Homemade Turkey Andouille Sausage

To those who know I am not eating meat, I wrote this some time back and never published it. Hope my meateating friends will enjoy it.

I love New Orleans inspired gumbo but I don’t eat pork and I am allergic to shrimp. I decided to make a seafood gumbo but I really wanted the sausage flavor. I thought what better to do than to try my hand at making andouille sausage with ground turkey.

I added these spices, compliments of allrecipes.com and the foodnetwork.com:Emerill Lagasse, to the ground turkey.

Finding the seasonings to begin was simple process but turkey is not as fat as pork. What to do about that? My first thought was to add olive oil or coconut oil. Then a light bulb flickered. Bake some turkey thighs and use the dripping from that. The added bonus is meat prepared for another meal.

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Homemade Mustard Trials Revisited

A few months ago I tried a Dijon mustard recipe from The Homemade Vegan Pantry. I thought I had used a white wine that was too dry. The mustard had a very bitter taste. I tried it again with a less dry white wine. I allowed it to sit longer hoping it would be mellower. Today I tested it and it was just as bitter as the first. I gave up on that recipe. I decided to try a different recipe. It was taken from the Homemade Condiment cookbook: the Spicy Brown Mustard.  The ingredients: powdered yellow mustard, kosher salt, tumeric, paprika, water, white wine vinegar, and brown sugar to taste. I used a few drops of agave. I didn’t have white wine vinegar so I used white cooking wine. 20160827_133353

The result is a smooth, spicy mustard paste. It is usable now but I think I will let it mellow a bit. It has a little bitter tinge but nothing like the other recipe. I wonder what would happen if I used white wine vinegar?20160827_133433

Well, I am getting back in the lab. Happy cooking.

 

Necessity Brings Joy

So now what is that crazy woman talking about? Necessity brings joy. Sometimes when you have a need, the satisfying of that need brings greater joy than you expected.

Here’s the deal, Saturday, I ran out of almond milk. I had no cash. I didn’t want to u20160716_132308 (2)se a credit card for a gallon of milk. I looked around the pantry and saw that I had some cashews. I had been meaning to try making cashew milk. This seemed like the perfect time. It is simple. Put the cashews and water in a blender and let it rip. In minutes, there was milk.

I looked in  my vegan cookbook to get an idea of the ratio of cashews to water for a reasonable milk consistency. It was 2/3 cup of whole cashews to 4 cups of milk. That seemed like a lot of water for so few cashews so I increased it to a full cup of cashews. To my surprise I stumbled upon cashew cream. I did some research on the uses for cashew cream and discovered I had solved another dilemma I was facing. This cashew cream provides the creaminess and consistency I needed for both these projects.I wanted to make vegan ice cream without making a sugary syrup for a sorbet. This will be my substitute. I also needed a sour cream impostor to try in a new cornbread recipe I found. I will try adding vinegar to the cream to sour it. I’ll let you know the outcome.

Back to the milk. I used the ratio suggested by the experienced vegan and was rewarded with a good tasting cashew milk. There are no preservatives, no sweetener, no added anything. Two and two/thirds cup of cashews will make a gallon of milk.  What makes this most appealing is no added cost for  cream.

For you who like a little coffee in your cream, this is a healthy, tasteful preferred choice to the coffee creamers you buy in the store. I don’t usually add cream to my coffee but I tried a little. It was very good and flavorful.

So the necessity for almond milk provided the joy of cashew milk and cream. It was a good day.

 

Sorghum – What Is It?

When i was a little girl, I loved to visit my great-grandparents in the country. That is what city folks called the very rural areas. I especially loved Sunday morning breakfast. My great-grandmother, Momma Lula, served “from scratch” biscuits, homemade butter, eggs from her hen house and some kind of meat. Now, the meat was either bacon or sausage that my great-grandfather’s friends had smoked and seasoned from their slaughter season or chicken from Momma Lula’s yard. Yeah, the raised them for meat and eggs. But the days that were the best was when Daddy Bush went to get the sorghum syrup from another farmer.  He had to walk a mile both ways to get the syrup. That was good eating with those hot biscuits. I never knew sorghum could also come in the form of flour.

