Healthy Holiday Roast

HAPPY THANKSGIVING to my American friends. May you all enjoy a healthy, delicious meals with your loved ones! Here is a healthier version of a holiday loaf to replace your Turkey,

Recipes From Eden

To my dear friends who asked me for the vegan holiday roast I’ve made on Thanksgiving Day, here it is! This is actually my modified recipe of Holiday Roast from Vegan Flavorista blog. I doubled the amount of ingredients, added a few ingredients and flavor enhancers. The result? Yummy! My family and some of my friends who happened to taste it liked it too! It’s pretty easy to make. I’ve also named a few substitute flour for those that avoid wheat and gluten in their diet. This is a great meatless recipe for any special occasions!

Classification: Vegan vegetarian, can be wheat and gluten free

1. Pre-heat oven for 350*F (175*C).
2. In a pot put some water and bring it to simmer.

Stuffing Ingredients:

coconut oil – 1 TBspoon
onion – 1 cup
mushroom – 1 cup, chopped
(alternative to mushroom could be walnuts or peanuts – 4…

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Homemade Green Bean Pickles (Dilly Bean) :Canned

I missed to post this recipe when it was still Summertime in the US. Well, regardless of the time of the year I decided to share it with those who might be interested in making Green Beans Pickles.  My life has been pretty busy since baby number 2 came along. Thankfully I was able to manage the garden (with my husband’s help mostly on the weekends), do some canning and food preservation, on top of my daily routine as a homemaker and mom to my boys. Life is good when you embrace it in a most optimistic way! 🙂

Okay, let’s talk about the recipe. It is easier when you have done canning before. But don’t be afraid to experiment carefully. In most of my pickle recipes I use similar brine recipe — Check out my Okra and Cucumber Pickles Recipe, with only a little twerk on spices and amounts. Just like any other pickles, Pickled Green Beans (also known as Dilly Beans) has an option to use sugar as part of the ingredient. In this recipe I did not put any sugar, however, if you are the type of person that likes sweet and sour food you may want to experiment by adding some sweetener. Just make sure that the sweet, salt and sour taste is balanced.

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PICKLED GREEN BEANS (Using water-bath process with refrigerated pickle green beans option.)

Classification: Vegetarian
Good source of fiber, vitamin K, manganese, vitamin C, folate, B-vitamins, chromium, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, omega-3, and many more…

Things you need:

water-bath canner (or a big pot), cooking stove, 3 quart canning jars with rings and lids, jar lifter,

INGREDIENTS:

green beans –  3-4 lbs {about 1 and half kg.])

water – 4 cups

apple cider vinegar (or fresh lemon juice, or white vinegar) – 3 cups (I don’t use equal ratio of water and vinegar, as I like my pickle to be more pleasant to my taste bud 🙂 )

salt (prefer canning/pickling salt) – 5 tablespoon (about 1/3  cup)

garlic – 1 clove (at least 6 pieces, 2 pieces each jar)

onion – medium size, strips

dill seeds – 1-2 tablespoons (1/2 teaspoon per jar)

mustard seeds (optional) – 1-2 tablespoon (1/2 teaspoon per jar)

chili powder  (optional,if you want a little spicy taste) – 1/4 teaspoon or a whole piece/diced of fresh hot pepper

PREPARATION:  Water-bath canning

Note: Don’t be confused as to why Pickled Green Beans is processed by water bath. Most homemade canned pickles are done by water boiling process, even though Green beans is a type of vegetable. The sour (acidic) brine is what makes it capable to process in water bath (boiling process). Unlike canning plain vegetables (except for tomatoes, and most fruits, because it is naturally acidic) they must be pressure-canned to cook the vegetable thoroughly, and to prevent bad bacterial growth that could cause botulism.

