Vegan Hot Chocolate

 

Vegan Hot ChocolateEating a vegan diet is both the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, and an associated philosophy that rejects the treatment of farming animals for food.

Being a vegan is clearly more of a lifestyle choice and a philosophy than a diet, writes Christian at Medical News Today.  He also writes that the vegans lifestyle doesn’t use animal based products for clothing as well.

The magazine “Food Technology” published (October 2012) explaining that plant-based diet can either minimize or completely eliminate people’s genetic propensity to developing chronic diseases, such as diabetes type II, cardiovascular disease, and cancer (Science Daily).

Most who profess to be vegan do not eat honey at all. Though some may, as Sophia explains at Sophia Gubb’s Blog, stating, “As for the ethics of being a vegan who eats honey, I see it as somewhere between eating animals and eating plants. At times, I’m even unsure whether the harm to plants might be more intolerable. Bees, like plants, have short life cycles, making the death of a bee less tragic than the death of a long lived animal. I also get the feeling that the worker bees are made to be more expendable somehow than most animals are. They often die when attacking to defend their hive.”

To enjoy a delicious beverage that is vegan, doesn’t mean you have a practice the lifestyle, but rather just enjoy the flavorful ingredients that are simple and easy to purchase at your local market in the organic section.

Now for our featured beverage recipe – Vegan Hot Chocolate – and here is what you will need.

socking cashews in water1/4 cup raw cashews – soak overnight in fresh water
1 3/4 cup coconut milk
1 1/2 tablespoons raw cacao brew (or cacao powder)
1 tablespoon raw honey
1 teaspoon vanilla

ingredients for Vegan Hot ChocolateWe used Nog coconut milk by SO Delicious with added cane sugar and nutmeg, as well as an organic raw honey with cinnamon. If you use the cacao brew, you will need to strain the hot chocolate, as cacao brew is grainy just like ground coffee beans.

adding raw honey

Place everything in a blender (we used our Nutri-Bullet), and blend thoroughly.

adding blended liquid to sauce potAdd to a small sauce pot bring to a boil around 165 degrees. Set aside to brew for 5 minutes, with a lid on the pot. Drain through a strainer (if using cacao brew).

Vegan Hot Chocolate - image 2Makes about 2 six ounce cups of hot chocolate. Enjoy the flavors and taste of Vegan Hot Chocolate.

Archaeologists discovered that cacao has been around for 3,500 years or possibly longer. The culture accredited with growing and harvesting cacao is the Olmec civilization dating back between 1500 B.C and 400 B.C.

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Toasted Coconut Banana Pudding

Toasted Coconut Banana Pudding - Top View

Our pudding is referred to as “Toasted Coconut,” because it has that appearance of being toasted as we used coconut sugar. Coconut sugar is like brown sugar in appearance, but doesn’t have the same effect on blood glucose in the blood stream. In other words, it does not spike your sugar levels.

The Glycemic Index of coconut sugar is 35 as reported by the Philippine Coconut Authority, the largest supplier of coconut sugar along with Indonesia. 35 is classified as a low glycemic food.

Coconut sugar has many natural occurring nutrients, including magnessium, potassium, zinc, iron, B vitamins, and amino acids. Because it is unprocessed, the nutrient content is intact, unlike refined white table sugar.

Coconut sugar is actually more sustainable than sugar cane. The coconut palm tree produces up to 75% more sugar per acre than cane sugar, while only using 20% of the resources.

Now for the featured recipe: Toasted Coconut Banana Pudding, and here is what you will need.

1/2 cup organic coconut sugar

1/3 cup organic arrowroot starch

1/2 teaspoon organic Himalayan salt

3 cups silk Coconut milk (or your preferred organic brand)

3 tablespoons organic coconut butter

1 teaspon organic vanilla extract

About 30 to 40 organic vanilla wafers

3 ripe organic bananas

Toasted organic coconut for garnish (optional)

Organic heavy cream, whipped for topping (optional)

mixing ingredients in sauce pan to make Toased Coconut Banana Pudding

Whisk together coconut sugar, starch and salt in a medium saucepan.

Slowly whisk in coconut milk, oil, and vanilla. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly.

Lower heat and simmer whisking occasionally until mixture thickens, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

layering sliced bananas and vanilla cookiesTo assemble spread a layer of vanilla wafers in a 9 X 9 inch square baking dish, or a 9-inch round baking dish (your choice) top with half of the banana slices and half of the pudding.

Continue with another layer of vanilla wafers followed by remaining bananas and ending with remaining pudding, spreading to cover all banana slices.

Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 to 5 hours or overnight.

Toasted Coconut Banana Pudding - Side ViewTo serve, line a dessert glass or small dessert bowl with some vanilla cookies, and top with fresh organic whipped cream and toasted coconut.

This is a gluten free and all organic dessert. Enjoy!!

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Breaded Coconut French Toast

Breaded Coconut French Toast

The night before the plan was to have french toast the next morning with slices of sourdough and real maple syrup. The next morning the plan was followed through, but first a cup of coffee was enjoyed and a little of the Today Show.

