Food

Vegan Coconut Milk Ice Cream

8

Posted on Sep 12, 2014 in Food

Dairy-Free & Vegan Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Vegan Coconut Milk Ice Cream

For the past eight weeks, I haven’t been eating dairy because it looks like JuneBug has a dairy and soy protein sensitivity. At first, I was really bummed to cut out dairy (I mean, c’mon, CHEESE!), but it actually hasn’t been all that hard. Part of that, I’m sure, is because there is that whole motherhood gene that makes sacrifices for your kid not quite feel like sacrifices. But I also think a big part of is there are so many great non-dairy alternatives to traditional dairy foods. One of my favorite dairy alternatives has been coconut milk!

I love the coconut flavor, the richness, and how well it seems to work in most of the dairy roles. There is great coconut milk yogurt on the market. Coconut milk makes an awesome base for soups and smoothies. And it makes some of the easiest, creamiest, most delicious vegan ice cream on the planet.

Vegan Coconut Milk Ice Cream

If you’ve been afraid to make ice cream before, this recipe is a great place to start—it’s really pretty much impossible to mess up! The texture comes out perfect every time, which is always a struggle with homemade ice cream. I think the key is using my favorite ice cream making method—cornstarch. Many traditional homemade ice creams involve making a custard out of egg yolks, and often it results in an icy, hard ice cream. But the cornstarch method is quick, easy, and always gets you a super creamy and scoopable batch!

It probably goes without saying, but this vegan ice cream is very coconut-ty, so if coconut flavor isn’t your thing, you might want to skip past this one. But if you’re a coconut fan like I am, you’ll love this stuff! I think for my next batch, I might mix in some cocoa and sliced almonds to make a vegan Almond Joy ice cream. Uh, yum!

Vegan Coconut Milk Ice Cream

As JuneBug gets older, she’ll (hopefully!) grow out of her tummy issues, and I can eventually resume my regular consumption of all things dairy, but for now, I’m just fine pouring coconut milk on my cereal and eating this ice cream. Enjoy!

Vegan Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Total Time: 6 minutes

Yield: 1 quart

Vegan Coconut Milk Ice Cream

This dairy-free, vegan ice cream is rich, creamy, and 100% coconutty! It's also incredibly easy to make and almost impossible to mess up.

Ingredients

  • 1-15 ounce can lite coconut milk
  • 1-15 ounce can full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Shake the two cans of coconut milk well, open and reserve 1/2 cup of the lite coconut milk in a small bowl. Pour the remaining lite coconut milk, the full-fat coconut milk, maple syrup and salt into a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together the cornstarch and reserved coconut milk. Set aside.
  3. Bring the coconut milk to a low simmer—do not boil. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture, and heat until thick and bubbly—about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in the vanilla extract.
  4. Transfer the ice cream base to a heat-proof container and refrigerate until cold—about four hours. Churn in the basin of an ice cream maker per the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze until solid, about an hour.
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Fresh Corn and Basil Salad

3

Posted on Sep 10, 2014 in Food

Fresh Corn and Basil Salad

Fresh Corn and Basil Salad

Here in Indiana, we have a theme park that has the tagline “There’s more than corn in Indiana”. We’re hip to the idea that people outside of the Midwest think we’re chock full of cornfields. I used to work for one of the big universities here, and it was always a struggle to convince prospective students from other parts of the country that the campus wasn’t stuck in the middle of a cornfield. But once we got students to visit campus, they were sold on coming here because we’re a friendly, culturally diverse, generally awesome bunch of people here. We really are so much more than corn!

IMG_9082

And while I do think Indiana has way more going for it than just being in the Corn Belt, I tend to embrace our corn-fed Midwestern identity, too. There is something really comforting to me about driving down a tunnel between two fields of corn. And I always get giddy when I see the first farm stands pop-up in local intersections selling corn on the cob for a quarter an ear.