  1. Prepare the canning materials: Wash jars in hot soapy water (or in a dishwasher), rinse and set aside. Read here for more information and instructions on canning.
  2. Prepare Ingredients: Select fresh and tender green beans. Trim the ends. Wash and drain properly.
  3. In a big pot put 4 cups of water, apple cider vinegar, and salt (and sugar if necessary). Bring it to a boil for about 3 minutes. Set aside until jars are filled and ready. In another small pot, boil some water with the canning rings and lids in it. Simmer for about 2 minutes.
  4. At the bottom of the jars place 2 pieces of garlic (or 1 at bottom, the last piece on top of green beans), half a teaspoon dill seeds, onion strips (about 10 thin slices), and half a teaspoon mustard seeds. Arrange green beans tightly but gently. If there is enough space above, you can add a few more onion slices. Make sure you leave about an inch head space from the jar rim. Note: Increase the amount of cider vinegar or lemon if you want stronger (higher acidity) brine. Increase also the amount of salt. You can add more spices of your choices. More garlic or onions if you want. 
  5. Once the jars are filled, pour the brine into the jars (using a canning funnel). Leave an inch space from the rim. Wipe the rims with a damp washcloth. Put lids and rings on, tightening evenly.
  1. Place filled jars into the canning pot, with water about an inch above the jars. Bring water to a boil for about 15 minutes — depending on how fast the water heats up. Some preparations only require to keep the pickles-filled-jars in an almost boiling water to prevent the vegetable from getting too soft —not leaving the pickles boiling for too long in the water.7. After the process, remove jars using a jar lifter. Set on a towel and let it cool. Avoid extreme temperature change. Cover the top with another towel if necessary.8. After jars have cooled off; check for seal, lids have to be sucked down, not bulged out. Pickles in unsealed jars can be consumed first or be put in the refrigerator. Label jars or lids: name of the finished product, date or year. (Ex. Pickled Green Beans (A.Cider), 2015). Store in dark, cool temperature.Suggested Measurement for smaller batches: (If for some reason your brine preparation was not enough)

    3 cups water
    1 and 1/2 cups – cider vinegar/freshly squeezed lemon juice
    2 and 1/2 – 3 tablespoon salt (preferably canning salt because it is pure, no anti-caking agent

To make Refrigerated Green Bean Pickles using the same recipe.

A. Blanch green beans in boiling water for 15 seconds. Wash with icy-cold water right away to prevent further cooking, and preserve natural crispiness.
B. Arrange spices and green beans in jars. Add brine. Cover and refrigerate!
C. Enjoy after 24 hours!

Green Beans Preparation

Green Beans Preparation

Boiling Process

Boiling Process

Pickled Green Beans (Dilly Beans)

Pickled Green Beans (Dilly Beans)

Homemade Pickled Okra :Canned

I have to post this recipe as I have friends wanting me to share it. We have lots, I mean lots of okra produce from our garden. And the plants are still producing! We sold some, we ate a bunch, and I preserved some, too. Making Okra pickles is not much different than making Cucumber Pickles and Dilly Green Beans Pickles. The brine solution and acidity are about the same unless you want a little twerk: adding more spices, adding sugar, eliminating ingredients you don’t like (in this recipe). I prefer sour pickles over sweet & sour. If You want to add sugar in this recipe just make sure that the salt, sour and sweet flavor is balance. I don’t like super strong, high acidity brine, so I use 2:1 ratio (2 cups water, 3/4 to 1 cup vinegar/fresh lemon juice).

NOTE: You can make Refrigerated Okra Pickles using this recipe. No water bath process needed! Scroll down to read more…
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Classification: Vegetarian
Category: Canning and Food Preservation

INGREDIENTS:

Okra (smaller sizes)- 4 to 5 pounds (2-3 kilos)
water – 6 cups
apple cider vinegar – 3 cups (fresh lemon juice is another good option)
salt (prefer pickling salt) – 1/3 cup (5 tablespoons)
garlic cloves – 2 pcs per jar
red bell pepper – few strips slices per jar
coriander seeds – 1/2 teaspoon per jar
mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon per jar
dill seeds – 1/4 teaspoon per jar (optional)

Simplest Ingredients’ Alternative

Okra, water, vinegar (prefer organic natural), salt, garlic cloves, bell pepper, onion slices, 2 lemon slices to place at the bottom of the jar. You can also put chili pepper or 1/2 teaspoon (or more chili) powder if you like hot and spicy food.

