Food Friday: Delicious Vegan No-Knead Bread

 

FINALLY!

We finally found a homemade vegan bread recipe that turns out beautifully with minimal effort. Recently, we had a Pampered Chef party at our house (seriously considering being a consultant) and we got a ton of stuff. One of my most dreamed about purchases is the Deep Covered Baker. Not only does it come in a beautiful deep cranberry color, but you can do tons of different things with it – including making bread!

 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker
  • KitchenAid (or similar) stand mixer
  • Patience

 

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (use Wholesome Sweeteners – it’s vegan!)
  • 2 tablespoons yeast
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 cups hot water (120-130 degrees F)

 

Recipe:

  • Lightly oil Deep Covered Baker (I use an oil sprayer, but a light brushing with a pastry brush works too)
  • In KitchenAid stand mixer (or large 11+ cup food processor), combine dry ingredients in large bowl
  • While machine is running on low, add hot water slowly until dough forms into a ball and starts to thump around
  • Once the dough ball starts thumping, let it spin 20 times in the bowl.
  • Place dough into greased bowl and cover with a damp tea towel (not washcloth – don’t want fibers getting on the dough)
  • Let rise 15 minutes
  • Punch down 1-3 times and shape into a large loaf
  • Place loaf in Deep Covered Baker
  • Cut a slit in top of loaf (long ways) with a flour-tipped knife (so the dough won’t stick). Create diagonal slits from the center line so you have a branch/leaf look on the top of your bread (this helps it rise – it’s not for decoration)
  • Put the lid on the Deep Covered Baker and place in a cold oven. Turn oven to 400 degrees and bake for 50 minutes
  • NO PEEKING!! The bread is rising beautifully – I promise!
  • After 50 minutes, remove from oven and turn bread out onto cooling rack.

 

vegan bread

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vegan, no knead bread

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Food Friday: Vegan Chai Frappucino

I became addicted to Starbucks chai lattes years and years ago. The sweet & spicy flavors blended so well with mellow soy milk that I couldn’t get enough. Eventually, I quit Starbucks cold turkey. Only occasionally do I pop in  – mostly because we’ve found a great little indie coffee place in downtown Raleigh called The Morning Times (more on them another day).

 

Earlier this week, an email from Amy’s Healthy Baking appeared in my inbox and sure enough, she had a recipe for a frozen chai treat. After whipping up Amy’s recipe, I made a few modifications and came up with another great version. Head over to Amy’s Healthy Baking – she’s got tons of great recipes: some are vegan & some are veganizable!!

 

Vegan Chai Frappucino

1 c super strong chai tea, chilled
½ c almond milk
1 tsp organic cane sugar (I use wholesome sweeteners)
2 c ice cubes
  1. Steep the chai for 30-45 minutes (the longer, the stronger) in freshly boiled water
  2. Put chai in fridge to chill it (about 20 minutes)
  3. Add all of the ingredients to a blender, and pulse until smooth.

Note: I’d be willing to bet you could make a bunch of chai at once, keep in a airtight container in the fridge and make a frappucino as often as you like. I may have to try this… 

 

Food Friday: Vegan Fried Green Tomatoes

By Megan Vick

 

My most favorite restaurant in the world is closing soon and I have been heartbroken since I got the news. Friends are out of jobs, customers are out of delicious local food, and I am out of pickled ramps and butternut squash gnocchi (not served together, I swear).

 

During our last visit there, we had delicious fried green tomatoes and I have been determined to recreate them. I think I’m doing pretty well so far… the best part is, instead of frying them, I’ve baked them in the oven for a healthier version. This recipe makes a great appetizer for 2 or small meal for 1 person. They were so good I forgot to take a picture – shocking, I know.

 

Here’s what you need:

 

  • 2 large green tomatoes (preferably organic)
  • 1/3 cup almond mik (either plain or unsweetened… I’m sure any plant milk would work here)
  • 1/2 cup flour (almond, chickpea, all- purpose… anything you like)
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste

 

Here’s how to do it:

  • Preheat oven to 425F
  • Slice your tomatoes into thick slices (or quarters if you want to be fancy)
  • Put almond milk into bowl – set aside
  • Combine flour, pepper, salt, garlic powder together and mix well in another bowl – set aside
  • Dredge tomato slices in milk, then in the flour mixture – be sure to cover both sides completely
  • Put slices on a baking sheet, pan, or dish
  • Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes until coating is golden brown

 

Pro Tip: Serve with some vegan ranch (a la Native Foods Cafe) for dipping or a balsamic reduction – Divine!!

 

You can thank me later! Enjoy and Namaste

Treatment Tuesday!

By Megan Vick

 

Welcome to our new series of posts! Treatment Tuesday is designed to help you coordinate Shorganics products into your very own at-home spa treatment. With the cold winter weather getting worse, it’s important to take care of your skin and ensure it’s properly hydrated.  Using products made with organic ingredients help keep your skin pure and free of pesticide residue and other weird synthetic chemicals.

