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Super duper easy cultured tofu

What you need-

Drain the tofu and place in a bowl. Fill pot with enough water to cover the tofu. You may want to use distilled water to decrease chance of unwanted bacteria growth.

Add the blue scoop of Avellana cultures.

Cover and put this in your fermentation station at around 100 degrees for 8-24 hours, checking it every four hours or so after the first 8. (If you leave it too long it may begin to grow undesirable bacteria. This can cause a slimy texture and bad smell.)

You can cook this just like you’d cook regular tofu. It is a little bit springier, but mostly very similar to non-cultured tofu!

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The mighty nettle! (plus a cultured nettle drink recipe!)

My first encounter with a nettle was near the beach in Florida. I was walking barefoot on a gravel road when I stubbed my toe. I jumped on my one good foot, waiting for the stinging to stop…right into a stand of nettles. Despite the fact that I was nearly killed that day, the plant and its ability to protect itself fascinated me.

Nettle hairs are tiny silica tubes filled with venom, like a mythical glass serpent fang. When you brush against them the glass tips break off as they pierce your skin and the venom is released. Despite this gruesome defense tactic, or in some cases because of it, nettles have been used since antiquity for a myriad of reasons, from the medicinal to the magical to the mundane.

In ancient Egypt nettle flogging, called urtication, was used to treat arthritis, lethargy, typhus, and cholera. When the Roman soldiers marched to Britannia with Julius Caesar to kill the Druids, they planted nettles in the cold climate and rubbed it on their extremities to combat their weary muscles and freezing skin. Got a bloody nose? An old European remedy was to put a nettle leaf on the roof of your mouth. Supposedly the venom will coagulate and stop the bleeding!

For those in the magic realm, nettle sprinkled around the house or thrown in the fire wards off danger. A practitioner can hold nettle in her hand to keep ghosts at bay or wear it as an amulet to keep negativity away. If kept with yarrow, nettle can also bring courage.

Nettle fibers have been used for thousands of years to make burial shrouds, sacks, fishing nets and lines, as well as sails and sailing cordage. The strength of nettle fibers is said to rival that of hemp fiber. In World War I, nettle was used as an alternative to cotton during textile shortages. European army uniforms were both woven from and dyed by chlorophyll rich nettles. In Siberia it was used to make paper, in China, a silk like material.

We have all the paper and cotton we need…what’s nettle good for now? Fresh, its a gourmet green, to be used in pesto or spinach pie. Dried, its used to treat anemia, allergies, inflammation, exhaustion and even cabin fever.

Rosemary Gladstar calls it “one of the best all around women’s tonic herbs…one of [her] personal favorites.” Rich in easily digestible iron for the blood, calcium and boron for the bones, selenium, zinc, and sulfur for immune building, and chromium for metabolism, nettles are incredibly good for many systems in our bodies. Susan Weed says that “Nettle smoothly and persistently carries optimum nourishment to every cell in the body, and brings a smile to your face.”

Once you hear all of the fantastic benefits of the mighty nettle, it’s quite easy to understand the old proverb-

Better to be stung by a nettle, than pricked by a rose!

Cultured Nettle Drink

What you need-

Warm up a mason jar by running it under hot water. Put the two cups of nettle in the jar. Boil around three cups of hot water and pour over the nettles. Stir, cover loosely, and let this mixture cool. Once it’s around room temperature, strain out the nettle, add the molasses, vegan culture, and the fruit juice (you can add plain fruit too, if you prefer). Put this into your fermentation station for 24 hours. Refrigerate and drink!

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Studies have shown that culturing foods makes the mineral content more accessible, along with the many benefits that come with eating cultured foods. Since nettles are so high in so many vitamins and minerals, you can be sure to get a good shot of life with this drink!

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Portobello stroganoff with cultured vegan cream sauce

What you need-

  • 4 portobello mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon Italian herb seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons Tamari
  • 2 cups easy soy yogurt or garbanzo cashew yogurt-well stirred!
  • Chopped parsley for garnish

Slice the portobellos, the onion, and the garlic. Sauté them in the onions and garlic in olive oil on medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sauté for another 2-3 minutes.

