Hi all, hope you had a lovely weekend. I can’t believe its over again. My weekend has been very quiet. Plans with friends were cancelled twice, so I decided to stay home and get a few things done that I have been wanting to do. So I spent most of the weekend cleaning up my house while mum has been away.
Beside spending an exiting weekend doing housework, I got a chance to start reading my two new books that arrived this week! Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Kitchen and Crazy Sexy Diet!! I first saw Kris on the Hungry for Change documentary. If you haven’t heard of her before, she was an actress and photographer in New York that got the wake up call of her life, when she was diagnosed with a rare cancer incurable cancer back in 2003. Since then she has become a survived cancer and a wellness activist.
I haven’t seen her original documentary, but I have been following her on her website for a while. I finally subscribed to her website last week and got a sample copy of both her books (below). I was so enthralled by them that I had to find out more. Luckily I only had to wait a few business days for their arrival. I haven’t been able to put Crazy Sexy Diet down. If you curious I recommend subscribing to get a sneak peak inside. You will also get to see inside her Crazy Sexy Kitchen recipe book as well and get a copy of a few of the recipes. The recipes are beautiful and really healthy, but at the same time something that I think omnivores would also find appealing.
Other important development this weekend was that I finally tried out my Vegg. This is a vegan 100% plant based egg yolk replacer, which I bought ages ago and left it in the back of my pantry. When you scroll down later you will see how I could forget about it. I ended up making a vegan quiche with leeks, mushroom and roasted capsicum. It wasn’t exactly a successful quiche. My wholemeal spelt crust didn’t work out and the moisture from the roasted capsicum let out too much moisture, so not even my puff pastry would crisp up. With a splitting headache, it was just a bad night all round. I tried to salvage what I could and below is what we ended up with, which looks deceivingly good. But actually it was not set at all. It wasn’t the fault of the Vegg, it was mine for trying something new without consulting a recipe. Anyway back to the Vegg, I can’t believe how much it smelt like fresh egg yolk. Marco also was amazed by it. When I combined it with soft tofu and became like an omelette batter and heated it was like scrambled eggs. The only difference is that it wasn’t rubber like an egg, it was much softer. I really want to try making a traditional Spanish omelette when I get some more tofu. Fingers crossed I have better luck.
I have been really trying to eat more sprouts. They are so healthy and nutritious that I don’t know how I lived so long without them. Marco wasn’t a fan, but slowly I have managed to increase his intake of spouts, that he now doesn’t mind them. I juice them, put them in smoothies and add them to salads and sandwiches. I have yet to try and spout anything yet. So when I saw this Seed Sprouter Kit at Aldi for $7 I had to get it! I assembled it this yesterday, so not sure how many days it will take, but don’t have to water it for another 2 more days. Do you know if you can sprout anything else in something like this? Next I think I will try sprouting chia seeds. I have never tried them but apparently it can be done.
So what I spend the bulk of my weekend doing was doing the washing, cleaning my computer room, tidying my bed room (a little) and arranging the pantry and other food storage areas. This is something I have been wanting to do a lot long then I like to admit. I think I must of been a horder in another life, because I get so overwhelmed with clutter and I don’t like to throw anything out. But after I chuck out the junk I actually feel really good.
As you can see from my pantry we have a little to much food. My mum likes to bulk up on anything from Aldi and stuff for the home stay students and I just keep buying new ingredients, use them once them chuck them at the back of the pantry. You have to be really careful when you open my pantry that something might jump out at you. Most of this stuff doesn’t include my secret stash of super foods and other vegan ingredients. I have been storing things in my desk and a travelling cardboard box, since there was just no more room in here.