Being the born-and-raised Midwestern girl I am, you know that I’ve never met a corn recipe I didn’t like! And while I really think it’s hard to beat a fresh-picked ear of corn grilled with a little bit of butter and salt (yum!), this fresh corn and basil salad is another great way to use up the last of the summer crop.

Fresh Corn and Basil Salad

I picked up a few fresh ears of corn from one of the local farm stands, but you could also use frozen corn if you have some of that kickin’ around. Corn and basil might sound like an odd combo, but they really work together. Corn has some of the same sweet flavor components that make tomatoes such a good partner to basil.

If you do use fresh corn, make sure you use the bowl trick to help you get the kernels off easily. Just place a small ramekin or bowl upside down in the bottom of a large mixing bowl. Place the shucked ear of corn on the small bowl and use a knife to slice off the kernels. Works perfectly and with no mess!

Corn

Enjoy!

Fresh Corn and Basil Salad

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Fresh Corn and Basil Salad

This simple side dish takes the best flavors of summer and mixes them into one beautiful, flavorful salad that is perfect for picnics and potlucks. Lightly adapted from Ina Garten.

Ingredients

  • 4 large ears corn, shucked
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 cup packed basil leaves, chiffonade
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Blanch corn in a large pot of salted water for about two minutes, or until the kernels turn bright in color. Drain from cooking water and place in ice bath to stop cooking.
  2. When corn is cool enough to handle, cut off the kernels with a sharp knife.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the corn, onion, and basil. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper. Pour over the corn mixture and toss to coat. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
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Pumpkin Spice Buttermilk Biscuits + $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway

173

Posted on Sep 8, 2014 in Food

Pumpkin Spice Buttermilk Biscuits

Now that it’s September, you guys won’t mind if I start unloading all kinds of fall recipes now, will you? I hope not, because even though we’ve had the hottest week of the summer this past week (phew), I’m seriously jonesin’ for some scarves, boots, and a pumpkin-flavored goodie or two. So please don’t mind me if I jump on the cool-weather train a bit early this year—I’ve held out as long as I can.
Pumpkin Spice Buttermilk Biscuits
I’ve talked about it before here (actually, multiple times), but it’s worth repeating—biscuit-making is a rite of passage in my family. Us kids spent our Sunday mornings with stools pulled up to the kitchen counter patiently watching as my Dad made his world famous biscuits. And then we’d steal the scraps of leftover biscuit dough. Because, yum. And then, one day, Dad would finally invite you to the other side of the counter and show you the tricks to making the fluffiest, most delicious biscuits on the planet. That’s how you knew you were growing up. You were old enough to learn how to make biscuits.
Pumpkin Spice Buttermilk Biscuits
I still love a good ol’ regular buttermilk biscuit (preferably smothered with my Mama’s sausage gravy), but I’ve also had a lot of fun over the past few years playing with interesting mix-ins and flavor combinations. It’s hard to beat a perfectly-crafted classic buttermilk biscuit, but man, this slightly-sweet pumpkin spice version certainly gives it a run for its money.
Pumpkin Spice Buttermilk Biscuits
These biscuits are just a touch sweet, but not so sweet you couldn’t serve them with dinner. In fact, I think these might have to become my go-to bread for Thanksgiving dinner. Southern Indiana is right smack on the dinner roll/dinner biscuit regional divide, and we usually fall to the dinner roll side for Thanksgiving dinner, but these biscuits might make us switch teams. Especially when they are hot out of the oven, and spread with just a touch of melty, rich butter.
Pumpkin Spice Buttermilk Biscuits
Whenever we served biscuits solo growing up, there was always a smorgasbord of spreadable condiments to adorn the biscuits. We had numerous jams (usually at least cherry and strawberry made from the crops of the summer before), apple butter, pumpkin butter, and honey. And as much as I loved all those delicious toppings, I always stuck with just a nice smear of salted butter. It was just rich and creamy enough to complement the flaky biscuit without overpowering the flavor. Honestly, these biscuits are tender enough to be eaten naked, but a little bit of butter takes them from delicious to out-of-this-world!
Pumpkin Spice Buttermilk Biscuits
I’ve always struggled with finding a spreadable butter product that I liked. Most of them are packed with so many preservatives and additives that it felt like I was reading a novel when I skimmed over the ingredients list. And as much as I enjoy cooking with butter, we all know the toast-destroying capability of butter straight from the fridge. That’s why I was really eager to try LAND O LAKES® Butter with Canola Oil. I was happy to find out it only has three ingredients—sweet cream, canola oil and salt. That’s an ingredient list I can get behind! And it was spreadable and delicious right from the fridge, perfect for topping biscuits.
Pumpkin Spice Buttermilk Biscuits
I’m really happy to know that there is a good-quality spreadable butter product on the shelves with recognizable ingredients that is available to everyone—no need to run to a specialty grocery store. That means more folks get access to better-for-them food, and that’s always a good thing in my book. Happy (early) fall, friends! Enjoy.

