Oil infusions – insert extra dollar bills saved here

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I hadn’t made an infused oil in quite some time until I saw a “specialty” shop while cutting through a mall as well as on 17th Avenue here in Calgary. What sparked me to start up this easy process again wasn’t anything more than the fact that these oils were highly priced and in a lot of cases, of very poor quality.

I pride myself on knowing (as often as possible) where my food comes from and what businesses I am supporting with my money. In the case of two “chain” oil specialty stores, I could not apply this desire.

So, if you have some energy, ingredients and about 5 minutes, you’ll be infusing your own oils in no time.

This recipe is based on my last Spicy oil pictured.

Base oils I like to work with: 

Olive

Grapeseed

 

Additions: 

Dried or fresh spices/fruit – go wild. I used fresh hot Thai peppers in this one!

Ingredients:

-Glass receptacle
-Volume of oil for that will fill that receptacle (in this case 2 oz)
– Seranno peppers diced with seeds in (in this case 3)

Method:

Use whatever spices and oil you have. Place herbs/fruit in a GLASS receptacle only!!  Why? Plastic leaches toxins into the things it touches, don’t let that be your food.

Cover with oil.

Allow to sit for at least 30 days, out of the sun so that the oil will not turn acrid. I keep mine in my pantry.

Start to sample your oil in 3-4 weeks to see the level of flavour you like is achieved.

The hot peppers in this recipe release endorphins, boost your metabolism, relieves nerve pain if applied topically – try this spicy oil as a topical pain management treatment.

Try garlic, rosemary, basil – whatever you like! Strain or don’t strain, it’s all up to you!

Fear not the kitchen!!

Need tips? Comment below!

 

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Creamy vegan potato cauliflower mushroom soup

photo credit: healthy aperture



Ingredients:

1 pound mushrooms

1 head cauliflower
1 large potato or sweet potato
1yellow onion
2 leeks – sliced thinly, mostly white parts
5 cloves garlic
1 tbsp fresh thyme
3.5 cups veggie broth
1 tsp Sea salt
1/4 cup white wine
Method: 

Set oven to 400. Ensure baking sheet is in middle rack.
Wash and break up one full head of cauliflower. Make sure the florets are small enough to get roasted well.
Roast cauliflower lightly sprayed in olive oil 430 to 40 minutes or Intel significantly browned.
Wash, de-stem and quarter large mushrooms of any variety. I like butter like brown or white mushrooms.
Chop up yellow onion. Mix with a small amount of oil and mushrooms in a bowl.
Transfer mushroom mixture to baking sheet and roast at 400 420 to 30 minutes
In large pan over medium heat and add garlic and leeks. Sautée  for 5 to 7 minutes or until leeks are softened. Try to use the whitest and youngest part of the leek only.
Glaze pan with white wine, and add freshly chopped thyme.
Add all roasted vegetables and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Remove from stovetop and allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Place in high-speed mixer or blender. Blend until desired consistency is reached.

I like to leave a few larger bits of mushroom and cauliflower, you could even set some aside and chop them finally to add to the final soup.

If your soup is too thick simply had more vegetable broth. If you do not wish to have a vegan soup and only vegetarian, you may add cream at this point when puréeing.
Serves six.