January 2018

Pasta Fix: 5 Favorites Add-Ins for your Pasta Dishes (Hint: They are all Vegan!)

How many of you love pasta? I love it too because it is so versatile! I love the fact that it can be done in a few minutes and it can take many forms and flavors! But, how to upgrade that sauce that you make over en over? That’s the question! Today I want to share with you my top 5 (vegan) add-ins for pasta dishes.

Let’s go!

Favorite Add-In #1: Sweet Potato

Sweet Potato or Yams is one of those ingredients that I pretty much hated before. In the Dominican Republic we have other kind of sweet potato (is white or yellow-ish and very sweet) which I love, but this orange one, nah! it wasn’t for me until one day I just paired it with some pasta and O-M-G! it was so good.

Sweet potato not just add some flavor and sweetness to your classic pasta sauce but it also add creaminess, and its flavor is not overpowering, so you still have the rich tomato plus herbs. Totally delicious! Click here for a recipe

Favorite Add-in #2: Roasted Eggplants

I just realized I haven’t shared an exact recipe for this one, but I did share about this on one of my featured instagram stories. It is just plain roasted eggplant that I peel and seeded, and then dry out a bit on a skillet or frying pan before adding it to my homemade pomodoro sauce.

Of course, you can just add the roasted eggplants straight to the sauce but I prefer to get some of the moisture out of the eggplants first because it makes a more hearty sauce over all.

Favorite Add-In #3: Almond Meal 

Cannot say enough of this amazing add-in! It is A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!

If you have being following on instagram for a while you probably read this post and you know that I love love love almond meal in my pasta (addition that I made totally out of desperation). If you are a chunky-pasta & cheese lover (like me!!) I know you will love this one! It is funny I never thought of this one, even when I was so used to make pesto, until the day, of course, I had this pasta enlightenment lol.

For this one, you just have to add ground almonds (with the skin on or off) to your pasta right before you take it out of the stove. For 500 grs of pasta I would add about a cup, mix well and serve. Easy enough? 😉

Favorite Add-In #4: Avocados

This is probably one of the easiest pasta dishes EVER and these days is a classic. For this avocado pesto I will use the traditional pesto as a base (fresh basil, garlic, olive oil and pine nuts or almond meal) or I will substitute basil with spinach or use a combination of both for a more subtle flavor.

Easy, creamy and green. Just one thing: eat quickly as the avocado tends to oxidase.

Favorite Add-In #5: Mushrooms

If you love the meaty texture of mushrooms you will love to have them either with pomodoro sauce (to make a veggies ragut) or you can have them sauteed and add them to a creamy sauce! (I need to post a recipe for this! Hopefully will make that soon!)

UPDATE: The recipe for Mushrooms & Spinach Alfredo is up! 

Tell us! What are your favorite add-ins for pasta dishes? Let us know in the comment section below! We will love to try some! And, of course! Don’t forget to follow on Instagram & Pinterest for more easy recipes and inspiration! Thank you so much for your support!

Until next time!

These are the Best Yeast Doughnuts. Period! (Dairy-Free)

The Only Yeast Donuts Recipe You'll Ever Need {Dairy-free}

I have been testing yeast doughnuts recipes since 2010. During that time, I have wasted hundreds of pounds of flour (no kidding!) searching for the best, fluffy doughnuts ever eaten, without the load of dairy products. It can take time to find a doughnut you love, and when you do, they will most likely be amazing when fresh, but not so good the next morning… except for these ones!

These doughnuts are a must during Hanukkah, and although they are a labor of love, your family and guests won’t be disappointed, in fact, they might beg for more, because these doughnuts are airy and fluffy even when baked!, and they pass the “next morning” test – reheated in the oven at 300F for about 3-5 minutes, and they were as good as new (hey, you don’t even have to reheat if you leave them at room temperature! In short, these are a dream come true!

And, well, as much as I want to tell you that I did all the”figuring out” by myself, the truth is, a very talented baker that I’ve followed on instagram for some years now, kindly shared her recipe with me, and to that I made adjustments. If you love baking, and want to learn more recipes and tips, you should check her page on instagram.

