Dairy-Free English Scones

As they are basically a combination between a biscuit and a scone, English scones are in a category all their own. These are unlike any scones I have ever made, they look similar to a biscuit and even have a comparable texture, yet they do not taste the same. The texture, of course, will depend on how much baking powder you use, basically a rule of thumb (for me at least) is that more baking powder means lighter bread. Some use only two teaspoons in this recipe, while others use four, I used four and was not disappointed. It may seem like a lot at first, but its really not. My theory is that those who use two teaspoons like flatter, firmer scones, while those who use four like their scones to be more like a biscuit. As I was making this I was curious to see if replacing whole milk with coconut milk would cause the scones to turn out differently. I was pleasantly surprised to conclude that no, they do not really turn out any different. If anything, the coconut milk gives them a lighter, feathery texture, while the whole milk version is thicker and more chewy. Speaking from experience, these are soft with a delicious crust on the top, and pair very well with fruit jams, jellies, and even syrups! Believe me, I’ve tried all three…..:P This is not only a healthy, naughtily delicious bread to make for yourself, it is also a very impressive treat to serve your friends!

Disclaimer: The addicting quality of English scones may cause gluttony, therefore causing longer hours on the treadmill, this causing hunger, which leads to an even higher level of scone consumption…..an endless cycle of madness! You have been warned! But don’t let that stop you!

The Ingredients: 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 4 tsp. baking powder, 6-8 tbsp. room temperature butter, 1 tsp. salt, 2/3 to 3/4 cup coconut milk, 1 egg, 2 additional tbsp. coconut milk.

Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add the sifted ingredients and the butter to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until there are no remaining chunks of butter, or until it has a sandy texture. Now add the mixture back into the mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and add 2/3 to 3/4 cup of coconut milk. Mix together gently with a fork or a rubber spatula. Just before the dough comes together, turn it out onto a floured surface and knead for one minute or until the dough forms a soft ball. Flatten the ball into a two to three inch thick disc. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Cut out the scones with a biscuit cutter, place on a greased baking sheet. Whisk together the remaining coconut milk and the egg. Using a pastry brush, brush the mixture onto each scone (there will most likely be some of the egg-milk mixture left over) Bake for about fifteen minutes, the scones are done when they are golden brown on top and soft, but no longer doughy in the center.

I will not look at the pictures, I will not look…at…the….pictures….Oh…I give up! The very sight of these scones causes uncontrollable mouth-watering desire! P.S. You can stuff the centers with Craisins if you want to!;)

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Skinny Broccoli Cheese Soup

Ahhhh….soup, good in spring, summer, fall, and winter. Especially in fall and winter. However, when you are short on time and hungry for comfort food, this is the recipe for you. Skinny Broccoli Cheese Soup is a healthier option than the typical broccoli cheese soups that are loaded down with heavy cream and or half and half. Not that I have an aversion to half and half, it’s just a little too good to be considered healthy. Not that this dish isn’t good…well that got this post off to an awkward start. Ahem. In the past I have posted a few soup recipes that are good for those who are sensitive to lactose, and while this soup does contain some milk, you can easily omit the milk entirely and use only coconut milk. As long as you add a little extra cumin and or black pepper to cover up the coconut taste.;) Using a blend of cheeses gives this soup more flavor and color, making it an impressive looking dish to serve to both family and friends.

The Ingredients: 2 cups finely chopped broccoli florets, 1/2 to 1 cup matchstick carrots, 2 red potatoes or 1 small yellow onion, 1 cup evaporated milk, 3/4 cup coconut milk, 3 to 3 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth, 1/2 cup colby jack cheese, 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (optional), 1/2 to 1 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. black pepper, 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cumin, 2/3 cup panko bread crumbs, 3 tbsp. butter.

Mince broccoli florets, dice potatoes or onion. Add 1 tbsp. of the butter and the diced potatoes to a medium to large soup pot over high heat. Saute for ten minutes, add the broccoli, carrots, and remaining butter. Saute for another ten minutes. Now add the chicken broth, evaporated milk, coconut milk, and spices. Stir well, reduce heat to medium low, and cook for fifteen to twenty minutes. Turn off the heat, stir in the cheeses and breadcrumbs and let sit for five minutes before serving.

Soup+Cheese=comfort food….:)

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Western Egg Wrap

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This Western breakfast wrap is not just a meal, it’s an experience. Shortly after completing my recently begun morning workout session, I received a burst of inspiration from the heavens to create an unexpectedly delicious breakfast food that would please even the pickiest palate. For those of you who have to rush off to work and think that you don’t have time for such delicacies, think again! This breakfast is just as good made the night before and reheated in the morning. Just imagine, all night you can dream of that little scrumptiousness awaiting you for breakfast! Not only is it good, it’s good for you! Since when can you combine eggs, veggies, and real cheese all in one breakfast? Unless it’s a omelet, that is to say……but anyway, that is another story for another time. As you can see, my little not-by-choice sabbatical from this blog is over, and I am back baby! I am back! I’m so excited to finally be moved in and settled!!!!:D I know you couldn’t tell…..;)

The Ingredients: 1 whole wheat tortilla, 1 egg, 1 Campari tomato, 1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, 2 tbsp. softened butter.