For their recipe segment, they had featured taking restaurant favorites and making them healthier eating. They took the “Chicken Nuggets” recipe you buy at McDonald’s and made it into a healthier choice, “Coconut Breaded Chicken Nuggets.” Seeing that had given inspiration on how the planned breakfast that included french toast was going to be prepared.

Therefore our featured recipe: Breaded Coconut French Toast, and here is what you will need.

Keep in mind this recipe is not just great for breakfast, but can also be included as an item on your Sunday Brunch Menu.

The amounts of each ingredient will depend on how many you are serving.

1/4 cup coconut butter, divided

2 large eggs

1/2 cup coconut milk

4 slices of sourdough bread

1 cup dried shredded coconut

Real Maple Syrup

melting coconut butterIn a pie plate mix the eggs and coconut milk. In a separate pie plate add the dried coconut. Next heat a medium sized ceramic coated pan over medium-heat. Add some coconut butter and let melt.

dipping slice of sourdough in egg-coconut milk batterNext take a slice of the bread and liberally dip it into egg-coconut milk batter coating both sides. Next coat both sides with the dried coconut.

cooking slice of coconut breaded french toastNext add the breaded coconut slice of bread into the heated pan. After about a minute and a half turn slice of bread and continue cooking.

Breaded Coconut French ToastWhen all slices of bread are coated and cooked, plate, pour on real maple syrup, top with more dried coconut, and enjoy your Breaded Coconut French Toast for breakfast or brunch.

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Green Curry Chicken

Green Curry Chicken

Most curry dishes use a curry paste which is a pureed blend of beautiful smelling or aromatic spices, herbs, and vegetables. It is widely used as an ingredient in the cuisines of many cultures to make curries, stews, and other dishes. Most of the time though, Indian food comes to mind when you talk about curry. There are many different types of curry pastes, and each country’s blend has a distinct flavor.

The common spices used are cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, coriander, cardamon, cumin, fenugreek, fennel, ginger, garlic, lemongrass, and onion. The base ingredient to start a curry paste is turmeric, which makes a yellow curry. Red pepper is added to make a red curry, and cilantro is added to make a green curry paste.

Using all of these ingredients makes for a healthy meal. To learn more about the healthy side of these culinary spices link here – Spice and Herbs Benefits -.

Our featured recipe uses green curry, and here is what you will need.

1 lb. rice noodles, cooked

1 pound (1-inch) cubed chicken breast tenders

½ lb. cut green beans, steamed

2 cups tricolor pre-chopped bell pepper mix

Oils to Use for Healthy Cooking - avocado oil or coconut oil2 to 3 teaspoons green curry paste

1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk, divided

Cooking oil, avocado oil or coconut oil ————->

Steam green beans first, about 5 minutes, then remove steaming basket and use boiling water to cook rice noodles according to package directions. Set both aside when done. Rinse rice noodles when cooked.

 

Chicken cooking in coconut oil and green curry sauce - Green Curry ChickenHeat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking oil. Add chicken to pan and sauté 4 minutes or until chicken is lightly browned. Stir in curry paste and cook 1 minute more, stirring frequently.

Meat and Vegetable Mix for Green curry Chicken

Stir in 1 cup coconut milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 4 minutes or until chicken is done, stirring occasionally.

Stir in bell pepper mix, and remaining coconut milk. Cook 3 minutes or until peppers are tender. Add steamed green beans and mix in. Add ½ teaspoon of Himalayan salt (optional).

showing the details of the Meat and Vegetable Mix for Green curry ChickenThere are 3 rules to a good meal. Besides flavor and smell, can you SEE what else makes a good meal appealing? Leave a comment below to let us know if you can guess the third rule of a good meal.

Green Curry ChickenPlate the rice noodles and top with Green Curry Chicken. If you wish top that with cilantro or with fresh basil as we did here. If you find the rice noodles to sticky, just take a plate one serving at a time and run warm water over it. Shake it dry and plate it. Enjoy!!

 

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Berries and Vanilla Pudding Pie

Berries and Vanilla Pudding Pie

We would like to start off with saying we found this delectable pudding pie on Instagram. She like a food post of mine, and I went to check out her food creations and found her Strawberry Vanilla Pudding pie.

Her name is Andrea and you can find more great food photography and creations of her’s at  instagram.com/andrea_veganlicious. Thanks Andrea for sharing your recipe with us on Instagram.

Andrea used Dr. Oetker‘s Organic vanilla pudding and in place of milk she used almond milk. Here at Splendid Recipes and More we add blueberries, and used almond – coconut milk.

The organic brand of vanilla pudding we used, found at the Whole foods Market was “European Gourmet Organics Vanilla Pudding.”

Our featured recipe and here is what you will need:

simple ingredients for Berries and Vanilla Pudding Pie

1 3.5 ounce box Organics vanilla pudding (or your favorite organic brand)

1/4 of a medium organic banana, cut  into 5 1/2 inch slices

1/2 cup organic blueberries

8 medium sized organic strawberries

1 organic pie shell, baked

2 cups organic almond – coconut milk

Bake the pie shell according to package instructions. Usually it is in a preheated oven to 450 degrees for 10 – 12 minutes. Let cool.