So first things first I took everything out and started looking at the Expiry dates. To help me to figure out what needed to go and what could survive a bit longer I used this helpful website, Eat by Date. It really helps for ingredients that don’t have an expiry or its rubbed off. Then I cleaned out the shelves and started grouping things together. I even got Marco involved by cleaning off the stickers from empty flour containers, so I could store legumes. I would love to have one of those kitchens with large mason jars filled with all my beans and flours, but besides the fact that it would cost my a lot, it just wouldn’t fit. I managed to fit most of my open packets of legumes and grains in a container which can be easily taken out and looked through. The same was done with the nuts. Mum’s snacks are all on the top to keep her away from them, and her nuts are up front and center. All the flours and sugars have been grouped together by type and put into tupperware containers, so its easier to know what’s inside them before opening. All the half open pastas and rices are also easy to access, so they can get used before full packets are opened. All the everyday ingredients are now more easier to access and keep track of. I hope my mum is happy when she sees this. I’m already pretty strict in the kitchen so now I will be more so. If anyone messes my new system up…
Another problem area was this other small pantry. I can’t believe how much tea we have. I’m not a big tea drinker and neither is my mum, but we have just about any tea you can image in here. Herbal blends, Japanese, Chinese, British… I only usually come to this pantry for one thing, the can opener. I’m not very tall and its a real bitch trying to get that thing down. Even though I have a step ladder now, Its still very awkward getting it out. So that had to come down and empty containers went up. Notice the cookies have been put to the back. Mum is also dairy free, but she doesn’t keep to the strict diet rules I do, even though I’m always telling her off. Hopefully she won’t realise they are here.
Lastly and the place I have been dreading the most, the Spice draw. I have at least two of everything in here, yet I can find nothing. I’m always rummaging through and trying to fit it all in so it will close. I have to admit, I think this draw is mostly my doing. The students do always dump their instant noodle sauces in here, but they don’t use anything else. Plus some of this stuff is from the 2000’s. A while ago I got rid of the stuff from the 1990s, so it wasn’t too bad at least.
When I started taking everything out I got a nasty little surprise. This tiny bit of vanilla extract that I have been saving had gone all through the draw. It was so sticky. Luckily I didn’t find any critters in here. I had to take out the draw apart and give it a good clean, as well as clean a lot of the containers and plastic bags. It was well worth it though. Look how great it looks now. These aren’t all my herbs and spices, but the stuff I don’t use as often. To get rid of the abundance of plastic little bags I emptied them into these old little spice jars I had, that were part of a set. I have been saving them for a while to do this. I just made little labels with pen, paper and sticky tape. Unfortunately I didn’t get rid of all the plastic bags, but most of them are gone.
While cleaning out my spice draw. I decided to finally try making nut butter with almonds. It was so easy. Just a matter of roasting them for 6 minutes then letting the processor do all the work. It came out so beautiful and creamy. But I still decided to flavor it with some sea salt and maple syrup. I think I should of perhaps of mixed this in by hand after. As the nut butter dried out a little, a bit like when you buy it and its all oily at the top and the bottom is dry harder to spread.
So I ended up making cookies and bliss balls with the almond butter. Although I made them small they area really filling, since they are only really made of nuts. These are vegan, gluten free, soy free, sugar free and so easy to make.
3 Ingredient Salty Maple Almond Butter: 3 ways (vegan, gluten free, soy free)
1.5 cup whole almonds
2 pinches of sea salt
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
First make the Salty Maple Almond Butter:
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
2. Roast the whole Almonds for 6 minutes.
3. Place the almonds in the food processor and process. I first used the larger bowl to break down the almonds into a mead, which should take a few minutes. Then I put them in the smaller bowl for the next 10 minutes to break down further into an almond butter.
4. Once you have the desired consistency of the almond butter, add a couple of pinches of sea salt and 1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup. If it becomes too dry add a couple of tablespoons of water.
*Makes 3/4 cup of Almond butter
To make Salty Maple Almond Bliss Balls:
1. With clean damp hands roll the almond butter into small balls and place on a tray.
2. Place the try in the freezer for at 15 minutes, so that they firm up. Then serve.
*Makes 16 balls
To make Salty Maple Almond Cookies:
2. With clean damp hands roll the almond butter into small balls and place on a tray.
3. Press lightly on the balls with a teaspoon to flatten them a little.
4. Bake for 5-6 minutes.
5. Immediately place them on a drying rack. If the spaces are too big on the rack then place some baking paper on top of the rack.
6. Let the cookies cool for 10 minutes so that they firm up a little, then serve.