry and crispy. you can check them after few hours to see how they are doing. Mine were dry in 4 hours.

* Place all the crispy dehydrated kale in your food processor and pulse until you reach the perfect texture for you.

* Poor the powder in an airtight container (I used a mason glass jar) and store.

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How to Freeze Kale

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The other day I bought 3 big bunch of kale for 0.99$ each, what a deal! I decided to freeze one bunch, dehydrate one and keep one fresh in the fridge to use this week (It’s all clean in a Tupperware, hehe)

I decided to freeze some to use in smoothies. That way I will have kale on hand anytime and it will bring some freshness in the smoothie (because it’s frozen). I looooooooove to put kale or spinach in my smoothies! There is always one of them or both in them.

Kale is fantastic, it’s low in calories, it contains a lot of calcium, vitamin K, vitamin A and iron! And iron while pregnant is important!

kale

You need..

* Kale (I used one large bunch)

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Steps

* Cut out the thick ribs oh each kale leave.

* Soak kale in water or special veggie/fruit soap (like I did) to remove any sand or dirt. Rinse kale and place on a towel and allow to dry.

* Flash Freeze kale by laying it out on a cookie sheet and placing it in freezer to freeze.

* Once frozen, begin to quickly place  kale in zip top bags or freezer safe containers.. Quickly because it will begin to thaw fast.

* Remove the more air you can and label your package.

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How to use TVP

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Back in the days I didn’t knew what was TVP, but for many years now, I’m using it in many dishes.

What exactly is TVP?

The answer is easy, it’s textured vegetable protein. It is a food product made from soybeans. It is produced with soy flour, cooked under pressure, extruded, and dried. It is an excellent source of protein and fiber. It’s also an excellent meat substitute in many dishes. It’s almost flavorless (like tofu) so it takes the flavor of the dish. I use it in my vegan pasta sauce, in vegan shepherd’s pie, chili, stew, pasta and many more recipes. You can add some almost everywhere. It looks like ground meat once rehydrated. You can fool anyone with it, hehe! In fact you can use it to replace meat or just to boost your protein intake. Plain TVP has zero cholesterol. It’s a money saver and a time saver.

The other thing is that it’s a very economical protein source (like tofu and beans). Here you can buy a 350g bag for around 3.50$ and you can make more than one recipe with it! don’t be fooled by the kind you can buy at the local grocery store. I mean no need to buy the one already hydrated. One cup of dried TVP makes you around 2 cups rehydrated TVP, it’s under 1$ (around 0.75$) and the one from the store for the same amount ( 2 cups) it’s over 4.50$!!!! for the same thing!!!!!!! They just added spices. You can do that by yourself! The shelf life of the dried product is very long compared to the already made product you can buy. So like beans, I buy it dried! You can found some in the organic section of the grocery store, in special markets, in bulk and even online.

Once it’s ”cooked”, you have to store it in the refrigerator, like if it was meat. Anyway I always do only the amount I need for my recipe.

Don’t be scared of trying it, it might look weird, smell a little weird but like I said, it taste nothing at all, it’s super discrete in dishes and it adds protein!Even my husband who is a big meat eater, was a little skeptic about it at first, but now is a big fan. Hehe (Again +1 point for me)

So what are you waiting for?!

Servings

2 cups rehydrated TVP

Ingredients

* 1 cup TVP

* 1 cup water

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Directions

* Boil the water.

* Pour the water over the TVP, give it about 5-10 minutes to rehydrate.

* Once it has plumped up and is softened, squeeze out the excess water and use.

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How to freeze an avocado

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You are all starting to know me a little more. All those who know me well know that I HATE waste, especially wasting food. Why throw something when it’s still perfect to use for something else. There is so many people starving on this planet, throwing food makes me mad.

I had a VERY ripe avocado in my fridge, it was way to mushy to use as slices, so I decided to freeze it for a future use. Sometimes people thinks that the avocado will become super brown in the freezer, but not with some lemon juice in it. I used to make avocado puree for my daughter Dalie when she was a baby (it was one of her favorite) and it was always bright green! Lemon juice is magic, hehe.

You need..

* 1 very ripe avocado

* 1 tablespoon of lemon juice

avocado

Steps

* Cut and peel the avocado.

* Place the avocado and the lemon juice in a food processor and puree.

* You can store the puree in a plastic blag, a plastic container.. it’s like you want. Write the date on it and store in the freezer. (It’s good for about 4-5 months).

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