Vegetable Broth- for Free!

What do you do with all of your veggie scraps? Maybe you chuck them, maybe you compost them, maybe you even give your carrot peelings to your bunnies. That’s kind of you.

Growing up we had a few bunnies. We got super creative with names: Hoppity, BW (the bunny was black and white), and Snowball (yep, a white bunnie). Our dog was also named Goldie. You can guess why.

The only incentive I had to peel carrots was that I knew the scraps would be a treat for my Hoppity.

Hoppity is long gone and after years of throwing away my carrot and other veggie scraps, I learned about a free, awesome way to use them! Make homemade Vegetable Broth!

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Broth is the backbone of so many great recipes. A flavorful broth can make or break that soup you have simmering on your stove.

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Broth is also a great alternative to using oil to saute (water works well, too!).  Olive oil for example is not only full of calories, but is pretty much nutrition-less when heated. So why not use broth?

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This recipe for broth is savory and delicious. After I make it, I even pour a mug full and drink it! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

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To make delicious vegetable broth in 1 hour, do this:

1. Save all of your vegetable scraps (onion skins, carrot peels, peppers with the seeds, anything!)

2. Throw the scraps in a freezer bag and stick them in the freezer.

3. When your bag is full (or you want some broth), pour the scraps into a pot.

4. Cover with water.

5. Add 2 T of miso (or just add a few teaspoons salt if you don’t have miso (found in the refridgerator section)), 2 T of Italian seasonings, 1 T garlic powder, 1 T onion powder

6. Bring to a boil

7. Once boiling, turn heat to low and simmer with the lid slightly ajar for 1 hour.

8. Let the broth cool down before you strain out the broth through a colander into a bowl.

9. If you are using it immediately, great. If not, you can freeze the broth in 1-2 cup increments for later use!

vegetable brothEnjoy!

Until next time,

Anna

The Best Brownies

Last summer we had no air conditioning. When you sign a lease in March you can easily convince yourself that you don’t need central air. I mostly felt bad for people like my brother-in-law who stayed with us mid-summer for a week. He and David spent a lot of time at the art museum basking in their cooler temps and interesting collections.

Another clear response was to eat ice cream all the time.

We actually lived by this amazing ice cream place called Churned. The owner makes all of her own ice cream from local and mostly organic ingredients. She has killer flavors, too. Peanut butter and jelly, Carrot Cake, Maple Bacon and French Toast, Vegan Sorbets. She rocks my world. If you are ever in Tremont, check it out!

Life has gotten a little cooler for us this summer and we don’t really eat dairy anymore. So for picnics, parties, and dinner guests, our dessert options have gotten a little more diverse. We are also not using ice cream as a means of survival anymore.

Meet The Best Brownies. These brownies are chocolate bliss in your mouth.

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These brownies are so gooey and delicious. They are packed with flavor, and have no added fat! Wahooo.

If you are headed to a cookout and need a quick dessert, check these out.

If you are craving chocolate and want a healthy solution, these are for you.

Enjoy!

Recipe:

Based on the Decadent Brownies recipe from Happy Herbivore Abroad

1 c Oat Flour

1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 c light brown sugar

1 tsp instant coffee

1/3 c semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 c unsweetened applesauce

1/3 c drained and rinsed black beans

3/4 c blueberries

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To make oat flour, blend oats in the blender until they are in a flour-like consistency.

Mix together all dry ingredients in a bowl.

In a blender, add chocolate chips (soften chocolate chips in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute), applesauce, black beans, blueberries, and vanilla.

Puree until smooth. The more the mixture is pureed, the better.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.

Pour into a greased 9 inch square pan.

Bake for 22-24 minutes.

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I hope you love these as much as I do!!

Until next time,

Anna

Cheeze! and Good Reads

Did you grow up on mac n’ cheese? My mom makes a mean mac– not the kind with the powdered cheese, the real kind. The roux-magically-turning-into-cheese-sauce kind.

What about nachos? Man, I’d get off that school bus and be starving! There was nothing like a plate full of tortilla chips with melted cheese. (or the occasional roll up of bologna…that’s so nasty…hashtag childhood regrets)

I’m pretty sure my childhood revolved around dairy, namely cheese.

So, when I decided to switch to a whole-foods, plant-based lifestyle, the cheese issue was a biggie. I can’t say I really had a problem with just eliminating cheese. I could live without it. The problem came when all of these cookbooks offered “cheeze” recipes. When you grow up on cheese, you can tell the difference.

