Monday, January 23, 2012

Potato Gratin in Rosemary Crust

Here's one that I haven't tried yet...can quite get up the nerve :)  But it sounds fabulous, looks even better, and one day soon, I hope it will be on my dinner plate!

It's from Southern Living...and while I don't have a picture yet (need to make it first!), I wanted to post theirs because once you see it, you'll probably looks like it would be food heaven!  :)


  • 2 piecrusts 
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded Gruyère cheese, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • garlic clove, minced
  • Garnish: fresh rosemary sprigs
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 450°. Unroll piecrusts on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle rosemary, pepper, and 1/2 cup cheese over 1 piecrust; top with remaining piecrust. Roll into a 13-inch circle. Press on bottom and up sides of a 9-inch springform pan; fold edges under. Chill.
  2. 2. Meanwhile, peel and thinly slice Yukon gold and sweet potatoes.
  3. 3. Layer one-third each of Yukon gold potatoes, sweet potatoes, and salt in prepared crust. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Repeat layers twice, pressing layers down slightly to fit.
  4. 4. Microwave cream and garlic in a 1-cup microwave-safe measuring cup at HIGH 45 seconds; pour over potato layers in pan. Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Cover pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place on a baking sheet.
  5. 5. Bake at 450° for 1 hour. Uncover and bake 25 minutes or until potatoes are done and crust is richly browned. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes. Carefully transfer to a serving plate, and remove sides of pan. If desired, carefully slide gratin off bottom of pan using a long knife or narrow spatula. Garnish, if desired.

Spinach and White Bean Pasta

Here's one from Paula Deen that I actually want to try...on the healthy side!  :)  Just a little bacon...

Spinach and White Bean Penne
1 (12-oz) box whole-wheat pasta
4 slices bacon1 cup chopped onion2 cloves garlic, minced1 (15-oz) can white beans, drained and rinsed3 cups fresh baby spinach1 and 1/2 teaspoons orange zest
1. Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain.  In a large skillet, cook bacon 6 minutes over medium heat or until crisp.  Remove from pan, and crumble.  Discard all but 2 tablespoons drippings in pan.  Add onion and garlic to drippings in pan, and sauté over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until tender.
2. In a large bowl, combine pasta, crumbled bacon, onion mixture, beans, spinach, and orange zest.  Serve immediately.

Stuffed Avocados

While on a missions trip to Guatemala last year, for lunch one day we had half of an avocado, stuffed with tuna salad.  Now, I generally HATE tuna salad, but for some reason it was so good!  I've even made it a few times since coming back to the states!

BUT a few months back, I saw an idea in a food network magazine that has stuck with me and today I finally had to try it!  It was awesome!  I thought I loved it with tuna.....WAY better with chicken!  :)
And, it's pretty healthy, especially if you were going to eat the chicken salad on bread...this is a much better (and tastier) option!

3 avocados
2 chicken breasts, cooked (I popped mine in my crockpot with a little olive oil and my rotisserie  
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup mayonnaise (I used the kind made out of olive oil)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried mustard
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1-2 cups red grapes, halved
1/2 - 1 tsp dried dill
3 avocados

1.  Cook chicken (if not already cooked) and pull apart.
2.  In large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients (except avocados).  Set aside.
3.  Cut each avocado in half, removing seed.  Place a scoop of chicken salad into each avocado half.

Stuffed Mushrooms

OH MY GOSH!  I just saw a recipe that jogged my memory...we used to make these all the time, and I totally forgot about them!  :)

They are a super tasty simple treat!!!

3 Tbsp butter
8 oz Whole button mushrooms, rinsed
4 oz cream cheese
garlic powder
garlic salt
dash pepper

1.  Remove stems from mushrooms.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put butter in baking dish and place in oven until melted.
2.  Place cream cheese in small bowl, and microwave for about 40 seconds until melted.  Stir in seasonings.
3.  Spoon cheese topping into each mushroom.  Place each mushroom (cheese side up) into baking dish and put in preheated oven for approximately 10-12 minutes until cheese just starts to brown.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Margherita Pizza

For pizza, it probably doesn't get much healthier than this one!

For this one, we made a batch of pizza crust (1/3 all purpose flour, 1/3 whole wheat flour, 1/3 white whole wheat flour), used a can of crushed San Marzano tomatoes (could use regular crushed tomatoes!), little bit of mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil.  Super light for pizza, but tons of flavor!

