The Scots sure do love their shortbread and excel at it's recipes. Many do not realize that some of the most basic recipes are not only some of the best, but also the most historic.
I found this lovely vintage MMA stoneware mold at the local Swedish Club sale. Finally after a year of being shut down, the Swedish Club has been able to resume some of their operations and as a fundraiser many older Swedish women sold off their lovely old possessions to support the Swedish club.
This mold is a reproduction of a Staffordshire mold used in England between 1740-1760.
The symbolism of finding this mold was perfect timing as a reminder to connect to the heart-center and remember the compassion of the heart. In a time when people are losing compassion, we have forgotten the basic functions of the human - love and compassion.
Shortbread recipes date back to the Middle Ages. In fact, many do not realize that many of the sweets we enjoy today root back to the Roman era. The Romans conquered England, and much of Roman cooking influenced the growth or evolution of English cookery.
Back in the day, shortbread was a luxury and a treat. Today, it is a basic staple to have with tea, and is a daily treat.
This was the first time I ever used a mold for cookies, and so I do think I must re-test the recipes to perfect the inscriptions on the mold; however, shortbread does not require molds. Many Scottish recipes use corn flour (corn starch or corn meal in the USA); however, I chose a simple 3-ingredient recipe that is achievable for bakers of all levels. Enjoy!
This stoneware dish + many other vintage items available for purchase on my Etsy shop, The Elizabethan Closet.
Vegan 3-Ingredient Scottish Shortbread
Prep Time: 5-7 minutes
Bake Time: 25-35 minutes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup powder sugar
1 vegan buttery stick, (1/2 cup vegan butter), at room temperature, **See note**
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Cream the butter in a bowl with a whisk, egg beater or mixer. Next, mix the powder sugar and the butter together until creamy and smooth. In batches, add the flour and mix until well combined. Use your hands to bind the dough if chunky to build a dough.
(Next, either add it to a mold or cut. Some recipes say chill the dough for 30 minutes in the fridge).
If using a cookie mold, spray or grease the mold. Place the dough in the center and use your hands to move the dough to shape the dough evenly into the molds. The alternative is to roll the dough out and use a cookie cutter, or cut into logs.
âOnce the dough is in the mold, stab the dough a fork throughout the entire facade (see Instagram picture 2 above).
Bake for 25 - 35 minutes. The edges should be golden brown. Once done, remove from heat and let the mold sit for 5-10 minutes to cool. Next, place a plate on top of the mold and flip it to remove the cookies. Cut into slices while still warm and not completely cooled.
**Note: You must use vegan butter sticks as it contains less water than tub butter. Tubbed butter alters baking results.**
âLet's Connect! Enjoy my other DAIRY-FREE dessert + historic recipes below!
It's April, but it sure feels like summer the last week in Seattle. The weather is about to change though, back to it's normal spring state of clouds and rain. But that is okay, as the clouds and rain are beautiful and provides our lush, fertile land in the Pacific Northwest.
Advice from the hibiscus: Live with joy, Create a colorful life, Open to love, Share your healing gifts, Be dazzling!
The beauty of the hibiscus and it's deep red / pink color has inspired me to make something cooling with a Hawaiian flare. During COVID, it's been hard to stay positive, healthy and free of worry. For some being inspired or creative has been difficult because we are operating in survival mode.
By using nature and it's natural ingredients, this drink is to inspire people to get back to nature, natural living and creativity. It's like saying "aloha" to the beautiful aspect of you.
With only four ingredients, you have the opportunity to drink this as is, or add additional sweetener like stevia, sugar or agave nectar (or honey for non-vegan option). Hibiscus and raspberries are naturally tart so it is not naturally sweet, but the mint cools this tea down.
Hibiscus is an excellent flower to aide various health ailments such as: hypertension, lower blood pressure, reduce blood sugar levels, liver health and can reduce menstrual cramps.
This Hawaiian dress + many other vintage items available for purchase on my Etsy shop, The Elizabethan Closet.
Homemade Hibiscus Raspberry Mint Iced Tea
Makes 4-5 cups
Time: 20-40 minutes
1/2 heaping cup fresh raspberries
1/3 cup dried hibiscus OR 4 hibiscus tea bags (Traditional Medicine Hibiscus Tea Bag)
4-8 mint leaves
5 cups of water
optional: sweetener of choice to taste
Bring the 5 cups of water to a boil and then remove the pot from the heat. Steep the hibiscus (or tea bags) in the hot water for 20 minutes. About 5 minutes in, add the raspberries. If you want sweeter add it in once the 20 minutes of steeping is done, and mix until well combined.
