Zesty Split Pea Minestra

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This is another delicious, heart-warming all-in-one meal that is really wonderful for cool days!
Add a delicious crusty bread and you've got a whole meal very easily! Personally, we like to accompany this delicious soup with a whole grains Peasant bread and slices of avocado with just a sprinkle of salt in them.
Have it as you like, it is absolutely scrumptious!

1 1/2 cups dry split peas
5 large potatoes
3 large carrots
1 1/2 cups sweet yellow squash
1 large onion plus 1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 large tomato
1/2 cup sweet green peppers
1/4 cup sweet red peppers
2 cup rigatone or penne rigati
1/2 cup angel hair pasta
2 Tbsp. sweet paprika powder
1 tsp. Herbes de Provence (this is an herb blend that contains 2 Tbsp. dried savory, 2 Tbsp. dried rosemary, 2 tbsp. dried thyme, 2 tbsp. dried oregano, 2 tbsp. died basil, 2 Tbsp. dried marjoram and 2 Tbsp. dried fennel. If you can't find the herb blend already made, you can make your own using these quantities, once you have the blend prepared, take 1 tsp. of it ONLY for this soup. Keep in a tight-lid container for use in soups and sauces.)
Salt to taste
water



Peel and cut the potatoes, peel and slice the carrots. Cut the tomato in chunks. Peel the onion and cut it in half. Peel and squash and cube it.
Fill a large pot to the middle with water, and after rinsing them, put the split peas to cook till soft, together with the brown rice.
Check it out after 30 minutes, continue cooking till the split peas are tender and the rice has opened. When the split peas and the rice are ready, add the vegetables and the seasonings. If the water has reduced, add more water.
After the vegetables have boiled for 15 minutes, add the pasta. Continue to cook till vegetables are done and the pasta is tender. if you would like to make this soup for more people, increase the amount of potatoes, squash and carrots, also add more pasta.

Yield: 4 servings

Variations:

1-You can slice one of our vegan sausage recipes into this soup when you are ready to serve it!

2- Sprinkle vegan Parmesan cheese into it and add some homemade croutons (especially delicious if the croutons are toasted with Pimento vegan cheese! Recipe can be found on this blog also).



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Deliciously Hearty Vegan Celery Soup

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This soup has a chickenish flavor, but it is totally vegan. It is the kind of simple fare that hits the right spot during very cold weather! Pair it with a wonderful Peasant bread of your choice and you've got a wonderful, just homey meal!

3 stalks celery
4 large white potatoes
3 large carrots
1/2 cup seeded and chopped sweet green pepper
1 cup cubed sweet squash, peeled
1 tomato, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup brown rice precooked (could be leftovers)
2 Tbsp. quick oats
2 1/2 cups rigatoni
Salt to taste
1 whole onion, peeled and sliced
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 Tbsp. sweet paprika powder
1 tsp. turmeric
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley


Wash the celery and cut in slices, put in a blender with the parsley and the sliced onion. Add water till you reach half of the blender.
Process till smooth. Strain through a sieve. Peel carrots and slice. Peel squash and cube. Seed and chop the pepper, chunk the tomato, peel and cut the potatoes in chunks. In a large pot, put the celery cream you
just made in the blender, add the rest of the ingredients and the seasonings, except the pasta. Cook until the soup is boiling (about 15 minutes), then add the pasta. When the pasta is done, the soup is ready.

Serves 4.



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Oatmeal Steaks

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These are very easy to make and go well with anything you might throw them at, potatoes, baked yams, rice, they also make wonderful large sandwich "meats" with all your favorite trimmings! You can also serve these topped by your favorite sauce or by lots of onions and peppers!