Mushroom & Spinach White Pizza

This has become a new family favorite!

Just take the pizza dough recipe and make a white cream sauce, and top with mozzarella cheese, sliced baby bella mushrooms and fresh spinach!  YUM!

White Cream Sauce:
3 Tbsp butter
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup half and half
sprinkle of Italian seasoning
3 Tbsp grated romano cheese

1.  In small sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter.  Add garlic and cook for about a minute.
2.  Add half and half and Italian seasoning.  Whisk together and cook for 2 to 10 minutes (however long you have), whisking well every minute or two.
3.  Remove from heat and add romano cheese.  Stir well.

Spaghetti Soup

This was awesome!  I intended to make the cream of tomato soup and the cream of spinach soup in one pot...mixed together, just to save the dishes!  :)

I used only half the milk that would have been used if I had used all for both it wasn't as creamy, more bold...but it was incredible!  Chris loved it and kept saying it tasted almost exactly like good spaghetti sauce.  So last night he heated up some of our homemade pasta and topped it with the soup and said it was delicious!

I didn't eat it with the spaghetti, but I did eat it with the Panera Bread Copycat recipe that I tweaked the other day and it was fabulous together!


2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp chopped onion
1 garlic clove, diced
1/8 cup flour
3 cups tomato juice
29 oz can petite diced tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups milk (or fat free half and half)
1 Tbsp sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 to 1/4 cup sherry cooking wine (could probably use any good wine too)
fresh basil
5-8 oz spinach (fresh or frozen)
dash nutmeg

1.  Melt butter in large soup pot.
2.  Add onion and garlic, cook for about a minute.  
3.  Add tomato juice and tomatoes, cooking for about 5 minutes.
4.  Add baking soda, milk, sugar, salt, sherry, basil, spinach and nutmeg.
5.  Heat thoroughly.  Blend with immersion blender or in stand blender until smooth.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

My Favorite Breakfast

I don't make this nearly fact, this should be our breakfast everyday.  It's healthy, jammed full of nutrition, and it's so good!  AND, it doesn't leave me hungry in an hour!
(this is for 2 adults)

Egg Ingredients:
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
4 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
cheddar cheese (freshly grated!), as little as you need

Bean Ingredients:
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
drizzle of olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 tsp cumin

Tortilla Ingredients:
4 corn tortillas
1 Tbsp olive oil

1.  In small pot over low heat, stir together black beans, olive oil, garlic, lime juice, and cumin.  Stir occasionally as the rest of the food is cooking.
2.  In saute pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Add onions and cook for about 5 minutes or until soft.  Add peppers and cook for another 2 minutes.
3.  Meanwhile, in small bowl, whisk together eggs and milk.  Add cayenne.  Pour over onions and peppers, stirring constantly until eggs set and are cooked through.  Grate cheese over top and allow to sit for a minute to melt.
4.  On a flat skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Place tortillas on skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden.
5.  Serve beans on the tortillas, with eggs on the side.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Smoky black bean Chili

Made this the recipe off the internet somewhere, but don't remember where...

Paired it with the homemade Tomato Basil Bread (like Panera's but better, fresher, and with NO extra ingredients!).  It was killer good!  The smokey-ness of the chili with the sweetness of the bread...there just aren't words!  :)

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
few shakes of pepper
1 chipotle pepper (canned) and 2 tsp adobo sauce, diced
5 cups water
4 potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 soft chicken boullion (if desired)
29 oz petite diced tomatoes
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1 cup frozen corn
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups cooked corkscrew pasta***

1.  Heat oil in large pot over high heat.  Add onions and cook for about 5 minutes.  Add garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper.
2.  Add chipotle pepper and adobo sauce, water, potatoes, boullion (optional), and diced tomatoes.  Let cook for 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
3.  Add bell pepper, corn, beans, and pasta.  Cook until heated through.

