Sunday, December 20, 2015

Vegan and MSPI-safe Puppy Chow

Disclaimer: this is not healthy but it is darn good.

I didn't grow up eating rice cereal coated in peanut butter, chocolate and powdered sugar but this is something that my husband remembers having at the holidays.

In the past, I have made it traditionally with the real butter and milk or dark chocolate chips. This year with baby number three on the way and the MSPI diet underway, I modified it a bit. I made notes about the brands that I used but make sure to read labels!

Vegan/MSPI Puppy Chow

1/2 cup Soy Free Earth Balance
1/2 cup peanut butter creamy - I made my own peanut butter but you could use a "safe" store bought variety
1 cup MSPI chocolate - I used organic dark chocolate chunks that I bought in bulk at HyVee but Enjoy Life also makes chocolate that would work
6 cups Rice Chex - I used the HyVee brand
2-3 cups powdered sugar

In a small sauce pan on medium heat, combine the Earth Balance, peanut butter, and chocolate. Stir until melted and combined.

Add 6 cups Rice Chex cereal and gently stir until coated.

Pour 1 cup powdered sugar in the bottom of a large Tupperware container, add the cereal mixture, pour the second cup of powdered sugar on top and replace lid. Gently shake to distribute the powdered sugar.  Open the container and break apart any large clumps. Add more powdered sugar if necessary and shake one last time. Spread on wax paper to cool. Store in airtight container. 

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Holiday Meal - MSPI and Plant Based

We ended up with a change of plans for Thanksgiving this year due to weather. Our little family stayed in town and went to a movie. It was the boys first movie experience and they didn't move a muscle during the movie but weren't all that eager to go again. (Bonus, since it is so much more expensive than I remembered.)

Anywho, I had planned on taking several side dishes to our family gathering before plans changed so I had some items in the fridge that I don't always keep on hand. This week, we had a belated plant based, holiday meal. It also had to be devoid of soy as I am now in the final stretch before this little baby arrives at our house. The 5 year old had requested Brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes and I had fresh cranberries that needed to be used as well.

What we ended up with was a roasted vegetable medley with mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce. I also made a vegan gravy as well but the flavors were quite good without it.

Holiday Plate

Roasted Carrots
  • 1 cup baby carrots
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • black pepper, to taste
Roasted Broccoli
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • pinch salt
  • black pepper, to taste
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
  • 1½ cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • pinch salt
  • black pepper, to taste
Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes
  • 3 pounds Yukon Gold or Red potatoes, roughly chopped into 1-inch pieces and peeled if desired
  • 1 cup vegetable stock (check ingredient list for soy)
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance - soy free, cut into small cubes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup plain hummus
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 - 1/2 cup unsweetened almond or oat milk, warmed
Vegan Gravy
  • 1 tbsp Earth Balance (or olive oil)
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • ¼ tsp each of onion powder, thyme, and oregano
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • Powdered vegan no-beef bouillon to taste
Cranberry Sauce
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • the juice of 2-3 oranges
  • 12-ounces fresh cranberrie
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Slow cooker mashed potatoes
  1. Early in the day, add potatoes and stock to the bowl of a slow cooker, and place butter cubes and minced garlic on top. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours, or on low for 7-8 hours, or until the potatoes are cooked and soft.
  2. Just prior to the meal, while the veggies are roasting, use a potato masher or an electric mixer to mash the potatoes to your desired consistency.  Stir in the hummus, salt, and black pepper.  And add your desired amount of warm milk, until the potatoes reach your desired level of creaminess.  Stir in any other add-ins if desired.
Roasted Veggies
  1. Preheat oven to 425F. Prepare a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. In a bowl, mix carrots with olive oil, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Spread the carrots on your baking sheet.
  2. Mix halved Brussels sprouts in the same mixing bowl with brown sugar, olive oil, salt and pepper, and spread them out on the same baking sheet. 
  3. Mix the broccoli with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Spread the broccoli on the baking sheet as well. Bake for 15-20 minutes. About halfway through the cooking time give everything a good stir to evenly roast. 
Cranberry Sauce
  1. Bring sugar, water and orange juice to a boil in a medium saucepan.
  2. Add cranberries and cinnamon. Bring to a simmer and cook stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes, until sauce thickens.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Vegan Gravy
  1. In a small saucepan heat Earth Balance or olive oil over medium to low heat. 
  2. Begin to whisk in the flour, salt, thyme, and oregano, and mix well. 
  3. Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute before slowly whisking in the broth. 
  4. Add bouillon and stir. 
  5. Simmer for 8-10 minutes until thick, adjusting the consistency with extra broth as needed.