Category Archives: Favorites

Master Recipe: Reductions

Wait! Don’t let the word ‘reduction’ scare you away, it’s one of the easiest techniques to mater and will help you create deeply flavorful sauces for all kinds of dishes.

You simply start with a seasoned liquid, anything from balsamic vinegar to broth, boil it down to a fraction of its volume, and you’re done! What you will have is a concentrated sauce that’s naturally thick and redolent with flavor.

master recipe:
SAVORY REDUCTION
_________________________________________________
1) Sauté 1/4 cup chopped onion, green onion, and/or celery, plus 1 teaspoon ginger and/or garlic (optional) in 1 to 2 tablespoons oil or butter over medium-low heat until golden brown.
2) Add 1 cup broth, wine, or fruit or vegetable juice, plus fresh or dried herbs (sprigs work well) and/or spices.
3) Boil mixture, uncovered, until syrupy and reduced by at least half.
4) Strain, and discard solids.

Here’s a few reductions to get you started:

Demi~Glace
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 leek, chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 and 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup dry sherry
6 whole peppercorns
4 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves

To make Demi~Glace: Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add leek, carrot, and celery; sauté 10 minutes. Stir in flour; cook 2 minutes, or until flour begins to brown. Add tomato paste, garlic, broth, wine, and sherry and simmer 3 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 30 minutes. Remove from heat, and cool 30 minutes. Strain mixture through sieve, and discard solids.
**Demi-glace is a classic French brown sauce with hundreds of uses, it can be spooned over roasted-vegetable dishes or used to flavor soups.**

Balsamic~Agave Drizzle
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon plus 1 and 1/2 teaspoon agave
3 allspice berries
3 whole peppercorns
1 sprig fresh rosemary

To make Balsamic~Agave Drizzle: Bring vinegar, 1 tablespoon agave, allspice, peppercorns, and rosemary sprig to a boil in small saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 10 minutes, or until reduced to 1/2 cup. Remove rosemary sprig and spices; stir in remaining 1 and 1/2 teaspoon agave.
**Gastrique is a culinary term for the reduced balsamic sauce, it can be drizzled it over parsnip fritters.**

Lemongrass~Orange Reduction
2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon minced fresh lemongrass
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 and 1/2 tablespoons tamari

To make Lemongrass~Orange Reduction: Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallot, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, and pepper; sauté 3 minutes. Whisk in juice, broth, and tamari. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
**This bright citrus sauce makes a tasty topping for roasted squash.**

master recipe:
SWEET REDUCTION
__________________________________
1) Combine 1 cup juice, wine, or balsamic vinegar
and 2 to 8 tablespoons agave, sugar, or maple syrup in small saucepan.
2) Add herbs (rosemary, thyme, lavender, and lemony
herbs are good choices) and/or spices (cinnamon,
nutmeg, cloves, vanilla).
3) Boil mixture, watching it closely to prevent
scorching, until syrupy and reduced by at least half.
(Sweet reductions will thicken as they cool.)
4) Strain, and discard solids.

Spiced Zinfandel Syrup with Fruit Compote
3 cups dry red wine
1/3 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
16 whole pitted prunes or dried plums
16 whole dried figs
16 whole dried pitted apricots
1/4 cup dried pitted cherries

Bring wine, 1 cup water, sugar, cinnamon stick, and vanilla bean to a boil in large saucepan. Add prunes, figs, apricots, and cherries, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 1 hour. Cool. Remove cinnamon stick and vanilla bean, and chill 3 hours.

Other Master Recipe Posts:

{Source: Vegetarian Times, October 2012}

Weekly Rewind~Top 5 Recipes Edition

rewindtop5

This week’s rewind is all about FOOD! These are the top 5 most viewed recipes on my site.

Homemade Vegetable Broth | Herbivore Triathlete

5th Place: Kitchen Scraps Homemade Vegetable Broth-I eat a lot of veggies and end up with a lot of vegetable scraps. I like to save money every way I can and I also like to have homemade versions of convenience items as much as possible. It is super easy and economical to make your own broth. I like to use veggie broth when I cook, either because the recipe calls for it, or to add nutritional value to things like pasta, rice, and other grains.

Meyer Lemon Blueberry Muffins | Herbivore Triathlete

4th Place: Meyer Lemon Blueberry Muffins-The Meyer lemon in these muffins give them an incredible lemon fragrance and flavor that is unbelievable. This recipe would be great with raspberries as well.