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Add the vegetable broth and Italian herbs. Bring to a low simmer, and cover for twenty minutes.

In a medium bowl add cornstarch and Tamari. Stir into a smooth paste. img_6054

Mix this into the mushroom mix and bring back to a simmer for around 4-5 minutes. The sauce should begin to thicken. It will thicken more as the sauce cools a bit as well.

Add well stirred yogurt into this mix. If you don’t whip it up well, the yogurt will remain in little clumps once you stir it into the mushroom mix.

Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped parsley, and serve over wide noodles or rice.

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Sharp nacho cheese

What you need-

  • 1/2 cup soaked cashews
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon dried red pepper (or something else red like pimentos or canned red pepper-for color and taste)
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup yogurt (rice, quinoa, soy)

Blend all the ingredients except the yogurt on high until smooth. Add in yogurt and blend another few seconds.

For a sharp nacho cheese sauce, place this mixture into your fermentation station for 12 hours at around 100 degrees.

Cheesy nachos with cultured soy yogurt sour cream!

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Rice yogurt

What you will need-

  • 2 cups cooked rice (I used white)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon maple syrup (optional)
  • 1-2 cups water
  • 1 blue scoop Avellana Vegan cultures

Put all the ingredients except the vegan cultures into your blender and blend until smooth. Your finished yogurt will be the same consistency and thickness of this mixture, so add the amount of water you want to reach your desired thickness.

Add the Avellana Vegan Cultures and mix for a few more seconds.

Put mixture into your fermentation station and culture for 8-12 hours at around 100 degrees.

This yogurt has a mild taste and a creamy, slightly glutinous texture. It’s definitely not your average yogurt texture or flavor. I really love it!

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Oyster mushroom and green bean with garlic cream sauce

What you need:

Creamy garlic sauce

  • one cup easy soy yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • one clove garlic, crushed
  • salt to taste

Green beans and mushrooms

  • 8 ounces of oyster mushrooms
  • 1 lb. trimmed green beans
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • rock salt
  • two cups cooked basmati rice (I mix cauliflower rice with cooked basmati for extra flavor and less calories)
  • sesame seed to garnish
  • chili flakes to garnish (optional)

How to-

Whisk together the yogurt, sesame oil, garlic, and salt. Set aside.

Heat up the olive oil and add the trimmed green beans and mushrooms. Stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the tarragon, thyme, maple syrup, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Stir fry for another two minutes. Add rock salt and cover. Leave on low heat until green beans are cooked to slightly crunchy and mushrooms are turning golden and rock salt is melting just a little bit. You want to keep the salt a little bit whole to add a crunchy kick of flavor.

Plate up a 1/2 cup of rice, a scoop of green beans and mushrooms, and a dollop of cream sauce. Garnish with a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Voila! Umami galore.

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Cultured hazelnut cream butter

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What you will need:

Place peeled hazelnuts and water into your blender. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes. Squeeze the liquid through your nut milk extraction device (I use a panty hose).

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Put the flour onto a cookie sheet and chop and spread it out. Dry it in the oven at 150-200 degrees for about 2 hours, checking often. You can regrind the dry flour in your blender and use for baking.

Add a few grains of culture. Just an itty bitsy bit will do. Put in fermentation station at 100 degrees for 8 hours.

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Nowhey will separate from the protein. The mixture will be thicker than the un-cultured milk, but will still be quite watery.

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Drip out until mixture resembles stirred yogurt consistency. This may take several hours, because the curd on hazelnut milk is quite small and clogs the holes on the drip more quickly. You can stir the mixture to speed the process, but not too much or you’ll start losing curd through your drip cloth.

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Place curd into blender on low speed. Slowly trickle coconut oil into the blender until well emulsified, usually around 60-90 seconds.

Add salt. You can add the nutritional yeast if you like, it will make the butter a little more yellow.

Scrape the cloth with a sharp knife to get all the hazelnut cream off.

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Pour into silicone molds and cool. Will stay good for 5-7 days in the refrigerator. This recipe makes about 1 cup of dreamy, melty butter. This butter can be made in bulk and frozen.