After years of giving cheeze recipes “one more chance” to prove themselves to me, I finally found a winner!!!

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Thank you, Lindsay Nixon from Happy Herbivore. Her wonderful recipe, along with many others are found here:  Soy Free Mac n’ Cheese

David and I have gotten all of her cookbooks from the library and are tearing through the recipes. I always like borrowing the books first, to see if I like the recipes. I can say after borrowing all of her cookbooks, I think it’s time to buy!

We’ve made meals ranging from Aztec Corn Soup, to Cheater Pad Thai, to Tex-Mex Shepherd’s Pie, to African Kale and Yam Soup. Yummm.

What about you? Do you have a dairy-free cheese recipe you like?

 

Until next time,

 

Anna

 

 

 

Life in the Fast Lane

Spring is such an exciting time of year. I don’t have to drown myself in hot beverages anymore for survival of the cold, berries and melons are starting to be in season, and our houses might actually get deep cleaned!

This spring has meant lots of traveling and new adventures for my family.

First of all, let’s talk coffee.  OY! Madcap Coffee in Grand Rapids Michigan might be my favorite coffee in the world. If you live in Michigan or anywhere near Michigan, please go visit this coffee shop. I can’t claim that I am a coffee expert, but I can tell you that pour over coffee is amazing.

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Look at this artistry! She’s so cool.

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I have to tell you, when I first started drinking coffee, I drank 8 o’clock. I am ever indebted to Morgan Mecaskey for showing me a better way. My first sip of the coffee she bought for me in Nashville, TN was like liquid gold. Morgan rocks.

Speaking of Morgan, I had the pleasure of hearing her play at Cleveland’s new Museum of Contemporary Art. If you don’t know Morgan, get to know her. She’s a genuine soul full of love and joy. (Not to mention she is insanely talented in music.)

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Stop number 3 on our adventure leads us to a little glimpse into the Netherlands. I am not Dutch, but I married into a very Dutch family. So of course, we had to visit the shoemaker.

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Here’s my cute little Dutch niece with her dad. They are making her “Happy-Silly- Angry” face. I can’t tell you that I know what that means, but I know she’s cute!

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What would spring be without Mother’s Day?

Congratulations to my ultra talent mother-in-law for getting her BSN! Way to go!

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And congrats to my mom for taking her first step in becoming Dutch. I think she liked her mother’s day gift! Dutch slippers!!

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Our last adventure was absolutely beautiful and once-in-a-lifetime. We attended a neighborhood performance of the Cleveland Orchestra (for free!). As you see, we had some amazing seats with some of the best musicians in the world. I would highly recommend attending an orchestra performance. The performances are breathtaking.  We also had a blast because our friend Lisa is in the orchestra. Hi Lisa!!!

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What have you been up to this spring? I’d love to hear your stories!

 

Until next time,

Anna

 

 

DIY 10 minute Earrings

Cashing in on your birthday present 4 months after your birthday is a magical thing. This weekend David and I went horseback riding, which was a gift for my 25th. I can’t say that we are pro’s after that experience, but the horses did give us a “run” for our money. After trotting around for about 30 minutes, David asked to go a tad bit faster. Clearly these horses only understand two speeds…super slow, or running! My horse, Blaze, maintained a good run, but David’s horse Willow decided she was in the Kentucky Derby. She and David darted past us at lightening speed into the surrounding field. Thankfully David held on and didn’t make any high pitched screams. Who knew I married a cowboy!

To balance out all that nature and animal time, I decided to get crafty with jewelry.

earring materialsAt a Joann’s sale a few weeks ago, I picked up these lovely blue beads for about $2.50.  I already had the wire and pieces that go into your ears, but if you needed to buy those, you’re looking at about $5 more.

These earrings will literally take you about 10 minutes, and will make a great addition to your stash, or a quick and cute gift for a friend. (Graduation gift giving is right around the corner!)

Collage earrings

For tools, all you need is pliers and something round you can wrap the wire around to make a loop. I used some other tool I found in my tool set. (I have no idea what the names of tools are, so hopefully those are pliers!)

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To make these earrings, simple cut two pieces of thick gauge wire slightly longer than your bead.

Bend one end of each wire.

Slide your beads on the wire.

Wrap the excess wire around something sturdy to make a loop.

Use your pliers to cut off the excess wire and bend the loop up straight.

Use your pliers to open the loop slightly to slide on the earring piece that goes into your ear.

Tadaa!!

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Happy crafting!

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And yeeehaww!

Until next time,

Anna