Pumpkin Spice Buttermilk Biscuits

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 12 biscuits

Pumpkin Spice Buttermilk Biscuits

These slightly-sweet biscuits are a perfect substitute for a dinner roll on your Thanksgiving table!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for kneading)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup chilled butter, cut into 1/2" chunks
  • 1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (about 1-15 ounce can)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg until well-mixed.
  2. Using a pastry blender, two forks, or your fingers, work the butter into the dry ingredients until the butter pieces are a touch smaller than a pea.
  3. In small bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, buttermilk and vanilla.
  4. Gently stir in the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients, being careful not to over mix. The mixture will (and should!) be very sticky and liquidy—about the texture of a thick cake batter.
  5. Heavily flour a work surface, and dump the dough onto the flour. Flour the top of the dough well, and then pat out until 1/2-inch thick. Fold the dough in half horizontally, then pat down again until 1/2-inch thick, adding more flour to cover sticky parts if necessary. Fold the dough in half vertically, then pat down again until 1/2-inch thick. Repeat this process 5-6 more times (this is creating the delicious, delectable layers that make the final biscuit so awesome).
  6. Flour a circle biscuit cutter or a drinking glass, and press straight down to cut the biscuit. Do not twist the cutter! Twisting “seals” the sides of the biscuit and stops it from rising. Just push straight down and bring the cutter straight up. Try to get as many biscuits out of this first cutting as possible, because when you re-gather the scraps, those won’t rise as nicely as the first go ‘round.
  7. Transfer the biscuit rounds to an ungreased baking sheet, and bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
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    Pumpkin Spice Buttermilk Biscuits

Giveaway

Land O’Lakes and BlogHer want to help you #SpreadTheLove with some cash to spend on fall-flavored goodies! Just answer the question below to get entered in a drawing to win a $100 Visa® gift card!

What is your favorite part of Fall?

Sweepstakes Rules: No duplicate comments. You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected. The Official Rules are available here. This sweepstakes runs from 9/5 -10/4/2014. Be sure to visit the LAND O LAKES® Butter with Canola Oil brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

Caprese Salsa

7

Posted on Sep 4, 2014 in Food

Caprese Salsa

Caprese Salsa
I have a theory about gardening and cooking: things that grow well together go well together. I thinking being a gardener makes cooking so much easier, not only because there is a constant supply of fresh fruits and veggies on hand, but also because to make a delicious dish, all you have to do is take whatever is coming off in that moment and put it together—chances are, you’ll end up with something delicious. I rarely follow recipes in the summer. I mostly just throw everything I’ve harvested from the garden into a skillet and hope for the best!

Tomatoes

I don’t know for sure if the fact that food flavor combinations tend to grow well together is nature or nurture, but I have a feeling nature has something to do with it. How else could you explain that some of the best flavor combinations also happen to be some of the best companion plantings? Us organic gardeners live and die by companion planting—planting certain plants near others to help fight bad bugs and diseases—and some of the most classic flavor combos can be traced back to companion planting. Dill planted with cucumbers helps make the cukes sweeter and helps fight off cucumber beetles (and makes for delicious pickles and tzatziki sauce). Peas and early potatoes thrive planted together and they also happen to make one of my favorite springtime side dishes when fried up in a little butter. And, maybe the most common of the companion planting combos, tomatoes and basil are made to grow together and be eaten together. Basil improves the flavor of tomatoes and helps them grow big and strong. And it means that when your tomatoes start to come off, you’ll also have plenty of big, green leaves of fresh basil to make all kinds of Italian wonders in the kitchen.