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Cultured tofu rotisserie chickun dinner

This is a fun dinner idea! It doesn’t take that long, if you’re ok with things being a little rough around the edges. It’s easy to get distracted by trying to make things perfect, so if you’re type A, practice letting go of the perfect shaped chicken leg.

The cultured tofu bakes up with a super delicious crunchy crust. I imagine you could bread them too, and make a good fried chicken if you wanted to.

What you need:

Start by making little lines on your cultured tofu. Decide how you want to cut it to make them into the right shape.

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Start to cut out your shapes.

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Save the little pieces to bake into ground beef alternative.

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Use a sharp knife to smooth off the edges. Once you bake this, the tofu will puff a bit and change shape, so don’t go too crazy making it perfect. The less you mess with it the better because it’s pretty dry and will crumble. Once it crumbles it won’t go back on. Drizzle these with olive oil and sprinkle some Italian herb seasoning all over them.

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Bake it for around 12 minutes at 400 degrees. Check it to make sure it doesn’t burn.

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Plate it up! If you want to be able to pick up the chickun legs and they are too wobbly, you can stick a kebab skewer through the middle.

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Bonus! Super easy gravy recipe-

  • 4 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 Tablespoons Braggs
  • 1Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • unsweetened soy milk

Stir the top 4 ingredients together. Add in the boiling water (I use water from boiling potatoes because if I’m making gravy, I’m making potatoes!!). Thin the gravy with unsweetened soy (or other non dairy) milk.

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Easy cultured tofu

You don’t have to make the cultured tofu from scratch. You can make it a faster, easier way as well.

What you need:

Pour the milk into a large pot.

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Add in 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar per quart of milk.

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You will see the milk begin to curdle right away. Bring the soy milk and vinegar to a low boil on medium heat, stirring regularly so that it doesn’t burn to the bottom.

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It will start to thicken as it heats. The proteins are uncurling from the heat and acid.

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When you start to see the “noway” separating, you can take it off the heat and let it cool a little.

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Pout it into your drip station. It will drip out rapidly.

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You can stir it to keep the process moving along.

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Once its to a dough-like texture, add in a teaspoon of salt (for two quarts of milk) and two level scoops of Avellana Vegan Cultures.

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Wrap it up in its cloth, put a bowl on top, and put something heavy into the bowl.

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Place the whole drip station into your fermentation station. Leave it here for 24 hours.

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Pull it our after 24 hours. It’s ready!

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Stuffed peppers with cultured soy “meat”

What you’ll need:

  • Two cups cooked rice
  • One bag of cauliflower rice (optional-if you don’t use, double your rice)
  • A large block of cultured tofu-easy or from scratch
  • Six peppers (I prefer green but only had red)
  • One eight oz. package of white mushrooms
  • One jar of tomato sauce
  • One onion
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic

How to make it:

Crumble your cultured tofu (or regular tofu if you prefer that) and sprinkle around one tablespoon of olive oil and one teaspoon of salt. Bake at 400 degrees until lightly browned. You’ll need to stir it every couple minutes so that it doesn’t stick.

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Put your chopped onion in a pot with a small amount of water or olive oil and cook for a minute or two.

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Chop the mushrooms and add them in along with the crushed or minced garlic.

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Cut the tops off of your peppers and put them into a deep pan that can be covered. You can cut the bottoms off too, if they are wobbly.

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Your tofu should be browning after ten minutes or so!

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Cook up your rice. Once it’s done, I just pour the riced cauliflower into the pot and let it steam. Stir them together and add to your mushrooms and onion.

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Add in a quarter of the jar of tomato sauce and the browned cultured tofu. I put kalamata olives in mine this time.  Taste the filling to see if it needs salt or other spices to balance it out.

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Stuff your peppers with the filling. Top the tomato sauce jar off with water to thin the sauce. Shake it up and pour it over your peppers.

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Cover and bake at 400 degrees until your peppers are the desired softness. I like mine really soft! Really soft takes an hour or so.

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This dish is low calorie and so delicious. Between the immune building garlic, the peppers, and the cultured tofu, it also really packs a healthy punch!

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