Kitchen Party!

There are simple steps you can do to make your kitchen less trashy and many of them are in the shopping post (shop in bulk, reuse containers). We have a lovely elastic band collection from produce. When it gets too unruly, I take some of it into work so we don’t have to buy new elastic bands there. I think there are enough elastic bands, twist ties and plastic bags in the world that we really don’t have to make any more and could get by for years reusing the ones that are out there. If you do manage to avoid having a plastic bag collection and need to buy some, there are biodegradable plastic bags made out of corn. You can buy them at Canadian Tire.

Now comes the fun part. Food! mmmmmmmm (drool). There are some things we really like to eat, that always seem to come in packaging, so we have learned how to make them.

Crackers

(Kyle won’t eat soup without them)

Crackers Recipes

Ingredients:
4 cups flour
1 cup butter (or margarine)
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vinegar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Work the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter or fork. Next, stir the vinegar, baking soda, and salt into the milk, and add this to the butter-flour mixture.

Form the dough into a ball. Roll out very thin. Lightly score the dough in the size of the cracker you desire. (I’ve come up with an easy way to do this. I roll out the dough directly onto a flat baking sheet. Next, placing a ruler on the dough, I perforate the dough along the side of the ruler with a fork. Sometimes I make squares, sometimes diamonds. I think you could cut out the crackers with cookie cutters for special occasions, but you will have a lot of waste unless you gather up the fragments and re-roll and re-cut them.)

Now bake the crackers at 375 degrees F for about 10 to 15 minutes or until crisp. The crackers should not get too brown, just a sprinkling of brown on top.

Oat Crakers
www.boutell.com/vegetarian/crackers.html
Ingredients:
2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup cold margarine cut into bits
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons rice milk
Method:
Preheat oven to 375 F and butter 2 large baking sheets.

Chop oats in food processor until fine. Add flour, salt, baking powder, and margarine and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Add rice milk and pulse until a dough just forms.

Roll out the dough to 1/8 inch thick and cut 1 1/2 inch crackers. Bake 12 minutes (until the crackers brown a little around the edges). Cool on wire rack.

***I used butter instead of margarine because the margarine we have is soy based and I can’t eat it now! Now that I know how easy it is to make oat flour, I won’t buy it anymore. Oh also after making the oats into flour, I took it out of the blender and did everything else by hand.
Gluten-Free Diet: GF Recipes: Sunflower Soda Crackers
Ingredients
3/4 c white rice flour
1/4 t GF baking powder
1/4 c milo flour
1/4 c butter, cold
1 c small curd cottage cheese
1/4 c shelled sunflower seeds
pinch of xanthan gum
1/4 t salt
Directions
In a food processor, mix the rice, milo flour, sunflower seeds, salt and soda until sunflower seeds are finely chopped. Cut butter into several pieces and add to the dry mixture. Add the small curd cottage cheese. Process until combined, but do not over process. The small bits of butter and cottage cheese create flaky layers during baking. Roll into a log shape and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Divide dough into fourths. Roll into logs about 3/4-inch in diameter. Slice off rounds about 3/8-inch thick and place on a cookie sheet. Using slightly wet hands, shape to make flat rounds, prick with a fork, top with some salt or other seasoning. Bake 325 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned on the edges. After all of the crackers are baked, turn off the oven and let them dry out slowly for a half hour or so. Cool. Store in a tight container or freeze.


Soup stock

Save onion skins and ends, garlic ends, veggie peels etc. in a bag in the freezer. Once full, empty it into a big pot full of water, add some salt and boil the heck out of it. Once it’s mushy, strain, squishing the veggies with a fork (or a potato masher) to get all the liquid out. That’s it-now you can make soup ( or put the stock in the freezer for future use)!


Tortillias

(from Diana’s kitchen)

Flour Tortillas
Serving Size : 12

  • 4 cups Unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 4 teaspoons Baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons Vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups Warm water or more if needed

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt and baking powder. With a pastry blender, a fork or your hands, gradually work in the lard or shortening until it is all incorporated. Add enough warm water to make a soft but not sticky dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead for 5 minutes.
Divide the dough into 1/4 cup (3 oz) portions and form them into balls.
Roll each ball into a flat round about 6 inches in diameter and 1/8 inches thick.
Heat a large heavy skillet over medium high heat. Place the tortillas one at a time into the dry hot skillet; cook until lightly brown on one side, then turn and lightly brown the other side.
Remove from the skillet and keep warm in cloth towel.
Source: Southwest cookbook

These are quite difficult to make and I’m not very good at it, but Kyle used to be a pastry chef and he told me the secret tortilla success:don’t over cook them and put them in a sealed plastic bag as soon as they have cooled.


Rice/ Almond milk

Rice Milk
Ingredients :

* 4 cups hot/warm water
* 1 cup cooked rice (I’ve used white or brown)
* 1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Let the milk set for about 30 minutes, then strain it into a container. You can eat the mushy leftovers for breakfast.

For really creamy rice milk with little to strain out, re-cook the rice with part of the water until it’s very soft. You can add salt and sweetner at this point so they dissolve more easily; if you’re using flavorings, add them now to evaporate the alcohol they contain. Put the mushy cooked rice through the blender, food processor, or even a Champion juicer (this makes the smoothest milk), then thin with water and strain. I always add a handful of almonds to my rice milk for flavour and protein.

Or you can just make almond milk:

Soak a handful of almonds in about 3/4 of a blender full of water for an hour. Blend. Strain if you want to. Add vanilla or cinnamon if you want to.

It’s a good idea to have snacks with you when you go somewhere- cut up fruit or veggies and put them in a container, or make some not-so-healthy-but-very-delicious treats, like:

Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup peanut butter 1 cup sugar 2 eggs (or egg replacer)

Bake at 350 C for about 10 minutes. Sometimes I add nuts, raisins or chocolate chips. Cinnamon is nice too.

Pumpkin Brownies

1 cup pumpkin purée, canned or cooked
1-1/4 C whole wheat flour
1 C brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 C buttermilk
1/4 C vegetable oil such as canola
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs, well beaten (further reduce fat & cholesterol by substituting 1 egg + 1 egg white, or 1/2 cup Egg Beaters® egg substitute )
1/2 C walnuts, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Coat a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with vegetable spray.

Combine all ingredients and beat well.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Cool on a wire rack; cut into bars.

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4 Comments

Filed under recipes, tips

4 responses to “Kitchen Party!

  1. Hey Sarah!

    Good job to both of you for doing this! I just have to say Thank You for the recipes … my fiance and I have tortillas all the time, so now I’ll have to try that recipe!

    Good luck!

    Kristilyn

  2. Anna

    Dear Sarah,
    I started my garbage free week. Already I have garbage, but you can read about it on my livejournal anyway.

    Nature’s Best has those bio bags – you can get one for 25 cents with your groceries. I got one last night (I’d forgotten to bring a tote bag) and they’re really sturdy! I thought it might dissolve on the way home because it was snowing, but I guess it doesn’t biodegrade that fast. Anyway, I used it to line my compost pail, so when that’s full the whole thing will go in the composter.

  3. Pingback: vegan chocolate gem bites « Radical Muffin

  4. Pingback: You Cracker! « Say No to Trash

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