Caprese Salsa

I stopped counting our basil plants a few years back—but we have a lot. We usually start at least 30 seedlings of basil in the winter, and try to plant one basil plant with every tomato plant. Which means we will never, ever run out of pesto in this house. And we pretty much put the stuff in every single meal during summer. Margherita pizza, fresh spaghetti sauce, egg sandwiches, sorbet, tomato soup. The newest addition to our repertoire of basil recipes—this caprese salsa.

Caprese Salsa

This dip is a fun fusion of Italian flavors and a Mexican method. I dipped whole grain pita chips in the salsa, but you could also use this topping on bruschetta. Just put it on some garlic-rubbed slices of crusty bread, and then pop it under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese starts to melt and the topping is warm. Yum!

Enjoy.

Caprese Salsa

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Caprese Salsa

This Italian twist on salsa is great served with whole grain pita chips or as a topping for bruschetta!

Ingredients

  • 4 cups chopped tomatoes (about 10 romas)
  • 1 cup packed basil leaves, minced
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Pita chips, for serving

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients, except the pita chips, together in a large bowl. Toss to combine.
  2. Serve with pita chips for dipping.
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Caprese Salsa

Coconut Granola No Bake Cookies

1

Posted on Sep 3, 2014 in Food

I’m not a very good baker.

There is something very scientific about baking. It’s about chemical reactions and precise measurements, and that’s just not the way my brain works. In fact, when I first started recipe development, it took me a good year to get used to actually measuring ingredients so I could make note of amounts.

While baking does have a creative aspect to it, I find cooking to be a much more artistic way of expressing myself with food. That’s why you don’t see a whole lot of baking recipes around here. And when I do post a baking recipe, I’ve tested it approximately 5,000 times to make sure all the measurements are right. I’m just not very confident when it comes to the oven.

Coconut Granola No Bake Cookies

That’s one of the reasons that no-bake cookies are one of my favorite cookies on the planet. No needing to worry about if you put in too much baking soda or not enough flour. No-bakes pretty much turn out perfectly every single time. And, considering we’re going through a heatwave right now and baking heats up our house better than our furnace does, I’m a big fan of not turning on the oven.

The traditional no-bake cookie is a chocolate-oat-peanut butter combo that is hard to improve upon, but I went a little bit rogue with this version and used coconut, peanut butter, and this awesome protein-packed granola from Nature Valley™.

Coconut Granola No Bake Cookies

I’m a big believer that there is plenty of room in a healthy lifestyle to eat a treat every now and again, but I also believe that if you have the opportunity to make something a little bit better for you—you might as well take every chance you can get. I liked the idea that with these cookies, not only are you getting a delicious after-dinner treat, but you’re also getting a boost of protein and healthy fiber from the granola. 1/2 cup Nature Valley™ Protein Granola provides 10 grams of protein and 22-26 grams of whole grain per serving.  Considering the recommended daily allowance of whole grain is 48 grams—you can be well on your way to meeting that goal just with one serving of this granola for breakfast!

We’ve been eating this granola on top of some massive yogurt bowls (usually with coconut milk yogurt, fresh peaches, and chia seeds). And I also may have snuck a bowl or two to eat as a midnight snack. I really like the fact that it’s a quick and easy way to get some protein—without having to cook up a steak at 3am. My only wish is that the granola itself was a bit lower in sugar. I’d much prefer to be able to have a less sweet granola, and then add my own sweetener (like honey or maple syrup) when I use it so I can control the sweetness. That isn’t a problem when you’re making cookies, though!