***I actually had some left over lipton cheddar broccoli noodles in the fridge from dinner the other I just happened to open the fridge and think "I wonder if there's anything in here I can add to the chili"...and there it was...yummy!  :)

Tomato Basil Bread - just like Panera...but better! :)

  • No more store bought bread...that is one of the new things I decided to start doing for my family.  I don't want to be ingesting 30+ ingredients every time I put a piece of bread in my mouth, no matter how tasty it is!  There just is no good reason for it!
  • And homemade, nutritious bread is cool and all, but I do not want to just eat boring whole wheat bread all the time either.
  • So today I decided to try to make Panera Bread's Tomato Basil bread.  You know the has the crunchy brown sugar topping that is just SO amazingly paired with the tomato and basil flavors!  (I know, sounds totally gross, but it's super good!).  I couldn't find their actual recipe online, or an exact "copycat" recipe, but I did find a recipe for Tomato Basil Bread here that I used.
  • I added the topping, omitted crushed red pepper flakes, and swapped canned san marzano diced tomatoes for the tomato paste.  Result?!  Probably the best bread I've ever made...and I have made bread many times! :)  This is definitely going to be a new staple in our family! 
  • I used unbleached bread flour this time, but next time I will do half all purpose and half white whole wheat to see if we like it with the whole grain.  I figure even if I don't switch to all whole grain flour, every little bit helps...and of course, the fact that I only used 11 ingredients for this gourmet, several flavor bread is a huge plus in my book, even if it was regular old flour!
  • Two notes - I didn't put brown sugar on the whole thing...just wanted to try it without too, since I hadn't made this before...AND, I served this with a vegan chili recipe that I came up with and it was such an awesome pairing - the sweetness of the brown sugar and the smokey chipotle flavor in the chili.  DEFINITELY a great combination!
  • Ingredients:
  • 1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast3/4 cup warm water (110 to 115 )1/4 cup fresh basil , minced (can substitute with 2 tablespoons dried)1/4 cup parmesan cheese , grated4 heaping Tbsp canned diced san marzano tomatoestablespoon sugartablespoon olive oilteaspoon salt2 1/2-2 3/4 cups bread flour
  • Ingredients for Brown Sugar Struesel Topping
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup flour (I probably used a little less than that)
    3 Tbsp cold butter


  1. 1
    In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Stir in basil, Parmesan cheese, tomato paste, sugar, oil, salt, pepper flakes and 2 cups flour. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a stiff dough.
  2. 2
    Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 3-5 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  3. 3
    Punch dough down; knead for 1 minute. Shape into a round loaf. Place on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
    Make Brown Sugar Struesel - In medium bowl, mix together brown sugar and flour.  Add butter and cut with pastry blender until it's the size of small peas.
  4. 4
    Top dough with brown sugar mixture and bake at 375° for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cooling rack.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day

The Master Recipe: Artisan Free Form Loaf.
From Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery that Revolutionizes Home Baking by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois (Thomas Dunne Books, 2007). Copyright 2007 by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois.
Makes four 1 pound loaves.
Note: This recipe must be prepared in advance.
  • 3 cups (720g) lukewarm water
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons (4 1/2 teaspoon) granulated yeast (about 1-1/2 packets)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (or 3 teaspoons table salt)
  • 6-1/2 cups (940g) unbleached flour, plus extra for dusting dough
  • optional 200g of well fed sourdough starter
  • Cornmeal for the peel (or leave on baking paper)
In a large plastic resealable container, mix yeast and salt into 3 cups lukewarm (about 100 degrees) water.(make sure you follow this step. When I  skipped it I found a ribbon of undisolved yeast). Using a large spoon, stir in flour, mixing until mixture is uniformly moist with no dry patches. Do not knead. Dough will be wet and loose enough to conform to shape of plastic container. Cover, but not with an airtight lid. (I mix mine in a bowl and then put in a lightly oiled 4.75l decor brand container).
Let dough rise at room temperature, until dough begins to flatten on top or collapse, at least 2 hours (takes an hour in Darwin) and up to 5 hours. (At this point, dough can be refrigerated up to 2 weeks; refrigerated dough is easier to work with than room-temperature dough, so the authors recommend that first-time bakers refrigerate dough overnight or at least 3 hours.)
When ready to bake, sprinkle cornmeal on a pizza peel. Place a broiler pan on bottom rack of oven. Place baking stone on middle rack and repeat oven to 450 degrees, preheating baking stone for at least 20 minutes.
Sprinkle a little flour on dough and on your hands. Pull dough up and, using a serrated knife, cut off a grapefruit-size piece (about 1 pound). Working for 30 to 60 seconds (and adding flour as needed to prevent dough from sticking to hands; most dusting flour will fall off, it’s not intended to be incorporated into dough), turn dough in hands, gently stretching surface of dough, rotating ball a quarter-turn as you go, creating a rounded top and a bunched bottom.
Place shaped dough on prepared pizza peel and let rest, uncovered, for 40 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough or refrigerate it in lidded container. (Even one day’s storage improves flavor and texture of bread. Dough can also be frozen in 1-pound portions in airtight containers and defrosted overnight in refrigerator prior to baking day.) Dust dough with flour.
Using a serrated knife, slash top of dough in three parallel, ¼-inch deep cuts (or in a tic-tac-toe pattern). Slide dough onto preheated baking stone. Pour 1 cup hot tap water into broiler pan and quickly close oven door to trap steam. Bake until crust is well-browned and firm to the touch, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven to a wire rack and cool completely.
You can also pull off just enough for a bread roll or two!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Glazed Honey and Rosemary Baby Carrots

