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Given the lack of kitchen items in our current apartment, I’ve had to be extremely creative in my cooking endeavors. Back home, I’m used to having many gadgets and gizmos to make healthy eating fairly easy. Like an oven. And a blender. And a sharp knife.

IMG_3110Today I made almond milk using a mortar and pestle. A small one. I’ve found a little international grocery store nearby that carries the vanilla, sweetened version of Silk Almond milk, but it costs almost $6 for 1 quart. So I thought I’d try my hand at the homemade version where I could significantly cut back on the sugar content and even add a hint of cardamom.  Here is the fun recipe I used, but unlike that author who gave up after 30 seconds and used a food processor, I had no such luxury. Fortunately, I did not have to shell them, but did choose to leave the skins on, missing out on becoming “intimately familiar with each and every almond.” I do admit, that I left the almonds in more of a crumbled state than that of a paste.

Two hours later (after 24 hrs soaking), one cup of almonds netted me just over a quart of milk. I added a bit of honey and salt and it tastes pretty darn good! Then I considered what to do with the cup and a half of leftover pulp. There are many recipes online about how to dry it in an oven (which I don’t have) or a dehydrator (ditto), grind it up in a blender (not one in sight), and bake it (also in my non-existent oven.) Then I stumbled on this recipe for raw cookie dough bites.

My birthday is coming up this week and I’ve been trying to think of what type of dessert I might share with my friends here as something typical of what I’d eat back home. Given that I don’t eat gluten, and I don’t really bake, and the local “chocolate” is a poor, waxy comparison that wouldn’t know the meaning of “dark” if it got stuck in a broom closet during a power outage under a new moon, I’ve been flummoxed. But these cookie dough bites looked incredibly tasty and soooo close to do-able, that I got even more creative. To dry the pulp, (without burning it) I stacked the burner plates together so the pan sat high over the flame and lightly roasted it in a wok. Now here I am, writing this entry and waiting for them to cool so I can continue my kitchen journey. Given how large my almond pieces still are, I’ll try my hand at grinding them again once they cool. Then I’ll brave the 106 degrees F. outside to see if I can find coconut oil and chocolate chips at the store. Hmmm…after all this, maybe $6 isn’t so bad after all.

Yes, I did title this with the plural “Recipes” for a reason. The other day I had dried mung beans available and was browsing online for recipes to use them in. I found an interesting recipe for Sprouted Mung Salad. I liked the idea, but this recipe involved cooking the ingredients and after reading the title, I got really excited for a cold salad I could pull out of the fridge and eat immediately. So I clicked around some more and found a Whole Foods recipe for “Bean Sprout Salad.” It seemed to have a limited number of ingredients, so I added it to my favorites list and returned to the original recipe for directions on how to sprout my dried beans. And since I suck at following recipes exactly, I decided I wanted a more exciting Lime Vinaigrette dressing. Plus I found some fresh peas and carrots at the market that day and wanted to add them, making the salad a complete meal.  Oh, I don’t have any mustard. And I couldn’t imagine this dressing without the tangy zip of mustard. Wait!!! I have mustard seeds! After a few hours of soaking and grinding, I now have a passable mustard and commence making the dressing. The wait time was required anyway; I needed time for the diced cucumbers and tomatoes to sit in the fridge and dry out. Also, I’m currently drinking the last few sips of the juice I made using the cucumber and tomato innards mixed with orange and lime juice and honey.

Accidental yumminess!



  1. At 106*, you could dry your food outside! Love you!

    From: Negina’s Blog To: Sent: Saturday, May 9, 2015 11:29 PM Subject: [New post] Accidental Recipes of Necessity #yiv7826595989 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv7826595989 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv7826595989 a.yiv7826595989primaryactionlink:link, #yiv7826595989 a.yiv7826595989primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv7826595989 a.yiv7826595989primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv7826595989 a.yiv7826595989primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv7826595989 | negina posted: “Given the lack of kitchen items in our current apartment, I’ve had to be extremely creative in my cooking endeavors. Back home, I’m used to having many gadgets and gizmos to make healthy eating fairly easy. Like an oven. And a blender. And a sharp knife.” | |

  2. Wow, that almond milk seems like a lot of work! The no-bake cookies sound delicious and easy, though. Hope all is well!

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