Roasted Cinnamon Vanilla Bean Almond Butter

After an absolutely amazing morning with some really extraordinary friends and a workout….ahem….deep water pool run…I decided to come home today and make a comfort food.  For me, this is always a favorite, and mixing in some sweet spices was just the icing on the cake.  This is a way to get a little sweet treat alongside a little protein.

photoRoasted Cinnamon Vanilla Bean Almond Butter

2 Cups of raw almonds roasted

1 Vanilla Bean, sliced and scraped

1 tsp of unrefined sugar  I used organic cane sugar

1/2 tsp course sea salt

1/4 tsp cinnamon (you can add more to taste.  I like just a hint)

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Sweet vanilla bean mixed with course sea salt.

Preheat oven to 350 and spread almonds on cookie sheet making sure they aren’t overlapping.  Roast them for 10-12 minutes.

Remove and allow nuts to cool.  They will heat up in the processor, so I allow them to cool about 30 minutes.

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Look at that gorgeous roasted color

Place almonds into food processor and process until a smooth butter starts to form. (This could take 10-15 minutes depending on your processor)  photo 1 copy

Add in sugar (optional) vanilla bean, sea salt and cinnamon.  Process until butter is smooth and creamy.

*Store in an airtight container.

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Easy Vegan/Vegetarian Stuffing

Easy Vegan/Vegetarian Stuffing

One of the most favorite things I cook for Thanksgiving and sometimes Christmas is stuffing or dressing, depending on where in the US you reside.  I love how all of the spices mix together like a marriage of flavors .  And it’s one reason (other than the meat consumption) why I know I could never eat Paleo.  Bread…at least for this stuffing…..is a tradition we <I> cannot miss.photo 3

Every year, my family knows, that it will grace our table.  They wait for it.  I make a ton of it; in fact oftentimes I have to mix in my giant party punch bowl to have a big enough bowl for mixing.

There’s an art to it, but once it’s mastered, it easy peasy.  My mother in law said someone asked her this year what her favorite part of Thanksgiving was and she replied, “My daughter in law’s stuffing!”

*For this recipe I cannot give exact amounts.  It all depends on how much or how little you are cooking.  This was my recipe this year.

photo 5 Vegan Stuffing

-Cubed and dried cornbread.  This year I used about 10 cups

-One and ½ large whole yellow onion

-One whole bunch of celery

2 sticks of butter or 1 cup of Vegan Butter

-One whole bunch FRESH finely chopped Rosemary

-One whole bunch FRESH finely chopped Sage

-3/4 bunch of FRESH finely chopped thyme

-1 bag or about 2 cups of dried cranberries

-1-2 cups walnuts (usually I candy the walnuts)

-Veggie Broth

-Salt and pepper to taste

In large skillet melt butter and toss in onion and celery.  Cook until onions are translucent and celery is a bit soft.  DO NOT over cook.  I like mine a bit crunchy.

When done, mix with cornbread cubes.  With my mortar and pestle, I grind up the Rosemary, Sage & Thyme, then add it to the bread. photo Allow this to mix well together and cool somewhat.  Start adding in veggie broth a little at a time.  This part will be personal preference.  Some like a more mushy texture to their dressing.  I add just enough to coat bread well, and it starts to soften a tiny bit.  I do not like overly mushy stuffing.  After this is all mixed well, I add in the dried cranberries and candied walnuts.  This year, I did regular walnuts.  Add salt and a dash of pepper and mix well.  I really try to “fluff” it more than mix it to give it a lighter texture.

We do not stuff a turkey for Thanksgiving, so after stuffing is made, place into a casserole dish and bake it on 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until heated through.photo 1

Happy Holidays from our kitchen to yours~

Vegan Coconut Whipped Cream

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Coconut Whipped Cream

1 14oz can Coconut Milk

1 1/2 tsp Vanilla

Place can of coconut milk in the refrigerator over night.  This is VERY important, or the whipped cream will NOT turn out.

Open the can and scoop off the top, creamy, thick, white part (about 3/4 of the can) leaving the watery part in the can

In a chilled bowl, add coconut and vanilla.  Whip on high until firm peaks form.

This whipped cream lasts about 3 days in the refrigerator, but may need re-whipped.

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