WHAT YOU NEED:

4 quart canning jars with lids and rings
Water bath canner
Jar lifter
Cooking stove

PREPARATION:

1. Select the freshest, young okra. Wash and drain. Cut blossom ends, leave the head but trim to a shorter length.

2. Prepare the canning equipment. Wash and clean canning jars with warm water. You can also wash it in dishwasher. Read here for more information on water bath canning.

3. In a big pot, put water, apple cider vinegar, and salt. Bring it to boil for about 3 minutes.

4. Arrange okra, garlic, peppers, in the canning jars. Pack tightly. Add other seasonings: coriander seeds, mustard seeds, dill seeds. Make sure there is about an inch space left above the okras.

5. Pour the brine up to the neck of the jar, covering the okras. Leave about an inch space below the lids.

6. Wipe the rims of the jars with clean, damp, washcloth to remove debris that could affect the sealing process.

7. In a canning pot, fill some water about half to three-fourth full, and bring it to boil. Let it sit until jars are ready for canning process.

8. Place the filled jars in the canning rack. Add water to the boiling water if necessary to make sure that water covers the jars (about an inch above the lids). You can also place a hand towel at the bottom of the pot (if you have no rack available for use), to avoid breaking the jars.

9. Bring the water to boil and process for 15 minutes.

Note: Don’t be confused as to why pickled okra is processed by water bath. Most homemade canned pickles are done by water boiling process, even though Okra is a type of vegetable. The sour (acidic) brine is what makes it capable to process in water bath (boiling process). Unlike canning plain vegetables (except for tomatoes, because it is naturally acidic) they must be pressure-canned to cook the vegetable thoroughly, and to prevent bad bacterial growth that could cause botulism.

10. Using a jar lifter remove the jars from the pot and set it on a towel. Cover the jars with towels to prevent drastic temperature change.

11. Wait for the lids to seal. If you hear popping sound (the suction pressure), it means the jar has been sealed. When jars have cooled off (after 8 hours), check for unsealed jars. Lids must be sucked down, not bulge out. You can re-process the content of the unsealed jars by transferring it to a new, clean jar. OR you can refrigerate it, and enjoy after 24 hours!

12. Put label on each jar: Name, date, ingredients, etc. You may or may not remove the jar rings/bands. If you intend to keep it longer in the pantry, taking the rings off will help prevent rust from forming around the rim.

Your canned pickled okra will be best eaten after 24 hours. Shelf life is 6 months up to 2 years… and longer, whenever you open it! I still have canned pickled okra from three years ago and they are still fine! 🙂

Note:
You can do refrigerated Pickled okra (without doing the water bath canning process) using the same ingredients, except you will need to boil all the ingredients (except onions and peppers) before pouring the brine into the jars. Refrigerated pickled okra will keep well in the refrigerator for several weeks. Enjoy the crunch!

Pickling Okra

Boiling Process for Pickling Okra

Boiling Process for Pickling Okra

Homemade Pickled Okra - Canned

Cucumber Pickles

Cucumber Pickles (Dill) :Homemade with Lemon Juice Brine Option

What to do with extra cucumbers — other than eating them fresh in salad, or juice form? Make some pickles! My husband prefers dill cucumber pickles over bread & butter pickles (the sweet and sour). I eat both, but when I am canning I make more dill cucumber pickles. It is very easy. If you don’t have everything as listed in this recipe, it’s okay, as long as you have the main ingredients:cucumbers, vinegar/lemon juice, water, salt… and a few other common spices like garlic, onion bulb or green onions, you can make pickles. 🙂 Have fun and enjoy your pickles!

