Vegan Zesty Ranch

I had really missed a creamy "Ranch" flavor for salads over the past few years. And then one day it just came to me - use Vegenaise! As the base, I created this "dressing" that matches perfectly with just about anything... salads, quinoa, as a dip for veggies, etc.

Ingredients:

·       1 cup Vegenaise

·       3 cloves of garlic - crushed

·       3 tsp hot sauce

·       2 tbsp coconut milk

·       Optional: cilantro leaves!

Directions:

Whisk all ingredients together with a fork and enjoy on any and everything!

*One of my favorite meals - sautéed vegetables with quinoa on a bed of baby spinach with the Vegan Zesty Ranch dressing. 

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Vanilla Coconut Icing and Fruit Dip

Vanilla Coconut Icing and Fruit Dip

This simple and natural recipe is a GREAT topping as whipped cream or icing on cookies, pies, puddings, fruit and anything else you can think of! ;) 

Ingredients:

·       1 can (15 oz) full fat coconut milk

·       3 tbsp honey, agave syrup or maple syrup (or to taste)

·       1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Place the can of coconut milk in the refrigerator and leave it there until well-chilled; at least a few hours. 
2. Open the can of coconut milk. There will be a firm, waxy layer on top.
3. Scoop out this firm layer coconut cream that has solidified at the top of the can.
4. Stop as soon as you reach the water at the bottom of the can; don't include anything but the solid cream. (You can use the water in smoothies, or just drink it straight.)
5. Place this cream in the bowl of a stand mixer, or a large bowl.
6. Turn your mixer or hand beaters to high speed, and whip the coconut cream for 3 to 5 minutes.
7. Whip until it becomes fluffy and light, with soft peaks. Mix in maple syrup and vanilla, if using.

Enjoy on whatever your heart desires, including muffins, such as carrot muffins!

Vanilla Coconut Icing and Fruit Dip.jpg

Peanut Butter Hummus

Ingredients:

·       1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

·       4 tbsp creamy peanut butter

·       1 tbsp olive oil

·       Fresh lemon juice (squeezed from 1 lemon)

·       1/3 cup water

·       1 tsp garlic powder

 

Directions:

Mix all ingredients in a food processor. 

OR if you'd like to include children in this process:

Place the garbanzo beans in the bottom of a large non-breakable mixing bowl.  Begin mashing the beans using a potato masher.  If making the recipe with children, allow each child to take a turn mashing the beans.  Gradually add the remaining ingredients and continue to mash until the mixture is blended and smooth.

*For dipping:

·       Celery, carrot, zucchini, cucumber, red or green peppers or jicama sticks.  Can also serve with tortillas or tortilla chips.

·        

Source: "How to Teach Nutrition to Kids" by Connie Liakos Evers, MS, RD.

Kid Favorite

Carrots make great dipping sticks

Cashew Carrot Pate

This creamy veggie dip is so delicious, you won't even miss the dairy! :)

This creamy veggie dip is so delicious, you won't even miss the dairy! :)

Ingredients:

2-3 cloves garlic, diced

1 slice of sweet onion

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 cup cashews

sea salt ,to taste

1/4 C. olive oil

 

Directions:

1. In a food processor, using the "S" shaped blade, blend the garlic, onion and carrots into a fine consistency.

2. Add cashews and process with the remaining ingredients. Stop periodically and scrape the sides with a rubber spatula. Blend until creamy.

3. Chill and serve.

Variation: Try using soaked almonds or sunflower seeds instead of cashews.

Replace the oil with a little water to help the ingredients blend together.