1 loaf whole wheat crusty bread
1 cup quick oats
1 1/2 whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp. onion powder (1 tsp. of onion powder if you are not a great onion lover)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 Tbsp. sweet paprika powder
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup water

Cut bread into pieces and put in a bowl. Pour the 1/4 cup water over it and let soak till smooth. Blend in all the rest of the ingredients. The mixture must be soft but not mushy.
Take large tablespoonfuls of the dough and drop into a hot skillet barely "painted" with olive oil, then spread the dough carefully into the shape of "steaks". Cook until golden brown on both sides.

Yield: 8 good-sized steaks

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Exotic Pie

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Plantains are a staple in the diet of islanders and inhabitants of warm places in many parts of the world, from Puerto Rico to Tahiti, from Thailand to Vanuatu, and from the Philippines to different parts of Africa.
They are commonly used in many dishes but this is a very easy recipe you can make to taste them.
For those of you who have an adventuresome palate, here is an exotic pie you can easily prepare. If you have vegan friends who like to travel with their taste buds, share this one with them during this special Season ahead. You'll make them feel like they have gone somewhere very far!

You will find plantains in large, well-stocked grocery stores, they are the ones that look like big bananas. The green ones are easy to choose but for the ripe ones, pick the ones that do not have black skin (those have gone bad!)
If they are quite yellow and their skins have some dork spots, they will be quite sweet, which will add a nice touch to your pie.



Pie Mixture:
2 green plantains
1 ripe plantain
3 white potatoes
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
Salt to taste
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. onion powder (or 1 tsp. if you're not a great onion lover)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 Tbsp. sweet paprika powder
1/2 tsp. Achiote powder
1/2 cup water

Peel the plantains. You do this by working as follows: Cut off both ends of the plantain, now begin to peel by inserting the tip of a knife into one of the "ribs" of the plantain and running it lengthwise across that rib.
Repeat with another "rib" or line on the side of the plantain, now, using again the tip of the knife, "lift" the peel off the plantain in the are you scored. Repeat on the other side.
Slice the plantains thinly into a bowl. Peel your potatoes and cut into small pieces. Process in a blender or food processor with 1/2 cup water until smooth.
Scrape mixture into a bowl. Add seasonings and mix well. Add oil and combine well. In a small bowl, mix the flours. Sprinkle flour over the plantain and potato mixture, while mixing it in with your other hand until all is well
combined.

Filling:
Prepare 1 recipe of Vegan Saucy Strips, you will find it here:
Vegan Saucy Strips
Once the strips are made, cut them in small pieces suitable for stuffing and add to them
1/2 cup stuffed green olives, sliced
Mix well

Oil a medium-sized baking dish. Take a large spoon and fill the bottom of the dish, cover the pie mixture with the filling. Top with the rest of the pie mixture.
Bake at 400º F for 30 minutes, check it, to see if the top is golden brown, if a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, if not, let it bake until the toothpick comes out clean.


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Almond White Cheese

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This is a tasty and very easy vegan cheese substitute to make. It is wonderful on toast but you can also use it to substitute ricotta  in anything you would use a soft white cheese for! You could say that this our Almond Ricotta.

1/2 block tofu
1/2 cup sliced raw almonds
Salt to taste
3/4 cup soy milk (plain)
1 tsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Process in the blender the tofu, the milk, the cornstarch and the almonds till smooth.
Scrap into a small saucepan, add the rest of the ingredients and blend well. Cook, over medium heat. After it begins to boil, count 20 minutes and stir the mixture, moving constantly so that it won't stick.

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Two Grain "Meaties"

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One of our specialties is the meat subs we offer you in this blog. You don't need to wonder what you're going to eat tomorrow, there is plenty of wonderful recipes in here for you to enjoy. This is a very tasty and nutritious meat substitute recipe, which is tremendously versatile and will go well as a side dish for just about anything! You can also use is to stuff calzone, you can drop it into pita bread, you can wrap it in tortillas, you can add it to pasta or even to pizza. Have fun with it!