More related food preservation recipes.
Canned Green Beans
Canned Blackberries
Canned Pasta Sauce
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DILL(Cucumber) PICKLES :Homemade with Lemon Brine Option
Classification: Vegan

Things needed: Water-bath canner, canning (mason) jars with rings & lids, jar lifter, see canning instruction here for more information. The recipe below is made for a batch of pickles — 7 jars. Adjust the amount of ingredients if necessary.

Note: You can make a Refrigerated Dill Cucumber Pickles using this recipe –without doing the water bath, canning process.

Ingredients:

cucumbers – half an inch, round sliced (or whole small cucumbers or cut into wedges)
water – 8 cups
organic apple cider vinegar or lemon juice- 2 and 1/2 (to 3 cups for a stronger brine)
salt (preferably pickling salt) – 3/4 cups (to 1 cup for stronger brine)
garlic cloves (peeled) – 14 pieces
onions – strip slices
dill seeds – 1/2 teaspoon per jar (fresh dill leaves can also be used)
mustard seeds – 1/4 teaspoon per jar
coriander seeds – 1/4 teaspoon per jar (optional)
young grape leaves – 14 pieces

Preparation:

1. Prepare all the canning materials: Wash jars in hot soapy water (or in a dishwasher), rinse and set aside. Read here for more information and instructions on canning.

2. Prepare all the pickle ingredients: Cucumbers rinsed and sliced. Garlic peeled, and onion sliced.

3. Boil 8 cups of water, apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice), salt, in a bigger pot. Set aside when done. In another small pot, boil some water with the canning rings and lids in it. Simmer for about 2 minutes.

Note: Increase the amount of cider vinegar or lemon if you want stronger (higher acidity) brine. Increase also the amount of salt.

4. Fill jars: Place 1 garlic piece at the bottom of each jar, 1 grape leaf (to keep the cucumbers fresher and crispier longer in jars), along with dill seeds (or dill leaves), mustard seeds, coriander seeds. Tightly load the cucumbers into the jar. Arrange well by pressing the cucumbers and onions tightly. Fill jars up to the neck, leaving about an inch space for boiling and sealing. Add the last grape leaf on top with some more onion slices, and 1 garlic piece.

5. Once the jars are filled, pour the brine into the jars (using a canning funnel). Leave an inch space from the rim. Wipe the rims with a damp washcloth. Put lids and rings on, tightening evenly.

6. Place filled jars into the canning pot, with water just to the necks of the jars. Bring water to a boil for about 10 minutes — depending on how fast the water heats up. Some preparations only require to keep the pickles-filled-jars in an almost boiling water to prevent the cucumbers from getting too soft —not leaving the pickles boiling for too long in the water.

7. After the process, remove jars using a jar lifter. Set on a towel and let it cool. Avoid extreme temperature change. Cover the top with another towel if necessary.

8. After jars have cooled off; check for seal, lids have to be sucked down, not bulged out. Pickles in unsealed jars can be consumed first or be put in the refrigerator. Label jars or lids: name of the finished product, date or year. (Ex. Dill Cucumber Pickles (A.Cider), 2015). Store in dark, cool temperature.

Suggested Measurement for smaller batches: (If for some reason your brine preparation was not enough)

3 cups water
1 and 1/2 cups – cider vinegar/freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 and 1/2 – 3 tablespoon salt (preferably canning salt because it is pure, no anti-caking agent)

Pickle Ingredients

Cucumber Pickles - Water boiling process

Cucumber Pickles – Water boiling process

Homemade Cucumber Pickles

Homemade Cucumber Pickles

HALO-HALO (Mixed together) :The Popular Filipino Refreshment or Dessert

About a couple of years ago my husband and I attended a community block party hosted by our church. There were lots of healthy food provided for visitors, drinks, and some refreshments and one of them was snow cones. For those of you who do not know what it is; it’s made of shaved ice with some sweet, fruit-flavored, liquid flavoring in it — that simple! Though I was thrilled seeing how fast the shaved ice was made (using a machine), I was not thrilled about the flavor — it’s pretty boring and simple! I wish I had known that they were serving shaved ice so I could have brought the Halo-halo ingredients with us! My husband and I both agreed and laughed.