from New Vegetarian Kitchen

1 1/4 pounds baby carrots
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large garlic clove, crushed
leaves from 2 rosemary sprigs, finely chopped
2 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 Tbsp honey

1.  Boil the carrots 3 minutes or until almost tender, then drain well.
2.  Heat the butter and olive oil in a saute pan over medium low heat.  Add garlic and rosemary and saute 1 minute, then add the carrots, mustard and honey.  Cook over low heat, stirring continuously to prevent the honey from burning, 2 minutes or until the carrots are tender and coated in the sticky glaze, then serve.

Cinnamon-Dusted Doughnuts with Chocolate Sauce

from New Vegetarian Kitchen

7 Tbsp light cream
1 extra large egg, lightly beaten
5 Tbsp sugar
7 Tbsp orange juice
zest from 1 orange
3 Tbsp olive oil
3 cups self-rising flour
2 cups sunflower oil, for deep frying

Cinnamon Dust:
5 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Chocolate Sauce:
1 cup less 2 Tbsp milk
1 3/4 oz dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
2 tsp cornstarch
scant 1/4 cup sugar

1.  In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream, egg, sugar, orange juice, zest, and olive oil until combined.  Sift in the flour and mix to make a soft dough.
2.  Turn out the dough and knead it on a lightly floured work surface 1 minute to form a soft ball of dough.  Using floured hands, divide the dough into 16 equal pieces.  Roll out each piece iwht your hands into a rope shape, about 6 inches long, then press the ends together to form a ring.  Run your finger around the inside to make a hole, then transfer to a lightly floured plate.
3.  To make the cinnamon dust, mix together sugar and cinnamon on a plate and set aside.  To make the chocolate sauce, put half of the milk in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to just under a boil.  Reduce the heat to low, add chocolate, and stir until melted.  Mix together the remaining milk, constarch, and sugar in a bowl and add it to the chocolate milk mixture.  Stir over medium low heat 3 to 5 minutes until thick, then transfer to a serving bowl.
4.  Preheat oven to 150 degrees, and heat the sunflower oil in a wide, deep saucepan to 350 degrees, or until a piece of bread turns golden after 40 seconds.  Fry the doughnuts, 3 at a time, about 4 minutes, turning once, until golden.  Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels, then transfer to an ovenproof plate and keep warm in the oven while you fry the remaining doughnuts.
5.  Roll the doughnuts in the cinnamon dust until lightly coated.  Serve with the warm chocolate sauce.

Sweet Vanilla Risotto Cakes with caramel Drizzle

from New Vegetarian Kitchen

4 cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped out, OR 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 Tbsp butter plus extra for frying
1 cup arborio rice
1/4 cup raisins (optional)
1/4 cup sugar

Caramel Sauce:
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp butter
6 Tbsp heavy cream