I ran across a recipe for waffles using gluten free flour and I decided to substitute sorghum flour for the one listed. I also changed the milk to almond milk and the vegetable oil to coconut oil. The outcome was quite pleasing and they weren’t green.

Recipe

2 eggs    1 3/4 c almond milk     1/4 c coconut oil     2/3 c sorghum flour

2 Tbs Agave Nectar         4 tsps baking powder          1/3 c potato starch

1 3/4 tsp xanthum gum      1 tsp salt20160716_103545

Mix it all up and put in the waffle maker. In the picture you will see so
me waffles are darker than others. That’s because the darker ones were cooked at a higher setting. They were crisper. So set your waffle maker to the crispness you desire.

About Sorghum

It was probably used as flour before syrup. This ancient grain as it is being described was widely used in Africa and Australia. It has many health benefits. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant properties. It is high in fiber, B-vitamins and protein. According to the World Grain Council it is the 5th most important flour in the world and the 3rd in the USA. So for what was it used in the USA? Animal feed and fuel. Once again we treat our animals better than ourselves. It seems only those with wheat allergies or gluten sensitivities were aware of this flour and its nutritional benefits. I also like the fact that it is non-GMO. Being gluten-free is another plus. Diabetics, cancer patients and cardiac patients may benefit from the eating of sorghum flour. Caution, like any other grain, don’t over indulge. Even with all of its nutritional benefits some people cannot tolerate it.

It is suggested that it be used in combination with other gluten free flours, such as potato or in recipes where a small amount of flour is used because it does not have a good rising ability. Flatbreads here I come.

I am going to try some other recipes I have found that use sorghum flour. I am not quite ready to give up bread completely, so healthier alternatives are definitely on my radar. If you have any other suggestions, please share.

Aaagh! Their Green!!

Okay that might be a little dramatic but it is actually what I thought when I opened the waffle maker. My next thought was candidate for a SyFy scene. I opened the waffle iron and saw green and brown waffles. It doesn’t show how dark green but the dark grid lin20160704_085731es were green.I don’t know what in the ingredients caused this phenomenon. I used buckwheat flour, almond flour, baking soda, baking powder, almond milk, salt, coconut oil and eggs. Does that sound green to you?

The Experiment

  1. Use a whole wheat flour waffle recipe as a guide.
  2. Change the flour to another grain or combination of grains.
  3. Use coconut oil instead of shortening.
  4. Almond milk and baking soda instead of buttermilk.

The Discoveries

  1. Baking soda was added because I didn’t have buttermilk.  Must have added too much because the taste was really strong.
  2. Didn’t need the baking soda at all on further research
  3. 1/2 cup of coconut oil was too much for the flour combination.
  4. Let the batter sit about 5 minutes to thicken before pouring in the waffle maker.
  5. And then there is green.
  6. After removing from the waffle iron and a little cooling, the color changed to golden brown.20160704_090345

 

The Whole Wheat Recipe           My Changes

2 c whole-wheat flour                     1 c buckwheat flour, 1 cup almond flour

4 tsps baking powder                      2 tsps baking powder, 2 tsps baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs

1/2 c melted shortening                  1/2 c coconut oil

1 3/4 c buttermilk                             1 3/4 almond milk

Tumeric Tea Blog Repost

I found this blog post from the “unconventional baker” while I was looking for gluten free and tumeric recipes. I have not made it yet but after reading it, I realized I am familiar with all the ingredients and will probably enjoy it. Even if I don’t I am going to drink it. When you have arthritis you will try healthy things that have a chance of relieving the pain. I would love to hear from those of you who try it and I am sure the “unconventional baker” would also.

Anti-Inflammatory Lemon Ginger Turmeric Iced Tea

My New Find – Macadamia Nut Oil

Many of you know I make my own vegan butter. Last week I was standing in the grocery store getting oil to make more. I use coconut oil but I wanted to try another mild oil. I have used grapeseed, almond, olive and sunflower seed oil. Almond and olive oil had been the best so far. I looked at all those choices and read the descriptions. About two oils in I read this oil has a “butter-y, mild nutty flavor. Butter-y was the keyword. So I decided to try it. It was Macadamia nut oil. I thought it would taste strongly like macadamia. It did not. My butter tasted wonderful. I used it this morning to fry some potatoes. It has a high smoke point and it put grapeseed to shame. It got hot really fast and required me to pay attention. I am sold. This is my new go to oil for stir-frying, frying and grilling.