Break the tomato into small pieces with a fork, discard the top. Melt 1/2 tbsp. of the butter in a small frying pan over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the egg, stirring slowly but steadily to scramble it. Just before the egg is fully cooked, add the tomato bits. Turn the heat to low and let sit for a few minutes. Spoon the cooked egg and tomato goodness onto the tortilla, spreading it out in a straight line. Carefully roll the tortilla around the contents. Add half of the remaining butter to the pan, turn the heat back up to medium. Toast the tortilla on that side, then add the rest of the butter and toast it on the other side. Hurrah! You are done! Now, instead of scarfing it down, take time to enjoy the delicious natural flavors…..or you could just eat it like a normal person…..

Disclaimers for those of you who are bothered by my unprofessionalism: Ignore the bits of brown, burnt cheese that leaked out of the wrap, I may have gotten a little carried away….. Ignore the terrible lighting in these photos, I was hungry, okay!? Please overlook the fact that I am not up to restaurant cleanliness standards. Look fondly upon my sister’s red-haired Barbie doll lying in the background, it is well loved.

Ahhhhh…..this was SO GOOD……

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Caramelized Vegetable Macaroni Salad

Now that summer is officially here, everyone is taking over the outdoors, enjoying nature to the fullest. After a long day of summer play, no one wants to come home and sweat over a hot stove….sooooo…why not put together a simply delicious pasta salad before you leave, and come home to a ready made, cool, flavorful dinner that everyone loves? As my family is still on the go, moving into a new place and all that jazz, these types of quick, delicious meals are so handy right now. In short, Caramelized Vegetable Macaroni Salad is light, fresh, and packed with nutrition. This episode of Delicious Food 101 features The Chef and La Critico.

The Chef: “La Critico, what do you think of this pasta salad?” La Critico: “Well it’s real good I guess.” The Chef: “Well I try.” La Critico: “I wouldn’t eat anything but pasta if I had the choice.” The Chef: “Same here, but that would not bode well towards a healthy lifestyle.” 

The Ingredients: 1 lb. macaroni noodles, 1 large tomato, 4-6 green onions or 1/2 yellow onion, 1/2 cup mayonnaise or sour cream, 2 tbsp. sriracha ranch dressing, 1 tbsp. spicy brown mustard, italian seasoning, salt, pepper, garlic, 2 tbsp. butter.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the noodles and butter. Now, this is very important: DO. NOT. OVERCOOK THE NOODLES. They must be al dente or the salad will be ruined. While the noodles are boiling, dice the tomato and whichever onion you choose. If using yellow onion, caramelize in butter for ten minutes, adding the tomato to the pan during the last few minutes. If using green onions, saute the green onions and tomato in butter for five minutes. Mix together the cooked vegetables and pasta, then add all remaining ingredients. Refrigerate the pasta salad until you are ready to serve it. Enjoy!

This is the version that has yellow onion, and boy was it good! There was not a noodle left when dinner was over…..

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The Vegetarian Cheeseburger

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Lunch has always been my favorite meal of the day, the delicious simplicity appeals to my tastes. And yet, I realized that I have never posted some of my favorite things to eat for lunch. Or anything in the lunch category at all! So I decided that it was about time to post a series of my favorite lunch foods. The Vegetarian Cheeseburger is something that I only indulge in on a special occasion. Okay okay maybe I eat it once a week or so. But that’s all I’m going to say about that. Now that we are in Kroger territory I have enjoyed getting to know the type of food they carry and how I can transform it into greatness. Let me just say, the bread is SO good. Especially the potato buns, so if you want to enjoy this lunchtime delight to the fullest, I recommend using one of those little babies to carry your burger to greatness. We have always eaten soy based burgers, I know, healthy right? But once you develop a taste for them, they are so good. This episode of Delicious Food 101 features The Chef and Friar Tyst.

What ya need: 1 potato hamburger bun, 1 soy burger (any flavor, we like the Boca and Morning Star brands), 1-2 tbsp. three cheese ranch dressing, 1/2 tsp. mustard, 1 slice of tomato, 2-3 pieces of lettuce, 1 slice of cheese.

Microwave the burger for one minute or grill it on the stove top for 3 to 5 minutes. Toast the potato bun in the same grill pan with a little butter (this step is optional). Spread the dressing on both sides of the bun. Layer the burger, the mustard, and the cheese in this order. If you have lettuce and tomato, which I did not this time around, put them on now with top half of the bun. Now the most important step, enjoy it!