4 slices whole wheat bread, without crusts
1 cup quick oats
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
Salt to taste
1/2 yellow or red onion, peeled
1/2 cup sweet green peppers, seeded and sliced
1/4 cup red peppers, seeded and sliced
1 Roma tomato, chopped
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. sweet paprika powder
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds, raw
1/2 tsp. Italian Seasoning


Break the bread in pieces and put in a bowl with 1/2 cup of water until soft. In a blender, process the tomato, the pepper and the onion with
a little bit of water, enough to make the machine run. Scrape into the bowl where the bread is. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix into a dough.
Form patties and bake in an oiled cookie sheet. Bake at 350º F about 20 minutes on one side, then flip over and bake for another 20 minutes on the other side. Till
golden brown and a bit stiff. Let cool. Cut first lengthwise into strips, then slice into pieces (the size you want your meaty pieces to be.) Then, in a skillet, add a little water, with onions, peppers,
tomato, 1 garlic clove, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, and all the ingredients you like in a sauce. Drop the meaty pieces into the sauce and let them absorb the flavors and the moisture of the sauce as the sauce
cooks. Let the meaties remain in the sauce will soft, but still firm, don't let them get soggy and fall apart.
The result will be moist and tasty meaty pieces!


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New Potato Pie

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Our new potato pie is one humble looking but tasty little thing, it is super versatile as well as you will soon see. Relatively easy to make, you can transform it into many things according to your personal taste and preference, and according to the kind of meal you will be using it for.

Basic Recipe:


4 large potatoes
1/2 cup sesame seeds (raw)
1/2 block tofu
1 cup all purpose flour
1 Tbsp. onion powder (1 tsp. if you are not an onion lover)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Salt to taste
1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil

Peel and chop the potatoes. Put in the blender the potatoes, the sesame seeds and 1 cup of water, process till smooth.
Scrape into a bowl, mix in all the other ingredients, making sure you don't get lumps.
Grease a large baking pan and scoop your mixture into it.

Bake at 400º F, after 45 min. check to see if it is golden on top, if not, leave it till golden brown on top. When done, pour 2 Tbsp. olive oil on top of pie.

Serves 4

Variations:
1- You can serve this pie as is or sprinkled with vegan Parmesan cheese.
2- You can stuff it with mixed vegetables cooked till soft in your favorite spaghetti-like sauce.
3- You can stuff it with Pimento Cheese. Find the recipe here: Pimento Cheese
3- You can stuff it with our Cream Cheese, find recipes here:
Brown Rice Soft Cream Cheese
Potato Cream Cheese
4- You can stuff it with slices of any of our delicious vegan sausage recipes, for example, with this one:
Homemade Vegan Skillet Sausage
5- You can stuff it with pieces of any of our scrumptious recipes for strips. Like this one:
Vegan Saucy Strips
6- you can also stuff it iwth string beans cooked in your favorite spaghetti-like tomato sauce
7- You can also use TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) cooked in spaghetti-style tomato sauce
8- You can stuff it with your favorite commercial vegan cheese

If you would like to make its appearance even fancier, you can place the pie mixture into a pie shell or crust before you bake it.
Enjoy!


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Do You Love Smoothies? Here's a Delicious One!

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Smoothies are a really delicious way to enjoy fruit. Here's an easy and delicious one to make!



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Make Your Own Grape "Soda" Pop!

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Just a fun recipe for you to experiment with!



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Fancy Fruit Pudding

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Our fruit puddings have been a favorite of our friends and visitors, so we offer a new one now. This one will not last long, so grab your portion quickly because it'll be gone really fast! This one is not firm and sliceable, but soft and to be eaten with a spoon. It is creamy and very delicious. You can have it as is or add a scoop of your favorite vegan ice cream or a dollop of vegan cream cheese on the side. Enjoy!