All the nitty gritty of this doughnut is detailed in the recipe notes below. As I said, these are a labor of love, but so worthy. If after all the details you still have questions, please, don’t hesitate to ask; send me an email or DM on instagram or use the contact form here

These are the Best Yeast Doughnuts. Period! (Dairy-Free)

Course Dessert

Equipment

  • Hand Mixer with dough hook or Stand Mixer

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Kg All Purpose flou
  • 250 gr Bread flour
  • 100 gr White Sugar
  • 20 gr Rapid Rise Yeast* (also called "instant") see Notes below
  • 210 ml Eggs
  • 515 ml Lukewarm Water
  • 100 ml Vegetable Oil (or other neutral oil)
  • 30 ml 30 ml Vanilla extract, butter emulsion or other preferred flavoring
  • 3 gr 3 gr Vanilla Sugar* omit if using vanilla extract
  • 2 gr Salt

Speculoos Donuts

  • 720 gr Speculoos cookie spread
  • 200 gr Speculoos cookies

Chocolate Filling

  • 200 gr Semi-Sweet Chocolate chunks
  • 250 gr Plant-based milk
  • 50 ml Vegan Whipping cream

Glazed Chocolate Donuts

  • 150 gr Confectioner's sugar
  • 30 gr Cocoa Powder
  • 30 ml Prepared instant coffee (or you can use plant-based milk or water instead)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Cut out squares of baking paper and set aside.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix the dry ingredients.
  • Add wet ingredients to the mixer and start mixing on low, then medium speed10-12 minutes. (If using hand mixer with hook attachment, make sure you stop the mixer for a minute after a few minutes, to avoid overheating).
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Weight portions of 60 gr for traditional size donuts or 30 gr for 2-bites size donuts.
  • Place the donut over a baking sheet, each donut over a piece of a square of baking paper. Cover the donuts with a towel and set aside.
  • Let the donuts rise at room temperature for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  • About 20 minutes before frying, start preheating your vegetable oil.
  • Place the donuts with baking paper in the hot oil and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side. Once golden brown, remove from the oil and place over a wire rack to drain excess oil.

For the Sugar Donuts

  • Place the donuts in a bowl of sugar while they are still warm.
  • Carefully remove the excess sugar before serving.

For Cookie Butter / Speculoos Donuts

  • Place soften cookie butter in a piping bag with a round tip
  • Make a incision on one side of the donut with a pairing knife, then place the piping tip inside the incision and fill the donut
  • Spread or pipe some cookie butter on top of each donut, and top with pieces of Speculoos cookies.

Chocolate Filling

  • Simmer the milk of choice, and pour the hot milk over the chopped semi-sweet chocolate. Set aside for a few minutes, until the chocolate starts to melt.
  • Mix the milk and chocolate very well with a whisk, until everything is well incorporated, the ganache is glossy and no chocolate chunk remains.
  • Cover the ganache with plastic wrap on contact and set aside until the ganache is semi-firm and spoonable.
  • Mix the ganache with the whipping cream. Place the whipped ganache inside a piping bag with a round tip. Set aside.
  • Make a incision on one side of the donut with a pairing knife, then place the piping tip inside the incision and fill the donut with the whipped ganache.
  • Glaze (recipe follows) and set aside for a few minutes, for the glaze to set.

Chocolate Glaze

  • Mix together sugar and cocoa powder with a whisk to break any lumps.
  • Slowly pour in the coffee or milk of choice, to make a paste.
  • Continue mixing, adding coffee or milk, a little at a time if necessary, until you have a pourable consistency.

Notes

On the ingredients:
THE YEAST:
If you are using "dry yeast" instead of "rapid rise or instant yeast", use double the amount of yeast. 
Instant yeast can be added directly to the dry ingredients, but if you are using dry yeast, you need to bloom (activate) it first. Sprinkle the yeast over the lukewarm water listed on the recipe, mix well with a fork and set aside for a few minutes until foamy. Then, the yeast if ready to use. 
VANILLA SUGAR:
If you don’t have vanilla sugar you can make your own just scrape out the seeds of one vanilla pod and mix with 1 cup of sugar. Place this into a airtight container together with the vanilla pod until ready to use. If you can’t find vanilla sugar or make your own, use 1 tsp of vanilla extract in its place.