I got excited about my new find and then that other person in me rose up and said, “But is it healthy?”  I went to my computer and discovered it is very healthy and has uses beyond cooking. It is used for skin care, makeup, sunblock, hair care, and eating. Coconut oil has just found a an “alternative to olive oil” partner because I use it for my hair, skin and cooking.

I read some reports on the benefits of macadamia nut oil and they get quite technical. Suffice it to say, it is an intense moisturizer and has powerful antioxidant properties.

Peanut Oil?

A few weeks ago a friend who is in the psychology field told me she had gone to a workshop where they were told peanut oil was bad for brain health. In doing my research I have found study after study that says it does benefit the brain and entire nervous system.

What have you students of foods and oils found?

Does peanut oil hinder or aid good brain health?

Grocery Bill Going DOWN?

I know I haven’t been posting much lately but I have been busy. I am adding new plants to my garden. I finally had to breakdown and clean the above ground bed my husband built before he got sick. While I was away at the hospitals, a neighbor’s cat decided it would make a great litter box. I started that process but I haven’t finished.

Awaiting completion of that job is the organic potting mix and spinach. When the spinach is moved I can plant the Thai Chili pepper that I bought. I will then have three hot peppers, jalapeno, fish and Thai Chili. The yellow and green bell peppers have fruit and more blossoms. I bought an heirloom tomato plant to add to the already fruitful Ace tomato plant.

Grocery bill going ⇓.

Do you know how much non-GMO, organic, heirloom tomatoes cost? I am determined to eat as much non-GMO vegetables and fruit as possible. My budget requires me to grow as much as I can. Garlic and Tumeric are next on my list.

Green and Yellow peppers

Homemade Apple Butter

I love homemade apple butter. It brings back warm, loving,memories of hot biscuits on Sunday morning at my grandmother Modear’s  breakfast table. Thinking about it is as comforting as big hugs. Over the years since leaving home, I have not found GOOD apple butter. Some didn’t even have that smooth texture much less the remembered taste. One day I saw a jar in the Polly’s Pies Restaurant. It looked right. I picked it up to give it a try and all the disappointing memories popped up. I decided to try making my own and put it back on the shelf. I searched for a recipe and found it in Fannie Farmer cookbook that I have owned for over 30 years.

I did make a few adjustments. I don’t typically use white sugar but I had about 1/2 cup left from a bag my daughter-in-law bought on her last visit. I supplemented with agave. I also added a red delicious apple to the granny smiths apples. I didn’t simmer until smooth because it took too long. I let it cool about 10 minutes and then put it in the blender. I blended it until smooth, less than a minute.

The results were just as I remembered. Warm, creamy, comforting and safe; all those taste and feelings of Sunday morning breakfast at Modear’s. I made biscuits and it was Hmmmmm good!

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4 lbs tart apples

 ∗I added a real sweet red delicious apple for added sweetness

2 cups cider, cider vinegar or water

∗I used water to cover the apples and 1 c apple cider vinegar

Sugar

 ∗ I used 1/2 c sugar and 1/2 c of agave

Salt

2 tsps cinnamon

1 tsp  ground cloves

1/2 tsp allspice

Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon

  ∗ I used the whole lemon except seeds

Cut the apples into pieces without peeling or coring them. Put them in a pot, cover with the cider, vinegar, or water and cook until soft. Put through a sieve or food mill. Measure. Add 1/2 cup sugar for each cup of apple pulp. The whole mixture, add a dash of salt and the cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and lemon rind and juice. Cook, covered, over low hear until the sugar dissolves, taste and adjust the seasonings. Uncover and cook quickly, stirring constantly to prevent burning, until thick and smooth when a bit is spooned onto a cold plate. Pour into hot, sterilized jars and seal.