Coconut Granola No Bake Cookies

I’m not the only one that thought of cooking with granola. Nature Valley™ has a great section of recipes that all focus on cooking with granola. Many of them are using granola in ways I never thought of (like Granola Crusted Salmon).

Enjoy!

Coconut Granola No Bake Cookies

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 3 dozen cookies

Coconut Granola No Bake Cookies

These easy no bake cookies are packed full of coconut, peanut butter flavor and have an added crunch of granola!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 4 cups Nature Valley™ Protein Granola
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan over high heat, mix together the sugar, coconut milk, and coconut oil. Bring to a rolling boil, and let boil for 90 seconds. Add in the vanilla, salt, and peanut butter. Stir until well-mixed. Remove from heat.
  2. Fold in the granola and coconut and stir until well incorporated.
  3. Drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto waxed paper and let cool and solidify before storing. To speed up setting up, place in fridge or freezer.
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Cuban Slaw

7

Posted on Aug 29, 2014 in Food

Cuban Slaw

Cuban Slaw

Do you share recipes in your family? I come from a pretty large family (I have three older siblings, and we are all married and have kids), and we’re all big fans of cooking and eating. And whenever we land on a delicious recipe, it normally ends up spreading through the family like wildfire. There are so many dishes in my recipe binder that come from my sisters’ and my Mama’s kitchens (and quite a few from my grandmother who passed away a few years ago).

The sharing of family recipes is how I came into this Cuban Slaw recipe. It originally comes from the kitchen of my sister-in-law, who is a spectacular vegetarian cook (and has the most incredible cookbook collection I’ve ever seen). And she passed it along to my Mama, who told me it was an absolute must try. Slaw recipes tend to be ho-hum, but there is something really incredible about this combination. It’s such a simple recipe, but the flavor is anything but simple.

Cuban Slaw

This slaw works as a side dish, but it really shines when you use it like a condiment. We ate it on top of chipotle-lime chicken thighs, and then the next night on top of burgers. I’d also imagine it would make one heck of a delicious filling for fish tacos (make some and then invite me over, k?). And the next time I make pulled barbecue, I’m going to whip up a batch of this slaw to go on top of the sandwiches.

Cuban Slaw

Of course, I couldn’t exactly follow the recipe from my sister-in-law’s kitchen. I’ve never met a recipe I could follow to a “T”. I did some tweaking to suit our tastes—adding a touch of sweetness to the dressing in the form of honey, and subbing out the white vinegar the recipe calls for for unfiltered apple cider vinegar (which is so delicious and so super-duper good for you). The original recipe also calls for 1-2 jalapeños, and I found that even one seeded jalapeño was a bit too spicy for our mild-loving taste buds. But that’s because we’re totally wimps when it comes to spiciness! I imagine for most folks, 1-2 peppers would be the perfect amount of kick.

I love that this recipe is both oil- and mayo-free. So often slaw is drowning in oily dressing, but this vinegar-based dressing is light and healthy—it really let’s the flavor of the veggies shine through. And it keeps this side dish a light option for the late, crazy hot days of summer.

Cuban Slaw

You could definitely spend some time doctoring up this recipe more, but I recommend trying it straight-up first—you’ll be surprised by how intense and layered the flavors of this slaw are. Just make sure you don’t ignore the chilling time, it’s really important to get the flavors to meld!

I love simple recipes that don’t taste simple. Enjoy!

Cuban Slaw

Total Time: 3 hours, 10 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Cuban Slaw

This super healthy, bright and colorful slaw is both oil- and mayo-free! But it's packed with layered, intense flavor.

Ingredients

  • 1 large head red cabbage, shredded
  • 1-2 jalapeño peppers, finely minced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 1/4 cup finely minced cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Toss together the cabbage, jalapeño, carrots and cilantro in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together the salt, oregano, vinegar and maple syrup. Pour dressing over cabbage mixture, toss to coat.
  3. Chill for at least three hours before serving, preferably overnight.
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