Category Archives: Recipes

Plant based milk recipes

Our friend Barbara posted these tricks for making plant milk.

We have a Soymilk maker which makes the Soymilk much easier than what she’s posted but maybe her recipe is useful for those who don’t .

Trick #1 Xanthan gum

I love nut milks, they are nutritious, smooth and oh so tasty. Have you ever made a batch, marveled at its white creamy texture just to be so disappointed the morning after when, opening the fridge, you were greeted by an unappealing separated sludgy looking beverage?

It happened to me several times, close your eyes and shake before drinking, yes …but! Just adding ¼ tsp Xanthan gum to one liter of milk does the trick, your mil will not separate.

I strain the milk using a nut milk bag, place it I the blender one more time, add the xanthan gum and blend it on low for few seconds. Et voilà, no more surprises or shaking in the morning.

Trick #2 the nut butter

In a hurry, cannot peel those almonds? Adding two tablespoons of almond butter to 1 liter of water in a blender makes a delicious milk. I then add some little salt, maple syrup and my ¼ tsp xanthan gum. I experimented with hazelnut butter as well…delicious!

Trick #3: 1-2-3 Cashew

Another no time milk – Cashew milk does not need to be strained – ½ cup of raw cashews in 1 liter of water make a very smooth and creamy milk. Again, I add a little salt, vanilla and xanthan gum so it does not separate

Trick #4: No beany flavor soy milk

Soy milk is very nutritious, but when I started making it at home, I had a very hard time with its beany flavor.  After experimenting a bit, I am set on the following method. While not quick, it yields very good results: creamy home-made soy milk without any beany flavor!

·      Blanch 1 cup of beans for 10 minutes in boiling water + 1 TBS bicarbonate

·      Soak the blanched beans for 8-10 hours in water + 1 TBS sodium bicarbonate

·      Rinse the beans

·      Blend the beans with 2 cups of boiling water in your Vitamix or another high-speed blender

·      In a large pot bring 5 cups of water to a boil

·      Place bean paste in the boiling water

·      Simmer for few minutes stirring often. The milk will foam and at some point, rise in the pot. Turn off the burner and let it rest few minutes.

·      Place your nut bag in a strainer on a clean pot. Pour the milk in and strain it with the help of a ladle to push on the bag as it’s still very hot.

·      Cook the strained milk for about 10 minutes then let it cool. Stir it often during the first 15 minutes of cooling to break the skin that forms on top

·      You can add salt, vanilla and sweetener or your choice. Transfer the milk into a container and refrigerate. I did not use any xanthan gum on this.

Vegan Cashew Pistachio Rolls for Diwali 2014

Last week, I was inspired by a post on the Jain Vegans list serve and an invitation to a neighborhood Diwali party to try making a sweet. Normally, I don’t invest the energy in making sweets because I want to eat more healthy. However, this seemed like a good opportunity to try something new and share both the result and the process with others.

While my rolling skills resulted in hearts rather than round rolls, and our use of vegan brown sugar resulted in a different color than the green that i imagined for the pistachio layer, they turned out pretty well.  I brought some to work and even my Scottish, Chinese and American co-workers seemed to enjoy them. Thanks to Jigna and Heena, who posted the recipe on plantshift.com!

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Profiles of Vegan Jains: Mahersh and Nishma (and a shrikhand recipe!)

Mahersh and Nishma started the group Jain Vegans based in the UK.  They invite  us to their home in London for breakfast to discuss their reasons for going vegan and show us the variety of plant milks and other tasty foods they enjoy. To make the shrikhand that Nishma tastes in the video:

Use unflavoured soya yoghurt (400g)  and place a muslin (“cheese”) cloth over double fold bath towels and spread the soya yoghurt (left it for appx 2hrs).  When the water has been absorbed, remove the yoghurt solid from the muslin cloth and place the lumps in a bowl. Mix in sweetener (tradtionally sugar, but find a vegan kind) to taste, powdered cardamom and a generous pinch of saffron. And garnish with almonds and pistachios.

Serves 2 people.

Easy Almond Milk

We’ve been making almond milk from scratch for a few years, soaking the almonds (1 cup), draining, blending with 3 cups water, straining out the pulp, sometimes sweetening with dates or adding vanilla or cardamom. It is always delicious but sometimes felt time consuming.The store bought almond milk seems to have a lot of filler and is not as good. So SURPRISE!

In the book Forks over Knives, companion to the movie that is such a great resource, we found the following: Add 1-2 teaspoons of raw almond butter to each 1 cup of water and blend until smooth. We happen to have roasted almond butter on hand and it tasted good but will try raw next, because it will surely be even better. What a find! No worries about wasting or saving the pulp and we can make a small amount at a time.

Interestingly the website detoxinista.com has detailed instructions on making your own almond butter using a food processor. Lately we have been using the food processor to make our own almond butter. Living in California we can go to the local farmer’s market and buy organic almonds straight from the farmer. So from almonds to almond butter to almond milk, no added filler!

Green juice

Passed down from a nutritionally minded MD to patient, to friend, to cousin is the following healthy drink recipe

Green  Juice!

– 2 cups of Kale
– ¼ cup of Spinach
– ¼ cup of Coriander (Cilantro)
– ½ Beet
– 1 stalk Celery – optional
– ½ Carrot – optional
– 5 or 6 seeded Grapes – optional
– ½ Apple – optional

The juice below is  red, because of the beets. She uses a Blendtech, but Christian is loyal to his Vitamix and I think you can use a lower-tech blender too.Veggie juice Continue reading

Vegan Wedding Menu fit for Royalty: No fooling

The Jain Vegans list serv had a chain of email in the last few days about a purported vegan menu at the Royal British wedding. Though some members were disappointed that it turned out to be an April Fool(d)’s joke,  we have an example of a truly royal wedding menu, with yummy south Indian, Gujarati,  and international savories, and an impressive variety of sweets. Darshana anti, who is vegan along with her recently wed son and daughter-in-law, (pictured here) provided this description of the items in their recent wedding menu , served in Chicago last year.

The Savory:

Idli sambhar, with chutney made with silken tofu and coconut
Kathi roll with tofu and vegetables   
Mexican bean dip
Khaman made with lemon juice
Khandavi made with lemon juice

The sweet:
Nut sweets catered by BAPS (the spiritually inspired volunteer caterers that have provided much previous JAINA convention food)
Moong dal sheero- A sweet treet with protein rich moong dal
Puranpoori – A  stuffed sweet rotli (my Dad’s favorite)
Motichoor ladu
Mango pulp with tofutti sour cream, fruits, cardamom, vanilla, saffron, sugar
Middle eastern pastries catered from Detroit

Continue reading

Cucumber Raita

Cucumber Raita

 From The Indian Vegan Kitchen, by Madhu Gadia

Ingredients 
2 C plain soy yogurt
2 C cucumber, peeled and grated
4 T chopped cilantro
1 ½ t roasted cumin powder
¾ t of black pepper
¼ t black salt
Pinch of ground ginger
¾ t salt
½ t cayenne pepper
4 t lemon or lime juice

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, whip soy yogurt. Add the grated cucumber. Add everything else. Mix well, adjust seasonings to taste.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

Makes 8-12 servings

This turned our very well! Two other vegan Jains attended the Frugal Foodies session in which we made this raita and she said it tasted as good as she remembered from her dairy consuming days….