1.  Bring the milk and vanilla bean and seeds to just below a boil in a saucepan over medium low heat, then remove the pan from the heat and let stand 5 minutes to let the vanilla infuse the milk.
2.  Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium low heat, add the rice, and stir 2 minutes, or until the rice is coated in the butter and glossy.  Remove the vanilla bean from the milk and discard.  Stir in the raisins, if using, then add the milk a little at a time.  Cook, stirring continuously, 25 minutes, or until all the milk is absorbed and the rice is soft and creamy.  Stir in the sugar and remove from the heat, then set aside to cool 5 minutes.
3.  Line a square 7 inch baking pan or dish with parchment paper.  Transfer the risotto to the dish, spreading out in an even layer.  Smooth the top with wet metal spatula and let them cool completely and set.
4.  Turn the rice out of the pan and cut into 9 squares, using a wet metal spatula or knife, then set aside.
5.  To make the caramel drizzle, put the sugar and 3 Tbsp water in a saucepan.  Heat over low heat 3 to 5 minutes, stirring continously, until it comes to a boil and the sugar dissolves.  Continue to cook until the sugar turns to a deep golden color, swirling the pan occasionally instead of stirring at this stage.  Remove from heat and stir in the butter, than add the cream, taking care as it might froth up and splatter.  It's a good idea to wear an oven glove!  Reheat over low heat, beating until smooth and creamy, then set aside.
6.  Preheat the oven to 150 degrees.  Over medium heat, melt enough butter to coat the bottome of a large nonstick skillet.  Fry half of the risotto cakes 3 minutes on each side, or until golden, reducing the heat to medium low if necessary.  Transfer the cakes to an ovenproof plate and keep warm in the oven while you cook the remaining cakes.
7.  Put 2 risotto cakes on each of 4 plates.  Drizzle with caramel sauce and serve.

Sweet Chili Bok Choy

2 Tbsp sweet chili sauce
2 Tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp peanut oil
1 large onion, sliced
7 oz long-stem broccoli, trimmed
2 bok choy, halved or quartered, if large, white part sliced and leaves left whole
3 oz snow peas
3 garlic cloves
1 inch ginger, peeled and grated
1 red chili, seeded and sliced into thin circles (optional)

1.  Mix together the sweet chili sauce, soy sauce and sesame oil and set aside.  Heat a wok over high heat, add the peanut oil and fry the onion 2 minutes before adding the broccoli and whit part of the bok choy.  Stir fry 2 minutes, then add snow peas, garlic, ginger, chili, if using, and green leaves of bok choy.  stir fry 2 minutes longer, then add the sweet chili mixture and toss well.

Black Bean, Jalapeno, and Mozzarella Quesadillas

1 Tbsp olive oil plus extra for brushing
1 red onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 jalapeno, deseeded and chopped
15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 large soft tortillas
2 oz mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper

1.  Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium low heat and fry the onion 8 to 10 minutes until soft.  Add the garlic, red pepper, and jalapenos and cook 2 minutes longer, stirring occasionally.  Stir in the black beans and heat through, then roughly mash with a fork.
2.  Preheat the broiler to medium high and line the broiler pan with foil.  Spoon the bean mixture on top of one of the tortillas, cover with the mozzarella and then with the second tortilla.  Press the edges down slightly to encase the filling, then brush the top with olive oil.
3.  Broil the quesadilla 4 to 5 minutes until golden and crisp, then carefully turn it over and broil 4 minutes longer.  Cut into wedges and serve hot.

Strawberry and Marsala Syllabubs

From New Vegetarian Kitchen

1 pound 2 oz strawberries, hulled
4 tsp powdered sugar
2 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp marsala wine
1 1/4 cups heavy cream

1.  Reserve 4 strawberries for decoration and put the rest in a blender and puree until smooth.  Press the puree through a strainer into a clean bowl to remove the seeds.  Stir in powdered sugar and set aside.
2.  Put the sugar, marsala wine, and 1 tsp hot water in a large bowl and stir until the sugar dissolves.  Add the cream and, using a balloon whisk, whip until it forms soft peaks.
3.  Spoon a large spoonful of the strawberry puree into a small, tall glass or bowl and top with some of the cream mixture.  Layer again with the remaining puree and cream. Chill the syllabubs 30 minutes or until set.  Decorate with the reserved strawberries and serve.