Strawberry-Goji Muffins with Mini-Chocolate Chips | Herbivore Triathlete

3rd Place: Strawberry-Goji Muffins with Mini-chocolate chips-The recipe for these muffins came from Let Them Eat Vegan by Dreena Burton. The goji berries are used in a creative way and lend a depth of flavor to this healthy muffins while the mini-chocolate chips add a delicious hint of sweetness and indulgence.

Soft Pretzel Bites | Herbivore Triathlete

2nd Place: Soft Pretzel Bites with Sesame Seeds-These pretzel bites are reminiscent of the big soft pretzels that you can find at the mall. They are super easy to make and highly customizable.

Cookie Butter Banana Bread  | Herbivore Triathlete

1st Place: Cookie Butter Banana Bread-It comes as no surprise to me that this is the most viewed recipe on my blog by a landslide! In my opinion, cookie butter makes everything better and this bread is no exception. If you haven’t made it yet, I highly encourage you to make it as soon as possible!

What’s your favorite recipe on my blog? What recipes would you like to see in the future?

Homemade Citrus Infused Household Cleaner

Citrus works great as a degreaser, stain remover and freshener.  Vinegar is also a great cleaning agent, breaking down mold, grease, mineral deposits and bacteria.  Combine the two and you have a great natural cleaner.

Citrus Collage // Herbivore Triathlete

This cleaner is eco-friendly not only because it is biodegradable and safe to use, but because it is making use of products that would otherwise be thrown in the trash.

Directions:

  1. Place the leftover rinds from any citrus fruit (orange, grapefruit, lemon, etc) into a glass jar.
  2. Pour white vinegar over top of the rinds until vinegar covers the rinds.
  3. Put a lid on it and let it sit for 2 weeks.
  4. Remove rinds, strain liquid through a sieve, and store in a glass jar.
  5. Use diluted 1:1 water to citrus vinegar in a spray bottle.

Remember the dishwasher detergent I made? I told you then that the vinegar works as a rinse aid and that citric acid is what keeps deposits and buildups off your dishes. I know sometimes I miss the lemon-y smell of store bought dishwasher detergent. Now, I’ve got a solution! Use this simple, 2 ingredient cleaner as the rinse aid. Perfect!

Check out my other Do It Yourself posts!

Weekly Rewind~Easter Edition

easter rewind

Are you excited for Easter weekend? I know my kids sure are! This week’s rewind is all about Easter. I’ve included both vegan foods as well as some other cute stuff I found around the internet. For even more Easter themed fun, check out my Easter Pinterest Board!

Easter-Zombie

How cute is this guy? This zombie-style Easter bunny plush by HenryStMartin is a humorous addition to your Easter collection. You buy the zombie plush separately, but to add an Easter holiday touch to it, you can buy the zombie’s costume for $12 + shipping.

Easy-Easter-Hats

Super cute, super easy hats for your kids (or kid at heart)! Head on over to One Perfect Day for complete instructions and a free template!

peanut butter egg

Who doesn’t love chocolate and peanut butter? Check out this awesome vegan peanut butter egg from Sjaak’s Organic. Yum, yum!

bunny

Look, it’s a vegan bunny and eggs! Allison’s Gourmet doesn’t disappoint with this adorable vegan chocolate bunny speckled with rice crisps and flavored solid chocolate eggs.

savory-shortbread

These savory herbed shortbread with pesto filled thumbprints from Glue and Glitter sound like the perfect Easter appetizer to me.

avocado-soup

Avocados are a staple in all vegan diets and this Chilled Avocado Soup from She Knows Vegan looks amazing!

lasagna

I don’t think that lasagna is a traditional Easter dinner but it should be! This Vegan Lasagna with Basil Cashew Cheeze from Oh She Glows is incredible! My omnivore family devoured the whole pan.

risotto

I’ve always been intimidated by risotto, especially after watching Hell’s Kitchen and hearing Gordon Ramsay yelling at the chefs every. episode. that the risotto is CRAP! However, Jackie from Vegan Yack Attack assures me that this Asparagus Portabella Risotto is not to be feared.

miso tempeh

I think every vegan eats tempeh or tofu on a fairly regular basis, so Easter should be no different. These Miso Tofu or Tempeh logs from Kathy Patalsky look mighty tasty to me.

cake

We can’t have a complete Easter without delicious desserts now can we? Isn’t this cake gorgeous? The original post is in Finnish so some of the ingredients are probably hard to find in the States, but I fell in love with the photos, so here is the cake!

cinnamon cheesecake bars

These Cinnamon Swirl Caramel Cheesecake Bars from Chef Amber Shea should not even be legal! Seriously.