Anyway, the sizzling summer heat here in Tennessee is inevitable. It is advisable to drink plenty of fluids and fresh juice. Eating watery fruits (and vegetables) are also great ways to keep us refreshed and hydrated. Halo-halo is a yummy, summer treat that you and your family would surely love! What is Halo-halo?

“Halo-halo (Tagalog: [haˈlo-haˈlo], “mixed together”) is a popular Filipino dessert with mixtures of shaved ice and evaporated milk to which are added various boiled sweet beans, jello and fruits. It is served in a tall glass or bowl. Ingredients include boiled kidney beans, garbanzos, sugar palm fruit (kaong), coconut sport (macapuno), and plantains sweetened with sugar, jackfruit (langkâ), gulaman, tapioca, nata de coco, sweet potato (kamote), cheese, pounded crushed young rice (pinipig). Most of the ingredients (fruits, beans, and other sweets) are first placed inside the tall glass, followed by the shaved ice. This is then sprinkled with sugar, and topped with either (or a combination of) leche flan, purple yam (ubeng pula), or ice cream. Evaporated milk is poured into the mixture upon serving.” -Excerpt from Wikipedia

My recipe of Halo-halo is simple. I only used a few ingredients and most of them are store-bought ready to eat/mix. If you want to use the same ingredients I have in this recipe, you can find them at any international/Asian stores near you. The main ingredients of Halo-halo are 1. Shaved ice, 2. Evaporated milk (or non-dairy milk substitute like almond milk), 3. Fruits, sweetened beans or anything you want in your Halo-halo, 4. A little bit of sweetener (optional)… and the rest of the ingredients are optional. Try it out and enjoy!

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HALO-HALO (Mixed together) : The Popular Filipino Refreshment or Dessert

Classification: vegetarian with vegan options

INGREDIENTS:

shaved ice
evaporated milk (or almond milk)
nata de coco (coconut gel)
kaong (sugar palm fruit)
ube halaya (purple yam jam)
sweetened jackfruit
sweetened beans (red or mung beans work)
ice cream of your choice
sugar to taste – optional

METHOD:

Preparing the Sweetened ingredients:

A. Prepare sweetened jackfruit by opening a can of jackfruit in syrup. Drain the syrup and slice it up into strips. In a pan add about 1/4 cup of water. Put all the sliced jackfruit. Add about 1-2 tablespoon of sugar. Cook until jackfruit is soft.

B. To prepare the sweetened beans. Soak about half a cup of beans overnight. Rinse and drain. In a pan put the beans. Add some water. Cook until soft but not over-cooked (mushy). Add sugar, and cook a little bit more until beans and sugar are well mixed.

Preparing the Halo-halo:

1. In a clear bowl or glass put fruits, beans (about 2 tablespoon-full of each ingredient) and sugar, about 1 teaspoon.

Fill only half of the container to make sure there is enough room to put the rest of the ingredients.

2. Add shaved ice.
(you can use a blender to crush some ice cubes, crushed ice from the refrigerator dispenser would work, or you can use a dedicated ice shaving machine)

3. Pour in some evaporated milk. Top it with a couple scoops of ice cream.

…And enjoy! 🙂

HALO-HALO (Mixed together) :The Popular Filipino Refreshment or Dessert

HALO-HALO (Mixed together) :The Popular Filipino Refreshment or Dessert – Ingredients

HALO-HALO (Mixed together) :The Popular Filipino Refreshment or Dessert

HALO-HALO (Mixed together) :The Popular Filipino Refreshment or Dessert — Layered ingredients

HALO-HALO (Mixed together) :The Popular Filipino Refreshment or Dessert

HALO-HALO (Mixed together) :The Popular Filipino Refreshment or Dessert – Without milk (yet)

