{Tangy | 3 Spice Pickled Cucumber}

This is a really simple pickled cucumber side dish.  I like to pick at it when I make my white miso soup. The picked cucumber has a nice Asian flavor to it from the sesame oil, and its great because I can make it and stick it in the fridge and use it throughout the week.

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{3 Spice Pickled Cucumber}
  • cucumber
  • red pepper (optional)
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • cumin powder
  • sesame oil
  • tamari soy sauce
  • Mirin
Please slice the cucumber and red pepper and place in the bowl. To it add all of the seasoning powders. I purposely didn’t list the amount because everyone’s taste buds are different; may I suggest seasoning it to how you like it to taste. Some people prefer a strong onion flavor, others no onion at all and only garlic. Feel free to substitute any of the spices for another one you think will go better with the mix. This is highly customize-able!
To the mixture add sesame oil and tamari (again add as much to taste). The Mirin is the only part that I suggest not to be overly aggressive. I do not wish for it to over power all the other seasoning so add 2 teaspoons of it to add a a soft subtle tang.
Make sure everything is well mixed – or like me, place the lid on and give it a few aggressive shakes. Place the container in the fridge overnight to let all the flavors become friends. It will taste great the next day, and even more delicious the day after.

{Sweet & Tangy | Almond Butter Upgraded!}

We all know how good almond butter is, especially over peanut butter. Here is a comparison chart

peanut vs almond

Here is a full length article on peanut butter vs. almond butter : http://www.livestrong.com/article/262281-the-benefits-of-almond-butter-vs-peanut-butter/

Both types of nut butters aren’t bad for you, but I personally prefer almond butter, it’s less “tacky” in my mouth, and I like the smoother taste.

I buy regular almond butter (nothing added to it) from Trader Joes. Then the magic starts. From the jar, I pour a little out into tupperware to start making my “custom” almond butter. To have something sweet on hand, I add a little Brown Rice Syrup to the almond butter, a pinch of vanilla extract, and mix everything about, and there ya go! Slightly sweetened almond butter.

Into another tupperware I will add a combination of dried cumin, lemon, salt, garlic, paprika, onion, parsley and mix it all around.  This creates a deep savory version, which I use as the binder for vegan sushi. IT IS SO DELICIOUS. I can eat this by the spoonfuls.

IMG_4341[1]So from one simple jar, I can make so many custom almond butter variations. You can use any type of almond butter you like, but of all the types I’ve sampled (Whole Foods, Justin’s, Wegman’s), I love Trader Joe’s the best. For me, it has just the right amount of crunch left in it, and the price is reasonable.

If you guys make any of you own almond butter concoctions, please let me know in the comments below!