If you are making the dough by hand
In a big bowl, mix your dry ingredients, then make a well in the center and add your mixed wet ingredients. Start working with your hands, mixing the ingredients from the center outwards, until you form a dough. It will be sticky. DON'T be tempted to add more flour to the dough itself. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest for about an hour at room temperature, until double in size.
** If you will be making the donuts later, you can place the bowl, covered in plastic wrap in the refrigerator, for a slow fermentation, until ready to use. When ready to use, take the bowl out of the refrigerator and let come to room temperature and double in size before proceeding with next steps. 
Once the dough has doubled in size, push down the dough and transfer to a lightly floured surface, and continue with the next steps. 

If you are baking the doughnuts

Preheat your oven to 180ºC (350ºF) .
Shape the doughnuts and place on a baking sheet with baking paper.
Set the donuts aside until double in size, and bake in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes.
Storing for future use: 
Shape the doughnuts and place over a baking sheet covered with baking paper or a silicon mat.
Place the baking sheet in the freezer until the donuts are rock hard.
Remove the donuts from the baking sheet and store on in a ziplock bag.
When ready to use, place each donut over a square of baking paper and on a baking sheet to come to room temperature and double in size. Then, fry or bake as stated previously 
Keyword dairy-free, donuts, hanukkah

Have you make these Dairy-Free Yeast Doughnuts yet? Use the tag #kasheribbean to share your pictures on social media and, don’t forget to follow on instagram and pinterest for more recipes and inspiration! Until next time.

4 Easy & Travel-Friendly Meals that will Survive a Long-Haul Flight

A few weeks ago I returned from another long haul flight, and because of previous bad experiences and mistakes with my kosher meals, I wanted to do things differently this time; I decided I was going to prepare my own meals to take on the plane in case there was another mistake. But because not all food can be in optimal condition for long hours without refrigeration, I needed to pick wisely. Today I’ll share with you 4 travel-friendly meals that will survive your next long flight!

It was the third time traveling with this particular airline and they have already forgotten twice to order my kosher meal, so I planned to make food for an army because we are talking about an 8+ hours flight and I am travelling but a boy that eats like an adult sometimes. At first I wasn’t sure, but when I arrived to the airport and I was told the flight was delayed almost 2.5 hours plus the voucher given to us needed to be redeemed at another area of the airport (I needed to pass security again and we were already tired!…No thank you!), I knew it was actually a good thing. We had a lovely dinner at the airport and we still had food for the plane. Yay!

You probably may be thinking, why would I bother to cook when I can just buy whatever on the airport or just bring snacks?

Well, if you follow the blog for a while you know I love to have my snacks ready for traveling (You can see what I usually pack for snacking in this post and this one) but this time I wanted FOOD (You know what I mean? I wanted salty-satisfying homemade food, not just easy to chew snacks or fruits). I bothered to cook because usually the options at the airports are very limited (usually to bread and flour in every form possible and sugary stuff), and the “healthy” food is usually just salads (something that I can make at home for 1/3 of the price!)

Things to consider when cooking your own food for the plane

There are a few things you need to consider when traveling with food:

  1. Take food that can do well for a long time without refrigeration like pastas, rice, potatoes and some veggies like blanched or roasted broccoli and carrots as well as whole grape tomatoes.
  2. Don’t go overboard with smelly stuff: You certainly can use spices and herbs (nobody wants bland food!) but try not to use ingredients that you can smell a mile away like smoked anything, or fish, or onions and garlic.
  3. Limit your sauces: You cannot pass liquids through security so make sure whatever you are bringing has minimum liquids and they are in containers no more than 150 ml.