2 large apples, peeled and chopped small
1 cup crushed pineapple
1 large pear or 2 medium pears, peeled and chopped small
2 bananas, sliced
3/4 cups shredded coconut
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup walnut pieces
1 cup tofu, drained and mashed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup plain soy milk (if yo want to, use vanilla flavored soy milk)
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

Peel and chop the fruit in a bowl. Peel and slice the banana. In another bowl, mash the tofu well. Add to the fruit. Incorporate the flour and the milk.
Mix well, it should not be two watery, but avoid lumps. Add the rest of the ingredients and combine well. Scoop into a baking dish and bake at 375º F for
40 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Yield: Approx. 6 servings



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Zucchini Mini Omelettes

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Omelettes are always a great solution for vegans! These are delicious and very easy to make. Enjoy!

1 large zucchini
1/2 block tofu
1 cup water
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Salt to taste
1 tsp. sweet paprika powder
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. onion powder (1 tsp if you are not an onion lover)
1/2 tsp. Italian Seasoning (blend of herbs such as basil, oregano, thyme)


Sliced zucchini very thinly. In the blnder, process tofu with the water and the almonds, till smooth.
Scrape into a bowl. Add the zucchini and all the seasonings, add the flour, mixing well, avoiding lumps. Your mixture must be a bit thick but it must still be a batter.
If you would like it to be a little thicker, add 2 more Tbsp. flour to the batter.
Heat up a skillet that is barely "painted" with olive oil and drop the batter into it by large spoonfuls, let it set before you flip over. Cook till golden brown on both sides.

Yield: About a dozen (depending on how large you make them!)


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Delicious Fruit Sorbet

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Vegetable Rice with Crimini Mushrooms

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This is a delicious dish that can be the center of any special meal. Add a side dish of your choosing, a green salad and a simple dessert and you have a wonderful meal going!

2 cups brown rice
2 cups Crimini mushrooms, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
1/4 cup pimento-stuffed green olives
1 cup frozen sweet peas
1/2 cup green pimentos, chopped
1/2 cup red pimentos, chopped
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. Italian Seasoning
2 tbsp. sweet paprika powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Salt to taste
1/4 cup olive oil

Thaw the peas. Put the rice in a fine mesh collander and wash it, and while still wet, put in the pot where you will cook it, with a wooden spoon,
move the rice around until it is dried. This process will dextrinize the rice, making it even more digestible. Add about 3 1/2 cups of water and add the oil and
salt to taste. Cover the rice to cook for about 20 minutes. About 10 minutes before this, begin to cook the vegetables as follows:

In a small pot, cook the carrots for about 10 minutes in very little water. White the carrots are cooking, in a small skillet, sautee the Crimini mushrooms with the pimentos, the celery,
the olive oil, and the rest of the seasonings for about 10 minutes (do not add the olives nor the peas at this time). Drain the carrots and add to the mushroom mixture. Combine all well and let the flavors blend. Add to the rice and mix
well. Cover again and cook for 10 more minutes. When the water on the rice is nearly spent and the rice has opened, add the peas and the olives, cover again and let the peas cook witht he steam from the rice, about 10 more minutes.

Yield: 4 servings



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Delicious Smoothie

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Easy and Delicious Omelettes

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Egg substitutes are very valuable to vegans because they make it easier to have a varied diet. These are simple omelettes, very easy to make and can be used as a blank slate for you to add many different seasonings and stuffings which will make this one of your favorite breakfast of quick lunch recipes!


1/2 block tofu
1 tsp. onion powder (or to taste)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. turmeric
Salt to taste
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup water

Cut tofu in pieces and put in the blender with the water, process till smooth.
Scrape into a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well, avoiding lumps.
Heat up a skillet barely "painted" with olive oil and pour batter into it by large tablespoonfuls, allow to set before flipping.
Cook till golden brown on both sides.

Yield depends on size of omelettes you make.

Variations:
1- Slice olives or mushrooms into the batter.
2- Add tiny pieces of red and green peppers to the batter.
3- Add small pieces of tomato to the batter.
4- Add thin slices of vegan sausage to the batter (you can make some our sausages for that!)
5- Add chopped asparagus to the batter.
6- Add shredded carrot or sweet squash to the batter.
7- Add zucchini slices to the batter.
8- Invent your own!



