WDG staple: homemade almond milk

I make my own almond milk every week – and put it in everything – soups, smoothies, tea, coffee, chia pudding. I used to buy it, but it’s 12-20 dollars for a liter of almond milk – without all the additives and preservatives.

It’s cheaper to buy the boxed kind (like Almond Breeze), but I try to live by a “don’t eat it if you don’t know what it is without googling it” rule of thumb and everything past almonds on this label is a mystery to me:

screen-shot-2016-12-03-at-3-14-17-pm
Halp.

And, I honestly think that anything that is  processed and then sits on a shelf for months isn’t really that good for you.

So if I can make it myself – easier, cheaper + healthier – then I do and this is how I do it (so you can too!)

Plus, bonus round – use the leftover pulp for smoothies, almond fudge bars, cookies (recipe coming *soon*).

Almond Milk:

Time: 5-10 minutes

Ingredients:

(1) c. almonds – soaked in water overnight (or at least a few hours…or not soaked at all)

(4-6) c. water – depending on how much milk you want

Optional Ingredients:

(2-3) pitted medjool dates

(1/2) tsp. vanilla extract

(1/4) tsp. cinnamon

Directions:

Add drained almonds + water + dates + vanilla + cinnamon to a blender – blend on high until it looks like milk. Drain the mixture into a bowl through a nut milk bag. Pour the milk into a container and enjoy!

PSA: don’t try to make almond milk with anything but a nut milk back (I use this one and the name makes me lol). They’re cheap + reusable – just rinse it out with a little soap and hang to dry.

Let me know what you think!

Advertisements

anti recipe: unreal vegan mac n’ cheese

People who don’t have food allergies sensitivities (or don’t think that they do…) are the first to knock anything made without flour, butter or sugar as “not as good” or “not the same” as the recipe they’ve grown up with.

Not shit, of course they taste different – they’re made of entirely different ingredients.

Real mac n’ cheese ingredients: ENRICHED MACARONI PRODUCT (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, FERROUS SULFATE [IRON], THIAMIN MONONITRATE [VITAMIN B1], RIBOFLAVIN [VITAMIN B2], FOLIC ACID); CHEESE SAUCE MIX (WHEY, MILKFAT, MILK PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, SALT, SODIUM TRIPOLYPHOSPHATE, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF CITRIC ACID, LACTIC ACID, SODIUM PHOSPHATE, CALCIUM PHOSPHATE, YELLOW 5, YELLOW 6, CHEESE CULTURE, ENZYMES.

Worst Dinner Guest’s mac n’ cheese ingredients (adapted from blissful basil): RED LENTIL PASTA (INGREDIENTS: RED LENTILS), CASHEWS, ROASTED RED PEPPERS, NUTRITIONAL YEAST, APPLE CIDER VINEGAR, PAPRIKA, SEA SALT, BLACK PEPPER, CAYENNE PEPPER.

If you’re telling me that “real” mac n’ cheese is the recipe with chemicals, fake dyes and heavily processed wheat and dairy then you can do you, but I’m sticking to the one with ingredients that I can pronounce in it.

I dare you to make this vegan, grain-free version below and tell me that it doesn’t taste just as good as the real kind (and actually leave you feeling good, too). Plus mine is spicy and therefore for grown ups (Point, Worst Dinner Guest!).

But if you still don’t think it’s as good as real mac n’ cheese, I’ll happily give up and pass the niacin, acids and sulfates to sprinkle on top!

“Unreal” Vegan Mac n’ Cheese (made grain-free with lentil pasta):

Screenshot_2016-02-07-20-03-16-1.png

Ingredients (adapted to be grain free from Blissful Basil):

– ⅔ cup raw cashews, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes and drained (to soften)

– 1⅓ cups filtered water

– ⅓ cup chopped roasted red pepper

– 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

– 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

– 2 teaspoons smoked paprika

– 1 teaspoon sea salt

– Spice it up: add a few pinches of cayenne, black pepper and a little hot sauce

Directions: Blend it all up on high until smooth and creamy, then heat in a saucepan for up to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. The heat n’ stir part is crucial for thickening your sauce. Note: not a good recipe to add folding laundry to or you will end up burning your first batch, too!

Mix up the sauce and pasta, top it off with jalapenos, and wallah! I give you the best unreal mac n’ cheese you ever had, haters.

got it from my momma: the wine sneak

When it comes to restaurants, the worst dinner guest doth not give a fig about missing out on dessert or h’orderves. But the one thing I refuse to give up at a restaurant: a glass of wine.

Since I’m intolerant to sulfites and steer clear of hard liquor and gluten free beer (for sugar / additive / processed / I’m a lightweight reasons), I stick with organic wine with no sulfites added. My go-to favorites are Frey Wine (the cab is fab but mad $$),  Live-A-Little Really Ravishing Red and Our Daily Red. (Okay, I like Frey when I visit home and it’s free).

I’m not a big drinker anymore, but a glass of wine with friends over dinner is one of my favorite things. However, I have never found a restaurant or bar that offers organic wine. This threatens my wine-at-dinner dreams, but my mom, the original WDG, is the queen of allergy innovations and tricks of the trade, most notably the wine sneak.

When she goes out to dinner, my mom always slips a canteen of organic wine in her bag. Usually when she explains that she’s allergic, restaurants let her slide under the radar and bring her an empty glass, no corking fee, nada. But every now and then you get one super stickler waiter who WILL NOT CAVE (liquor license laws or some crapola). This is when my mom gets creative:

A few months ago my parents visited me at college and treated me to dinner at Wildflowers at the Turning Stone. Everyone was so considerate about our allergies, the chef even came to our table to help us order, until my mom popped the wine question. The waiter sternly refused because violated Turning Stone’s liquor license.

When a new waiter walked by our table, my mom asked for two glasses of house wine. My mom and I snuck into the hotel bathroom with the sulfite wines and the infamous canteen. We flushed the sulfite wine down the toilet, topped our glasses off with a Frey Cab, and cheers-ed each other on a mission accomplished. Worst Dinner Guests 1, Turning Stone 0.

Moral of the story? I don’t think we should’ve been denied a glass of wine at the Turning Stone, but the worst dinner guest knows not to expect everyone to understand. Instead of bumming over something you can’t control, get crafty, bend rules that suck and don’t doubt your lifestyle just because it doesn’t fit the norm, or make it on a menu.