Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate Pudding is one of those recipes that make me wonder at the existence of mixes. The ingredients are everything I have on hand anyway, and it doesn’t take more than 10 minutes from start to finish. I usually make this dairy-free, using vanilla almond milk, but you could totally just use regular milk if that’s what you prefer. It does call for a bit of margarine or butter, but if you are eating dairy-free, chances are you have some dairy-free margarine already on hand. The pudding just needs an extra bit of fat to make it creamy. For vanilla pudding, just leave out the cocoa and add an extra teaspoon of vanilla.

Chocolate Pudding

Ingredients

1 1/2 C granulated sugar
1/2 C cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C cocoa powder
4 C milk (vanilla almond milk works well)
4 Tbs margarine or butter
2 tsp vanilla

Directions

Combine the sugar, cornstarch, salt and cocoa powder in a medium-sized saucepan. Whisking constantly, drizzle in the milk as one continuous stream. Place over medium heat, continue whisking and cook until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the margarine and vanilla.

Chill before serving. Makes 8 servings.

Massaged Kale Salad

Massaged Kale Salad works best, in our opinion, with a lighter, less hearty variety of kale. We grow our own in our garden. Our favorite variety for salads is called Red Winter. If you are buying your kale in a grocery store or farmer’s market, look for delicate, tender leaves. The salad has mango in it, which gives it a sweet note. As a result, it pairs especially well with something a bit spicy, such as Seared Chipotle Shrimp.

Strawberry Lemonade

Strawberry Lemonade makes a pitcher-full so it’s fun to do for parties, barbecues and picnics. Depending on the time of year, I have used both fresh strawberries and frozen with excellent results. If I’m making this for kids, I blend it until it’s completely smooth. Children are notorious for being picky about suspicious chunks in their drinks. Adults usually enjoy a bit of texture. The mint is just a garnish so I wouldn’t use that unless I already had some.

Steamed Edamame

Steamed Edamame isn’t something we have used a recipe for in several years, but I can see how if it isn’t already part of your repertoire, starting with some specific directions, with pictures, could be helpful. Not everyone knows what it is, what it looks like, or what to do with it. If you are one of those people, I definitely recommend that you give it a try. Edamame is one of few vegetables that isn’t mushy out of the freezer, and served with a nice flaked sea salt, it’s downright addictive. We always have some on hand for quick sides for grilled meats, such as Seoul-ful Chicken.

Potato-Sour Cream Biscuits

Potato-Sour Cream Biscuits are tender, light little dinner biscuits. Being savory, they make a nice addition to soup. These were a regular part of our menu until we started limiting cow’s milk dairy. These are another that I don’t know if they keep well because we’ve never had any leftover; they are delicious. We’ve never regularly kept buttermilk in the house, but we used to keep powdered buttermilk on hand for recipes like this one.

Banana Walnut Oatmeal

Banana Walnut Oatmeal is my go-to “home alone for breakfast on a weekend” recipe. My husband tolerates oatmeal if it appears suddenly, but he doesn’t seek it out; he’d rather have muffins. The kids won’t touch it. I have always liked it, even plain, but this simple recipe takes it up another notch from just warm and comforting to downright tasty. The addition of the maple syrup and the banana give it a balanced sweetness without adding any extra processed sugar. I make this recipe pretty much as written, although I don’t measure the nuts; I just use a small-ish handful, give them a chop and mix them in to the whole batch. If, like me, you are cooking this for just yourself, the second serving that this makes will reheat well the next day.

Magic Shell

Magic Shell came as a revelation. It is an ice cream sauce from the depths of my childhood, only this is a bona fide recipe. Other than the ice cream you put it on, it has exactly two ingredients, both of which are things that already exist in my pantry as a matter of course. Coconut oil is also in another of my favorite recipes, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies . And who doesn’t have chocolate? The recipe says to use the microwave, which I’m sure works fine, but we always use the stovetop. I hate repeatedly opening and closing the microwave door.