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Peach, Banana and Pineapple Pudding

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This is a wholesome, really easy treat for your sweet tooth! It is not solid and sliceable, it is very much like a pudding. You can have it as is, or with a scoop of vegan cream cheese or of your favorite homemade fruit ice cream or vegan vanilla ice cream on the side!

3 bananas, (ripe, the kind that have brown specks on the peel) mashed
2 peaches, peeled
1/2 cup crushed pineapple
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup almonds
2 Tbsp. brown sugar (or to taste)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup soy milk

In a bowl, mash the bananas. In a blender, process the peaches and crushed pineapple with the milk, scrape unto the bowl with the bananas, add all the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Put mixture into a
greased baking dish and bake it at 350º F until golden brown (check it after 30 minutes).



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Seasoned Mini Omelettes

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1/2 block tofu, drained
1/2 cup all purpose flour
About 1/2 cup water (if still too thick, add 2 more tbsp. water)
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Olive oil

In a blender, process tofu with only enough water to turn it into a cream.
Scrape into a bowl, add all the rest of the ingredients, blending well.

Heat a skillet barely "painted" with olive oil, drop the batter into it by large tablespoonfuls, allow to solidify before flipping to the other side.
Cook till golden brown on both sides.

Yield: 1/2 dozne small omelettes



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Tasty Sunny Chunks

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1/2 sunflower seeds (raw)
1 cup brown rice, cooked until soft
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup vital gluten (gluten flour)
1 cup Old Fashioned oats
1 medium red onion, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup sweet green and red pepper strips
1/2 tsp. garlic powder (1 tsp. if you're a garlic lover)
2 Tbsp. sweet paprika powder
Salt to taste
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning (or favorite herbs of your choice)
1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup water




In a bowl, pour 1/2 cup of the water, add the oats and leave it to soak till soft. Meanwhile, in a blender, with the rest of the water, process the brown rice with all the vegetables and the sunflower seeds, till smooth. Scrape into the bowl where the soft oats are. In another bowl, combine the whole wheat flour with the vital gluten, then add it to the other mixture, blending it well till you have a soft dough. If you want your chunks really firm (if you're going to drop them into broths, soups, spaghetti sauce or any minestrone, for example, you will want them to be firm) cover the dough and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes while the vital gluten
does its work. If you're just going to serve these as a side dish, you do not need to let the dough rest.



Heat a skillet with olive oil. Cut half of the dough and put in the skillet, with a spatula, move the dough around in the skillet and as it cooks, cut it in chunks with the edge of the spatula, until you have separated it completely into chunks. Continue moving it while it cooks until it is golden brown on all sides. As you cook the chunks, when they are already beginning to get golden, you may add onions, pepper strips, slices of tomato, etc., to stir fry with the chunks (as seen in the first photo) or you may add a little bit of  tomato sauce, to give it a bit more color to your liking (as seen in the photo above.)




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Multi Grain Chunks Scramble

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When you make the tasty Multi Grain Chunks, make an extra batch, because there are many ways in which you can use these tasty vegan chunks! This is one of them, but at the end of the recipe I will mention a few more. This scramble is a very easy addition to a simple but tasty lunch, but it can also be eaten in many other ways, once you make it, you'll see how well it lends itself to a quick meal!

Prepare our recipe for Multi Grain Chunks (you will find it here: Multi Grain Chunks)
Additional ingredients you will need:

1/2 block tofu (drained and cut in pieces)
1 to 1 1/2 cups of chunks already prepared
1 Roma tomato
1 Anaheim or any green sweet pepper you prefer
1 tsp. onion powder (or half an onion, sliced)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder or 1 clove garlic mashed
2 Tbsp. olive oil

In a heated skillet put all the ingredients and cook for about 10 minutes until all flavors blend.
Add your favorite green salad, baked potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, or rice and you're done.