Fried Udon Noodles

The Kind Diet - Alicia Silverstone

Udon noodles generally turn up in a big bowl of broth, but their texture changes when they are briefly stir-fried. This is a good recipe for cleaning out the fridge; mix the noodles with tofu, broccoli, mushrooms or any other vegetables you have on hand.
2 servings


  • 8 ounces udon noodles
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for optional drizzling
  • 8 ounces (half a small head) green cabbage, cored and cut into thin slices (about 2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon water, plus more as needed
  • 1 medium onion, cut in half, then into thin slices
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • Chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish


Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the udon noodles and cook just until al dente (about 5 minutes); drain, and cover loosely to keep warm.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cabbage and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is very tender, 15 to 17 minutes. Add a tablespoon or so of water to the pan if the cabbage begins to stick or burn.
Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat in a separate pan. Add the onion, garlic, salt, 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper and the paprika; cook for about 4 minutes, stirring a few times, until the onion is translucent, again adding a touch of water if the onion starts to stick.
Transfer the mixture to the skillet with the cabbage, stirring to combine. Add the drained noodles and toss together until heated through. Taste and add up to 1/4 pepper as needed.
Divide among individual bowls. Sprinkle with the parsley; drizzle with a little oil, if desired. Serve hot.

Vegan Cupcakes

The Kind Diet - Alicia Silverstone

2/3 c. hemp or soy milk
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
2/3 c. agave nectar
1/3 c. safflower oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
pinch of fine sea salt
Heat oven to 325°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.  
Combine milk and vinegar in a medium bowl, and set aside for at least five minutes or until mixture bubbles. If it doesn't bubble, keep stirring the mixture until it does. Add agave nectar, oil and vanilla and stir.
In a separate bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, mixing until no lumps remain.
Pour batter into muffin tin and bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of one cupcake comes out clean and the tops are slightly springy when pressed (be careful not to burn yourself!). Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then cool completely on a baking rack before frosting.
Fudge Frosting
1/2 c. (4 oz.) Earth Balance butter
1/2 c. agave nectar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 c. soy milk powder
Use a mixer to cream butter together with agave nectar, in a mixing bowl, until very smooth. Add vanilla extract and half the cocoa powder, mix on low speed to combine, then add the remaining cocoa powder. Add soy milk powder; beat at medium-high speed until fluffy. If it is runny, refrigerate the frosting until it sets a little.
Source: The Kind Diet

Chocolate Peanut Butter Treats with Chocolate Chips

The Kind Diet - Alicia Silverstone

1 box brown rice crisps cereal
1 3/4 cups brown rice syrup
fine sea salt
3/4 cup peanut butter (unsweetened and unsalted if possible)
1/2 cup chocolate chips

1.  Pour the rice cereal into a large bowl.  Heat the syrup with a pinch of salt in a saucepan over low heat.  When the rice syrup liquefies, add the peanut butter and stir until well combined.  Pour over the rice cereal.  Mix well with a wooden spoon.
2.  Once thoroughly mixed and cooled to room temperature, stir in the chocolate chips.  Make sure the mixture is cool, or you will end up with melted chocolate instead of chocolate chips in your treats.
3.  Turn the mixture out into an 8x8 or 9x13 baking dish.  Wet your wooden spoon lightly and press the mixture evenly into the pan.  Let cool for 1 hour (if you can) before cutting into squares or bars.

Sicilian Collard Greens with Pine Nuts and Raisins

The Kind Diet - by Alicia Silverstone

1 bunch collard greens
2 Tbsp pine nuts
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp raisins
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1.  Use a sharp knife to cut out the central rib and stem from each collard leaf.  Rinse the leave in a sink of cool water, lifting them into a colander to drain a bit (you want some water to remain on the leaves).
2.  Toast the pine nuts over medium heat in a dry skillet for about 5 minutes or until golden.  Shake the pan often to keep nuts from burning.  Transfer to a plate and set aside.
3.  Place the garlic and oil in a large skillet, and saute over medium heat for 1 minute or until the garlic is fragrant.  Add the damp collards and stir, then cover the pan and cook for 2 minutes longer.  Add the raisins and pine nuts, and stir.  Cover and cook for 2 minutes.  Stir in the balsamic vinegar, cover, and continue to cook for 1 to 2 minutes longer.

Note - the stems of the collard greens are full of minerals, so if you want to use them, chop them into 1 inch pieces and cook for a couple of minutes before adding the rest of the greens.