 

For your body care treatment, you’ll need the oh-so-gentle Lemon Salt Scrub and your choice of either vegan Body Lotion or organic, vegan Body Butter – for the winter, we recommend the Lavender Lemon Body Butter.

 

Glowing Body Treatment

  1. Hop into the shower (actually, step gingerly – no need to get hurt)
  2. Take a 2 fingers and scoop a bit of salt scrub onto your hand.
  3. Massage scrub all over your body – you’ll notice the salt begin to melt
  4. Repeat step 2 and 3 if you need more for your body 🙂
  5. Rinse scrub from your skin (feel free to sing a song while you do this – what’s life without whimsy)
  6. Turn off water (duh) and step out of the shower and pat dry your skin

 

It’s important you pat down your skin with a towel to dry it instead of rubbing it. By rubbing a towel over your skin, you can actually exacerbate dry and flaky skin. Patting allows your skin to absorb the moisture from the water and removing the excess.

 

Follow up your drying immediately with a vegan body lotion or vegan body butter of your choice. If you’re using the Lavender Lemon Body Butter, remember a little goes a long, long way.

 

Enjoy your glowing, rejuvenated skin! Namaste

4 Easy Tips to Have a Great Day

By Megan Vick

 

Mornings have never been my thing. Since I was a wee little one, I would stay up far past my bedtime (often reading with a flashlight under the covers) and sleep well into the late morning or early afternoon. Once I started school and then joined “the real world,” I realized I needed to make some major changes to embrace each morning.

1.) Adjust Your Diet
No, you don’t have to do something crazy, but you should pay attention to what you eat and when you eat it. I’m guilty of late-night eating which often keeps me up longer while my food digests. I’ve also noticed if I eat sweets or salty foods, I am less rested when I wake up the following morning.

Sleepy Cat

 

2.) Embrace the Snooze Button
In order to help me get up every day, I set my alarm for an hour (yes, a full hour), before I actually need to get up and get ready. It’s a weird thing I do to psychologically trick myself. When I sleep an hour past my alarm time, I feel like I’ve gotten an extra hour of sleep without having the crazy “I just overslept” feeling. It might seem silly, but not only has it worked for me, I am actually getting out of bed even earlier now!

 

3.) Do SOMETHING

Whether you stretch, do yoga, go for a run, meditate, vacuum, or drink your coffee while hiding in the closet away from the kids (you know who you are), do something to wake yourself up. I prefer to stretch with sun salutations or some light ballet barre warm-ups because it gets my blood flowing. If you have to go to work and sit for the better part of the day, I especially recommend doing light physical activity in the morning.

 

 

4.) Say Positive Affirmations
Each morning while I shower/brush my teeth/dry my hair, I say something like, “Today is going to be a WONDERFUL day” over and over again. By starting your day with a cheery, positive attitude, you’re internal energy will be happy and project happiness toward others around you. When those around you are happy, you can stay happier all the time. It’s a beautiful cycle of happiness.
Here are some other uplifting affirmations:
– Today is going to be a great day!
– I am going to be productive today!
– I will try something new/exciting/intimidating today!
– I will make myself and others smile today!

Believe me, if I can have positive, productive mornings, so can you! Try implementing these steps one at a time and you’ll notice a significant difference in your day.

Have a Great Day Puppy

DIY Composting

By Megan Vick

 

Composting is great to do at home, but it can be a tricky, nasty, smelly, and unproductive business if you don’t start it correctly. After some epic fails at my home, here are some “Do’s” and “Don’ts.”

DO

–          Compost if you have yard space for a bin, tumbler, or giant trash can (must be circular)

–          Toss in produce, crushed eggshells, coffee grounds, tea bags & leaves, shredded mail, animal bedding (hamsters, guinea pigs, etc), sawdust, hair (from your hairbrush), nail clippings, natural fibers like 100% wool or cotton (in small pieces)

–          Turn or tumble your heap weekly to mix up the material and spread the decomposition process evenly

–          Add manure from a horse or cow (any herbivore)

–          Add a compost starter or accelerator

–          Be patient!

DON’T

–          Don’t try to compost if you live in a small place. It’s too much work, too much mess, and little to no reward.  If you’re in an apartment, try starting a community compost area for all the residents!

–          Don’t compost ashes, cat feces or litter, dog feces, colored paper, lime, meat/bones/fat/grease/oils, toxic materials, etc.

–          Don’t leave your compost in an open pile as it could attract pests and rodents.

–          Don’t add seeds- they just might sprout!

–          Don’t use compost as soil- use it in addition to the soil

There are other methods of composting like vermiculture (or vermicompost), hot composting, or toilet composting (yes, it’s true). For starters, I recommend you stick with regular composting and work your way to one of the other trickier options. You’ll get the same outcome- beautiful, rich, dark compost that was well worth the wait!

 

Have you tried composting at home? What did you do and how did it turn out?