I know I did!

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Western Style Fried Rice

Fried Rice is traditionally a Chinese dish, however, I decided to make it…..Western Style….. When made with brown rice, it is not only delicious, but good for you. Brown rice contains an essential natural fiber that your body needs to function properly. I guarantee that once you make the transition from white to brown rice, there will be no turning back. I admit that this was my first attempt at making fried rice, and that I was a bit unsure as to how it would turn out. However, it was deliciously different and provided a nice change up to our traveling diet as of late. On a side note (these happen often), on this moving adventure we have discovered THE, BEST, Corn bread mix. Miracle Maize Cornbread pairs beautifully with rice, potatoes, soup, chili, I could go on and on! I have had an aversion to cornbread mixes in the past as they are obviously artificial, but not this one! It tastes just like the real thing! I know that this has nothing to do with fried rice, but it was SO good. Now, let me tell you how to make the dish that started this post.

The Ingredients: 2 cups brown rice, 15 oz. diced tomatoes, 15 oz. black or red beans, 15 oz. corn (optional), 1/2 yellow onion, 2 cups chicken broth, 2 cups tomato broth, varying amounts of salt, black pepper, lemon pepper, no salt seasoning, parsley, cilantro, cumin, Old Bay seasoning, and 1/4 tsp. sugar.

Place rice and both of the broths together in a deep saucepan, place the lid on the pan and cook over medium high heat for 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Remove the cooked rice from the pan and add the vegetables and spices, put the lid back on the pan and let sit for ten minutes. Add the cooked rice back into the pan and stir well. Turn off the heat and let it sit on the stove top until you are ready to serve it. Serves 6-8.

Pictures coming soon!

 

Skinny Baked Potato Soup

Doesn’t everyone love those creamy, smooth, delicious soups that they serve in restaurants? You know, those ones that usually contain half and half or heavy cream….While they are delicious, those of us with sensitive stomachs have not been able to enjoy said delicacies. Until now. I decided it was time for me to post a dairy-free soup recipe that lactose tolerants and lactose intolerants alike will love. Coconut milk, whether it be in a can or a carton, is sweeping the nation as a substitute for many milk products. It is absolutely delicious in soup as it is naturally creamy and smooth, creating the perfect consistency and texture. Skinny Baked Potato Soup is the perfect choice for those of us who have longed to experience rich foods but have been held back by our traitorous digestive systems. This episode of Delicious Food 101 features The Chef (who else?), Queenbee, Friar Tyst, The Health Inspector, and La Critico.

The Chef: “Queenbee, lover of potatoes, expert on potato soups, what dost thou think of this delicacy?” Queenbee: “It was very good, well-flavored and soothing to the taste buds.” The Chef: “I will consider this high praise from an expert such as yourself.”

The Chef: “Friar Tyst, do elaborate.” Friar Tyst: “I thought it was kinda soupy.” The Chef: “Hmm, anything else?” Friar Tyst: “I thought it kinda tasted like soup.” The Chef: “Thank you for your detailed comments sir.”

The Chef: “Mr. Health Inspector, your assessment of today’s specialty?” The Health Inspector: “I find that the onion flavor greatly added to it.” The Chef: “Well onions often do.” The Health Inspector: “You also seem to be practicing cleaner kitchen methods.” The Chef: “I am!?” 

The Chef: “And last but not least, La Critico, your thoughts?” La Critico: “The soup was really good but it would be better with peanuts.” The Chef: “That’s…..certainly something to consider…” La Critico: “Cinnamon, that’s just the thing.” The Chef: “Let’s not get carried away.” La Critico: “But what you need is cinnamon.” The Chef: “Cinnamon belongs in the world of baking, NOT cooking.” La Critico: “Well I don’t know about that.”

The Ingredients: 8-9 red potatoes, 4 cups vegetable broth, 8 0z.  coconut milk, 1 medium yellow onion, 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, 2-3 tbsp. sour cream, 1 large vegetable bouillon (optional, if you don’t have vegetable broth, dissolve the bouillon in 4 cups of water), 1/2 tsp. black pepper, 1/2 to 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. basil, 1 tsp. parsley flakes.

Peel and dice the potatoes. Add the potatoes, vegetable broth, and spices to a large soup pot. Bring this to a rolling boil for fifteen to twenty minutes. Puree the soup in three batches in your blender or food processor. Add the pureed soup back the the pot with the coconut milk, sour cream, and cheese. Stir well. Let sit for ten to fifteen minutes over medium heat before serving.

Sigh, simple deliciousness, comforting thoughts, warmth for the soul, all in one picture.

ttrsup