HALO-HALO (Mixed together) :The Popular Filipino Refreshment or Dessert

HALO-HALO (Mixed together) :The Popular Filipino Refreshment or Dessert

HALO-HALO (Mixed together) :The Popular Filipino Refreshment or Dessert

HALO-HALO (Mixed together) :The Popular Filipino Refreshment or Dessert

Halo-halo (mixed together) :Popular Filipino Refreshment or Dessert

Halo-halo (mixed together) :Popular Filipino Refreshment or Dessert

Seasoned Popcorn :Vegan

Why do I have to share my family’s popcorn recipe? The answer is simple — it tastes good and healthy compared to store-bought, ready-to-eat or microwaveable popcorn that are loaded with unhealthy ingredients! I have not eaten lots of popcorn in my entire life until I married my husband! It’s true, because it’s his and his family’s favorite! 😀 Typically at night we don’t eat heavy meals, but light supper. It usually consist of bread (toast), peanut butter-banana-sandwich, chips, fruits, popcorn, and some variation. I especially like it when my husband seasons the popcorn. I know that nutritional yeast flakes is not readily available in some countries, so if you want to try this out just use whatever ingredients you have available in your area. Whether you are snacking, watching a movie, enjoying a bonfire night with friends, having a wholesomely seasoned popcorn is a way to go. 🙂

POPCORN : Vegan
Good source of fiber, protein, antioxidants, trace minerals

INGREDIENTS

popcorn kernels – 1/2 cup
olive oil or coconut oil – 3 tablespoons (divided)
nutritional yeast flakes – 3-4 tablespoons (divided)
sea salt – 1 teaspoon (divided)
kelp powder or granules – 1 teaspoon

METHOD:

1. Place unpopped popcorn kernels in a popper until it’s all popped. Popcorn must be in big mixing bowl for easy stirring.

2. Drizzle about 1 and 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil/coconut oil over popcorn. Sprinkle about 2 tablespoon of nutritional yeast, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of kelp powder. Stir gently with a spoon so the seasoning won’t fall off the kernels.

3. Drizzle the rest of olive oil and sprinkle the rest of the seasoning (You can always adjust the amount of seasoning according to your taste) Stir again gently… And enjoy!

Popcorn seasoning

Popcorn seasoning

Seasoned Popcorn

Seasoned Popcorn

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Seasoned Popcorn

Healthy Anti-Stress Smoothie

I have heard that some people like to eat a lot of sweets (even non-sweet food) when they are stressed… In fact most of them say it’s one of the reasons why they gain a lot of weight! It’s the opposite for me, because I don’t have a big appetite when I am stressed unless I am really hungry. This Anti-Stress Smoothie recipe is a better option instead of having a sickeningly sweet ice cream or cake. I modified this simple recipe that I got from Kitchen Living blender manual. It’s great for light supper 🙂

HEALTHY ANTI-STRESS SMOOTHIE : Vegetarian

Health Benefits: Banana is known to be rich in potassium. It helps overcome depression because of “high levels of tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin — the happy-mood brain neurotransmitter”. It helps regulate blood sugar, aids in digestion, and many other health benefits. Yogurt is great for overall health. It helps with digestion thereby optimizing the nutrients we get from the food we eat. Bluerries are high in anti-oxidants. Soy (milk) is one good source of protein. Blackstrap molasses is high in iron, is great for heart and bone health, helps in boosting body energy, a good source of antioxidants as well, and many other benefits.

INGREDIENTS:

soy milk or almond milk – 1 cup
frozen yogurt – 1/2 cup
banana – 1 ripe
frozen blueberries (or raspberries, strawberries, blackberries)- 3/4 cup
molasses or honey – 1 tablespoon

METHOD:

Put all ingredients in a blender. Blend on high until smooth.

Serves about 4 cups. Enjoy!

Anti-Stress Smoothie

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