Serve!



Other ways in which you can prepare these tasty chunks are:

1- Pass them through your favorite batter and breading mix and then cook in a hot skillet or griddle.
2- Chop even more and drop into a pot of beans or lentils.
3- Slice and add to pasta as you toss in the sauce.
4- Add to wraps, burritos or pita salads.
5- Come up with your own!

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Multi Grain Chunks

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Meat substitutes are one of the most useful and problem-solving recipe additions to any vegan diet, especially, if they are based on whole grains and are nutritious, easy to make and very tasty. This recipe fits the bill! Straight from our kitchen to yours. . .enjoy!

We have decided to let you see some of the preparation process, so that you will see how the chunks look as they are being prepared.



1 medium size loaf of crusty bread (your choice)
2 cups millet (cooked to the consistency of rice. Follow package directions)
2 cups brown rice, cooked
1 large raw potato, peeled and shredded
1/2 cup Old Fashioned Oats
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup Vital Gluten Flour or Do-Pep (purchase at health food stores or specialty vegan supermarkets) This is added to give consistency to the dough and make the chunks firm and yet chewy,
1 Tbps. sweet paprika powder
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder (if you are not a garlic lover, use 1/2 tsp. or to taste)
Salt to taste
2 Tbsp. onion powder (or 1 tsp. or to taste if you prefer the recipe to be less zesty)
1 Tbsp. ground coriander
Your favorite tomato sauce prepared in advance

Note- If you are not able to get the gluten flour or are allergic to it, substitute it with 3/4 cups of cornstarch. The recipe will not be chewy but crunchy, yet the chunks will be just as delicious.
You can also substitute the whole wheat flour for soy flour. The idea os to have a very compact dough so that you can cut it into chunks and it will not fall apart during cooking.



Mix all ingredients in a bowl, adding little by little 1/2 cup of water, mixing everything until you have a firm dough, not too stiff, but by no means runny.



With a large cooking spoon, take pieces of the dough, roll in your hands into the shape of long sausages, place on a plate and cut into sections to the size you want your chunks to be.
Heat up a skillet that is barely "painted" with olive oil, cook the chunks in the olive oil until they are golden brown on all sides.



Heat up the sauce you already prepared, add the chunks to the sauce and cook in the sauce, at low heat for about 15 minutes, until the chunks have absorbed the sauce.





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Cracked Wheat Chunks

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Homemade vegan chunks are very versatile! You can serve them with potatoes, baked yams, with pasta, you can sprinkle them on pita bread halves, you name it. This particular recipe for them is easy and very tasty! (We have decided to show you photos of some of the process  so you'll see what they look like. )




1 cup cracked wheat, cooked according to package instructions, until it is soft like rice
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup vital gluten (gluten flour)
1 cup Old Fashioned oats
1 medium red onion, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup sweet green and red pepper strips
1/2 tsp. garlic powder (1 tsp. if you're a garlic lover)
2 Tbsp. sweet paprika powder
Salt to taste
1 Tbsp. coriander powder
1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. dried mint or 3 leaves fresh mint leaves
1 cup water



In a bowl, pour 1/2 cup of the water, add the oats and leave it to soak till soft. Meanwhile, in a blender, with the rest of the water, process the cracked wheat with all the vegetables and the mint (if using fresh) till smooth. Scrape into the bowl where the soft oats are. In another bowl, mix the whole wheat flour with the vital gluten, then add it to the other mixture, incorporating it well till you have a soft dough.

Heat a skillet with olive oil. Cut half of the dough and put in the skillet, with a spatula, move the dough around and cut it in chunks as you move it until you have separated it completely. Continue moving it while it cooks until golden brown in all sides.



Variation-

Taking the dough in your hands, form sausages. Cook them in your favorite tomato sauce.



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