Make the pudding according to package instructions. Replace the 2 cups of milk called for, with 2 cups of almond – coconut milk. Also the instructions say it is optional to use one egg yolk for a creamer pudding. We did add a organic egg yolk.

Pour the prepared pudding into the cooled pie shell and let set in refrigerator for the amount of time the pudding box instructions call for. The pudding we used said let set for 90 minutes in the refrigerator.

Slice strawberries in half, and place each slice, cut side down, around the out edge of the pie. Sprinkle the blueberries around the strawberries, and place the five slices of banana in the center in a circular motion. Top the bananas with a few blueberries.

Berries and Vanilla Pudding

Slice, plate and serve.

 

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Simple and Easy Beef Stir-Fry with Coconut Milk

Easy-and-Simple-Beef-Stir-Fry-with-Coconut-Milk

This stir fry really is simple and easy. This is another Asian meal right out of our kitchen here at Splendid Recipes and More.

When it comes to food there are always health benefits, that is if you are eating the food in a healthy way. This recipe includes red pepper flacks, and if you have a problem with your appetite, that is wanting to eat to much and possibly putting on a few extra pounds, red pepper flakes can help.

Adding 1/2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes three times a day to what you eat, you can cut down your appetite by 30%. Of course if you cut out simple carbohydrates (refined carbs) from your diet as well, and add complex carbs (100% whole grains, including the fiber), you can also suppress your appetite another 30 to 40 percent. Complex carbohydrates digest slower, leveling your blood glucose not spiking it, and giving you energy for longer periods as well as a full feeling for 3 to 4 hours.

A great snack between meals is a piece of fruit. But don’t add the red pepper flakes to your fruit, just to your breakfast, lunch and dinner. Speaking of dinner here is our featured recipe and what you will need:

ingredients-for-Simple-and-Easy-Beef-Stir-Fry-with-Coconut-Milk

1 lb. beef, cut into thin strips for stir fry cut

1 tbsp. Ginger, minced

1 tbsp. Garlic, minced

1 Large Onion, sliced lengthwise

1 Green Pepper, sliced lengthwise

1 tbsp. Red chili flakes

1 tbsp. Curry powder

1 14 oz. can Coconut Milk

 

Heat some avocado oil in a wok or large pan, and fry the beef on both sides. Add the following 6 ingredients and stir-fry some more till the beef is thoroughly cooked.

Add coconut milk; simmer on low heat for 10 -15 minutes more. Plate and serve with a side of rice.

Easy-and-Simple-Beef-Stir-Fry-with-Coconut-Milk

 

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Chicken Curry with Mango and Spinach Salad

Chicken Curry with Mango and Spinach Salad

 

This is one of my recipes I call a “Salad as a Main Course” because of the use of chicken mixed in with the leafy greens.

This is also a meal that can be done in about 30 minutes.

If you have never had a mango before it can be mind boggling as how to go about removing the flesh from the big seed in the middle.

removing the flesh from the seed of a Mango
Here is a 2 1/2 minute video from “mango.org” to demonstrate how to go about cutting up a Mango.

If you can’t find any good fresh mangoes you can buy them chopped and packaged in your frozen section of the market. Did you know Mangoes can prevent cancer, lowers bad cholesterol, clears the skin of any problems, eye health, even alkalizes the body.

Mangos can be used in a verity of recipes. Here is one such recipe of how we use the mango. Here is what you will need:

ingredients-for-Mango-Chicken-Salad

3 tbsp. avocado oil

4 tbsp. curry powder

4 boneless chicken breasts cut in cubes

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

½ red onion cut into julienne strips

14 fl. oz. coconut milk

2 ripe mangos cut in cubes

1 lb. baby spinach

3 oz. chopped cashews

red bell pepper cut into julienne strips

8 cherry tomatoes cut in half

Here’s a little information of coconuts:  For 1000’s of years the Asians have used the oil, water, meat and milk of a coconut to heal coughs, flu, ear aches, tooth aches, skin infections, constipation and much more. Curry is also great for lower inflammation in the body.

Chicken Curry Preparation

In a skillet, heat oil slightly and stir olive oil with curry powder for 4 minutes. Add chicken cubes and cook during 10 minutes at medium heat. Add garlic and mix well.

mixing-heated-olive-oil-with-curry

Next, add coconut milk mix in. Place lid over skillet and cook for 8 minutes more.

adding-coconut-milk-to-Mango-Chicken

Salad Preparation

 

Mix together the prepared fruit and vegetables: mango cubes, spinach, onion, cashews, red bell pepper and halved cherry tomatoes in a bowl; season with lemon juice and olive oil.

fresh-produce-ingredients-for-Mango-Wow look at those wonderful colors. Did you know the yellow mango is great for joint health, the red pepper is for heart health, and the green spinach is a great help for detoxing the body.

 

When are done mixing the salad ingredients, plate and spoon on some curried chicken and enjoy.

Chicken Curry with Mango and Spinach Salad...close up

 

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