After the 20 minutes of steeping, add 4-6 mint leaves and place the pot in the refrigerator for another 10-20 minutes. The raspberries should be near white in color as the color and nutrients have steeped into the tea.
From here you can either chill until cold, or use immediately by ladling the tea into cups while using a fine mesh strainer to remove any of the berries and hibiscus. Serve over ice and garnish with additional mint leaves and raspberries. Enjoy!
Let's Connect! Check out my other cooling beverages below!
If you're looking for a pasta that is healthy and hearty, look no further than making a lovely Italian Bolognese sauce with lentils! Packed with protein and vegetables, this is one heart-healthy pasta that should be included in every vegan diet.
This simple whole-food recipe makes a large vat of sauce, so it is perfect for family-cooking, batch cooking or an affordable meal for an at-home party.
I created the Mind Body Soul Food blog, to give insight to the beauty of alternative health and wellness, and help people navigate the kitchen with simple and affordable whole-food dairy-free recipes. With the motto, "a lifestyle inspired by nature," my hope is to inspire people to connect to the heartiness of the land, the foods that come directly from nature.
Since America has this protein obsession, this recipe is packed with protein that doesn't use fake-meat crumble.
Not only is protein important, but fiber iron and polyphenols are also important, which lentils are chocked full of!
What people don't realize is that in today's new normal, wearing masks, specifically while exercising is not ideal long term, especially when breathing in your own metabolic waste and microbioms. Polyphenols in lentils are or aide in: antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral, cardioprotective, anti-inflammatory, nephroprotective, antidiabetic, anticancer, anti-obesity, hypolipidemic, and chemopreventive activities.
I believe if people respected human physiology as well as understood the power of nature, one would naturally adopt this type of eating more and refrain from the chronic junk-food eating culture.
Vegan Red Lentil Bolognese
Total Time: 40-45 minutes
2.5 tbsp olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 onion, diced
1 celery rib, diced
3 carrots, diced
2 cups red lentil
2 cups vegetable broth
1 6-oz. can tomato paste
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
1 14.5 oz can diced tomato
1 cup crushed tomatoes (or used diced)
1 tsp Italian spices
1 bay leaf
1/8 tsp pepper
Pinch of salt
In a large pot, sauté the first five ingredients (vegetables in the oil) for 3-5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and fragrant. Next, add the tomato paste, and mix into the vegetables well. Next, add all the remaining ingredients and mix until well combined.
Simmer on medium-low heat with a lid on the pot until the lentils are edible, usually around 20 minutes of cooking. Serve over your favorite pasta! Enjoy!
Let's Connect! Check out my other pasta recipes below!!
I've worked in the fitness industry for 15 years now. We've long known biodiversity of the diet is the most optimal way of eating because the more diverse the diet, the more nutrients and vitamins one consumes.
A simple and easy way to eat more diverse produce is through raw food salads, and Dr. Fuhrman's dressing is an excellent compliment to consume more whole and raw food without making junky salad dressings.
What is unique about this dressing is that it uses walnuts to replace oil and raisins to replace any sweeteners that go into dressings. Walnuts look like little brains and are major sources of Omega 3 fatty acids, so these little nuts aide in heart and brain function.
This by far is my favorite salad dressing recipe I've ever had and made.
Dr. Fuhrman is a medical doctor who healed himself from an injury with alternative medicine. That healing experience inspired him to become a medical doctor. He advocates for eating G-BOMBS, which is considered the healthiest, most anti-cancer foods. What does G-BOMBS stand for?
This rainbow salad was inspired by G-Bombs; however, you can add, eliminate or swap any vegetables. To make this a further rainbow salad, one can add purple cabbage, purple onion or even blueberries. I am not a fan of mushrooms or raw onions in any traditional raw salad, unless it is a more hearty kale salad.
However, choose the ingredients that work best for you and your budget!
Dr Fuhrman's No Oil Walnut Vinaigrette Salad Dressing
Prep time: 5 minutes
Makes 3/4-1 cup
Salad Dressing Ingredients:
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup balsamic vinager
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup raisins
1 clove garlic
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp dried thyme
For the dressing, combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth.
For the salad, choose the vegetables you would like to add in, including a bean and seed if desired. Wash, chop, mix together and top with dressing. Enjoy!