Now, let’s talk about the meals. So far I have tried these ones:

Roasted Potatoes & Chicken (or meat substitute)

For this meal I seasoned the potatoes with salt, black pepper and turmeric and added 1 tablespoon of olive oil. I then roast the potatoes for 30-40 minutes or until they were cooked through (and I would say a bit soft). Let cool down completely and store in the fridge until ready to go. I cut my potatoes not too thick not too thin, so they cooking time may vary depending how you cut. You want your potatoes to be thick enough that they will hold the shape and thin enough that they will be soft when thawed ( because nobody wants to eat dry-cold-hard roasted potatoes that could cut your throat. lol)

For the chicken breast, I seasoned with salt, pepper, soy sauce and paprika and let marinate overnight (if don’t have time just mix well and cook right away). I oven baked it this time but you can pan fried, steam it or whatever method you prefer.

This meal passed the taste very well. I even had leftovers that I ate at home once I arrived from the airport 😛

Basmati Rice & Veggie Burger (or some random meat)

For this meal I coked basmati rice with turmeric (I love it!), curry and chickpeas and serve it with a vegan burger I found at the grocery store. I originally made the rice plain because I wanted to make sure it would last long hours, but it looked so boring and unappetizing so I ended up making another batch of this yellow rice. You can also add roasted cashews to add some crunch (I will add them when ready to eat) and I garnished with some parsley to give it a pop of color. I won’t recommend making rice with certain legumes, like beans or sweet peas, because if the weather is too humid they can go bad. I like the chickpeas and cashews (or roasted almonds) for this rice because they hold very well and will make your rice delicious.

If you have on hand, you can use couscous or quinoa instead of rice and if you prefer, you can make some boneless chicken tights or chicken breast or even vegan meatballs (like Gardein) instead of the veggie burger.

Mashed Potatoes with Cheese

This is one of the combos that never gets old and what I personally call “the lazy combo” haha. I mashed the potatoes with cream cheese, salt, and a little bit of black pepper and topped with some cheese slices. I doesn’t looks so fancy but it made my cheesy dreams come true, plus you can eat it cold or at room temperature.

Marinara or Pesto Pasta with Almond Meal (Vegan)

For this occasion I made the super easy Sweet Potato & Tomato Pasta Sauce to which I added almond meal. I am a fan of almond meal because it gives such a nice flavor and texture to pasta dishes (no wonders why italians use nuts in their pesto! Yum!) Also, it adds on protein and healthy fats and it makes it very satisfying. I love Anthony’s Brand almond meal (have been using it for years now! Delicious!)

I like to cook my pasta al dente, add some pasta sauce (I haven’t tried pesto pasta for travelling but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work)

A post shared by Hannah Abreu (@foodiemomdreams) on

Believe or not, this time the airline didn’t forget my special meal but unfortunately the food was too spicy for me or my son to eat (I am allergic to hot peppers!!) I finally realized bringing my own food was a good idea; I placed my favorite over the mini table and enjoyed it while watching Sherlock Holmes.

What about you? Have you ever brought homemade meals to the airplane? What are your favorite ones? Let us know in the comment section below and don’t forget to follow on instagram and pinterest. We appreciate your support!

Until next time!

Roasted Beets Salad

January 1st. was my 30th birthday! Yay!…And what a way to celebrate such a milestone than to watch movies all day and eating lazy-style healthy food?. LOL. For the special occasion I did nothing “special” except I prepared one of my favorite salads, Roasted Beets salad. Extremely easy, delicious and nutritious.

 

Roasted beets: Full of flavor

Not sure if you know, beets and cumin go extremely well together and that is why this humble salad is made with fragrant cumin-parsley combo. The combo is the bomb. Don’t let the humble ingredients fool you and try it for yourself.

 

Easy, Right?
If you ever want this even easier get your hand on some store-bought boiled beets (not the canned ones, yuck). They will be delicious either way!

Don’t forget to follow on instagram to keep track of other easy recipes we share only on instagram! Also follow on Pinterest where we share our favorite recipes from the blogosphere!

Until next time!