What are your plans for Easter? Do you have an Easter Egg hunt? Do you host a big brunch or dinner for your family?

Conscious Box~March

I got my Conscious Box in the mail today! Have you signed up for your monthly subscription yet? Discover the Best Natural Products on the Planet with Conscious Box!

bar

Two Degrees Bar~Made with natural ingredients and fortifying quinoa, chia, and millet, Two Degrees makes healthy, delicious snacks with purpose. For every bar purchased, Two Degrees donates one to a hungry child in need. Vegan, gluten-free, and GMO free, Two Degrees is helping fight malnutrition while keeping to principles of sustainable, honest business.

chocolate

Equal Exchange Fair Trade and Organic Chocolate~Enjoy chocolate like never before. Made with cacao from farmer co-operatives and organic sugar fair trade partners, Equal Exchange is proud to produce simple, healthy, and ethical chocolates. Vegan, soy-free, and gluten-free, these chocolates contain just five ingredients. Simple, delicious, and ethical!

cleanser

Better Life Natural Cleansing Scrubber~Clean your kitchen (and bathroom) with Mother Nature in mind! Better Life brings us a naturally powerful, family-safe cleanser that brings the shin back to everything from dirty toilet bowls to tile and grout and from glass stovetops to cultured marble. Shake well, apply directly to a wet surface, and never look back to the chemical-laden, toxic-compound infused conventional cleaning products.

dark chocolate

Sweetriot 70% Dark Chocolate~Embrace the pure chocolatey goodness of Sweetriot 70% Dark Chocolate. GMO-free, gluten-free, kosher, vegan, and packed with healthy antioxidants, Sweetriot makes deliciously pure chocolate that is also organic and fair trade. Indulge while feeling great about supporting a better life for farming families in Latin America!

espresso

Earnest Eats Dark Choco Espresso~Earnest Eats knows that food is important – so important that it should always only include the most wholesome, healthy, and delicious ingredients. Wheat-free, vegan, and made with double the chocolate for double the pleasure, Earnest Eats Dark Choco Espresso offers a hearty serving of fiber along the scrumptious combination of organic whole oats, almond butter, and a splash of espresso. Enjoy on the go with the morning joe for an excellent start to any day!

hemp

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts Raw Shelled Hemp Seeds~A perfect addition to your morning cereal or yogurt (or a great snack on its own!) Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts Raw Shelled Hemp Seeds have a buttery, nutty, absolutely delicious taste. Filled with essential nutrients like omegas, magnesium, and digestible protein, Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts make for a super-charged, super-healthy snack (move over potato chips!).

iphone

Chef Sleeve Disposable iPhone Sleeve~100% recyclable, Chef Sleeve has a simple mission: protect your phone. Whether you use these for cooking, painting, or any other dirty job, these can help add the protection needed to prevent having to buy a new phone (that saves a lot of e-waste). We suggest reusing these as much as possible!

 

onions

Simply Organic Minced Onions~Looking for a little extra zing in your cooking? Find it in organically grown minced onion from Simply Organic! With a warm, sweet and salty flavor that shines in savory dishes, this little spice packs a power punch that’s indispensable in the kitchen. Add a few flakes, a pour, or more!

 

perfume

Ancient Essence Frankincense & Myrrh~Rediscover the incredible scents of Ancient Essence’s Frankincense & Myrrh. Used for thousands of years, the combination of these two precious, highly vibrational commodities are known to promote spiritual awakening. With a wide variety of uses, Ancient Essence provides only the most pure and natural grade of each essential oil. Embrace this aromatic, naturally invigorating scent!

tea

Stash Tea Organic Very Berry Herbal Tea~Scrumptiously tart, this triple berry explosion of flavor will have your taste buds tingling! Stash makes each cup of tea unforgettable, only using the the most delicious natural flavors of strawberry, cranberry and raspberry with a unique blend of hibiscus and rooibos for zing. Caffeine-free, organic, and perfect for anytime of the day. Steep for 3-5 minutes and enjoy! (PS. Don’t forget to redeem code CONB2013, good for 20% off any size order at stashtea.com. Valid 2/15/13-5/31/13.)

wheatgrass

AgroLabs Wheatgrass Boost~Meet your new favorite in superfood energy. AgroLabs Wheatgrass Boost is a gluten-free super-powered energy shot made with nutrient rich organic wheatgrass. Packed with powerful B vitamins, trace minerals, and natural energy, this Wheatgrass Boost will help keep you energized throughout the day – no caffeine or sugar crash to worry about! Shake well, enjoy, and prepare for some energy!