Let's Connect! Here are some other salad recipes you may also enjoy!
We live in a society that craves change. We want everyone to change, often to our perspective to how we view life. However, the deep reality is that we are the only ones who can change ourselves.
Often times when seeking change, most relate to the softer voices in life rather than the harsh, "pull yourself up by your boot straps," approach. However, I do think a mix of both energies are necessary to light the fire to ignite change.
Change is an opportunity to grow, and ascend from tough to better situations. The path to change isn't always easy, but know the journey is one worth taking.
So if you are seeking a change, here are some powerful questions to ponder upon to inspire change or awakening in your life.
Am I sick and tired of being sick and tired? Or am I "sick" of my current situation?
What situation in your life are you sick and tired of dealing with? Is it poor health? Is it constantly being broke? Is it chronic negative thinking?
Whatever it is, bringing awareness to the situation is the first step making a change. Once you bring awareness, you are conscious or cognizant on the situation or problem.
Once you have the awareness, what was the "a-ha" moment that made you realize you needed a change?
One of my former morbidly obese clients said his "a-ha" moment occurred when he took a flight and couldn't fit into the seat. That was his moment that he realized he needed to change his life as he couldn't do many things before of his weight.
What situations or life event led me to this point?
Most people have a trigger event, unresolved trauma, childhood trauma or a string of chaotic events that led them to a certain situation or down a path of self-destruction.
Common causes include: death of a spouse / family member, abuse from a parent / spouse, divorce, loss of finances (job or bankruptcy), bad breakup, or hitting rock bottom.
In the event of becoming morbidly obese, this change did not happen overnight. It took years of overeating to get that person to the point of becoming 350-500lbs. Most morbidly obese people I worked with used food to cope with their emotions to make themselves feel better.
What is your deepest "why?"
As a personal trainer for 15 years, I've noticed that there are various surface level responses to change, and then there are deeper ones that hit the core of our emotional body.
Discovering your deepest why, is like peeling back the onion layers.
One example I see in fitness is that people want to lose weight. Okay, so why? Many will respond with "to look better," and after each response I keep asking, "why?" Many people on the surface want to look or feel better, but deep down there is something inside of them such as they want to be able to play with their children. Or have energy to participate in their kids life (like playing baseball) instead of having the passive experience of just being on the sidelines.
What is stopping me from achieving these goals? Or are there any barriers to my success?
These questions bring awareness to potential challenges or barriers that may hinder growth or our goals.
I suggest writing down 5-10 potential challenges. Do you work long or erratic work hours? Are you a busy parent? Do you self-sabotage your situations because of unresolved trauma?
Many people are eager to change, but don't realize it is a journey. They want to automatically jump from Point A to Point B. They fail to realize that living our daily life may cause barricades or stepping stones that may make life go up and down.
Change isn't linear and sometimes the road blocks pushes the pause button in our path to growth, but know that this moment is temporary.
What am I willing to let go of to make space for change?
Many people want to keep the same habits and try some program or teaching, expecting the same results.
As an example, people want to lose weight, so they decide to exercise and expect to be thin while continuing to eat fast food and drink lots of alcohol. Many people don't realize that its an entire lifestyle change. They don't want to let go of the same habits or addictions that will take them down.
However, in order for something new to begin, the old ways must be let go, removed or decreased to make space for something new.
What did I try in the past? What worked and what didn't?
Many people have tried "life altering" programs, but unfortunately did not see any results or change. Many mass marketed programs offer false-hope or unrealistic results in a short amount of time. Sadly, most of like doesn't work like this.
Nature doesn't plant a seed and then in 7 days a flower blossoms. Good things that grow take time.
I recommend not being discouraged from past efforts, but rather sit and reflect on what worked and what didn't. This time around one can adopt a better or a different game plan to navigate towards success.
Who is my support system?
We all need support. That is why community is so powerful and friends and family are so valuable. They are our cheerleaders to encourage us through difficult times.
We cannot be codependent upon people and shouldn't overburden individuals as that is where professional help is necessary to navigate the deeper parts of our change.
So ask yourself, "Who is part of my support system?" Friends, family, co-workers, church/community groups, neighbors, coaches, trainers, psychologists, doctors, nutritionists - somewhere out there, there is at least one support network for everyone.
YOU CAN DO IT! YOU CAN GROW! YOU CAN HEAL! YOU CAN LIVE A BETTER LIFE!
Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com