Gingerbread Apple Pie

From Vegan with a Vengance

Ingredients for Crust:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup nonhydrogenated margarine, softened
1 Tbsp molasses
2 Tbsp cold water

Ingredients for Filling:
2 pounds granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
pinch ground cloves
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp canola oil
2 Tbsp arrowroot

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

To make the crust:
Sift together flour, sugar, spices, salt, and baking powder.  Add margarine one Tbsp full at a time and cut with a pastry cutter, knife, or your fingertips.  Drizzle molasses and water over the dough, mixing with fingers until the crumbs of dough begin to cling together.  Set aside 1/2 cup of the dough.  Gather together the rest of the dough and knead it into a ball.  Press it evenly into the bottom and sides of a pie pan and bake for 10 minutes.

To make the Filling:
While the crust bakes, combine in a mixing bowl, all of the filling ingredients except the arrowroot.  Sprinkle the arrowroot over the apple mixture and mix until dissolved.

Assemble the pie
Fill the pie crust with the apple mixture, and crumble the remaining 1/2 cup dough over the filling.  Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake 30 minutes more; the filling should be bubbling and the apples should be tender.  Serve warm or at room temperature

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Garlic

From Vegan with a Vengance

1 pound brussels sprouts, washed and halved
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp coarse sea salt

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2.  Lay brussels sprouts on a rimmed baking sheet; douse with olive oil.  Roast for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven, add chopped garlic and sprinkle with sea salt.  Use tongs to toss to coat.  Return to oven and roast for 5 more minutes.  Before you remove brussels sprouts from pan, rub them into the garlic and when you serve them, sprinkle with whatever toasted garlic remains in the pan.

Sesame Asparagus

From Vegan with a Vengance

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seed
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 pound asparagus, ends discarded
2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds

1.  Saute the garlic in the sesame oil over medium heat for about a minute.  Add the soy sauce, vinegar, and red pepper flakes.  Add asparagus and saute for 4 to 5 minutes, until it is still bright green and firm, but slightly tender.  Move to a serving plate and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Sauted Green Beans with Mushrooms

From Vegan with a Vengance

1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
1/2 tsp dried oregano
4 tsp salt
few dashes pepper
1/2 cup vegetable broth or water
1/2 cup white cooking wine
2 1/2 cups green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces

1.  In a large nonstick pan over medium heat, saute garlic in olive oil for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add mushrooms, oregano, salt and pepper, and saute until mushrooms begin to release moisture, about two minutes.  Add vegetable broth and turn the heat up a bit, bringing to a low boil.  Simmer for about 1 minute.
2.  Add white wine and green beans; cover and simmer for about 2 minutes.  Uncover and cook for about 3 more minutes or until desired tenderness is reached.

Roasted Applesauce

From Vegan with a Vengance

2 pounds McIntosh apples
juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp canola oil
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp lemon zest
pinch ground allspice
1/4 tsp salt

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2.  Peel, core, and slice apples into 1-inch chunks.  Sprinkle with lemon juice and set aside.
3.  Combine oil, maple syrup, sugar, cinnamon and zest in a glass baking dish, whisking together.  Add apples and toss to coat.
4.  Roast until the apples are very tender, about 25 minutes, turning once after 15 minutes.  Transfer to a large bowl and mash.  Can be served hot, room temperature, or chilled.

Garlicky Kale with Tahini Dressing

From Vegan with a Vengance

Ingredients for Kale:
5 or 6 cloves garlic, sliced
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 bunch kale, well rinsed and chopped
1/4 tsp salt
Tahini Dressing (below), optional

Directions for Kale:
1.  Saute garlic in olive oil over medium high heat for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden brown.  Add kale and a few splashes of water.  Use tongs to toss kale around, coating it with the garlic and oil.  Stir frequently for 4 to 5 minutes.
2.  Serve with a drizzle of Tahini dressing (best if poured from squeeze bottle, so you get small amount).

Ingredients for Tahini Dressing:
8 tsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup tahini
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
juice of 1 lemon
few dashes pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 cup lightly packed parsley
1/2 cup cold water

1.  Heat garlic in 6 tsp olive oil in a small saute pan over very low heat for 2 minutes, just until it's fragrant.
2.  Place the heated garlic and all the other ingredients except the parsley in a blender and blend until smooth.  Add parsley and pulse until it is finely chopped but not pureed.
3.  Refrigerate at least 1/2 hour in airtight container.  You may need to mix in a little extra water once it's chilled.

Balsamic-Glazed Portobello Mushrooms

From Vegan with a Vengance

3 medium sized portobello caps, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
pinch salt
2 cloves garlic, minced

1.  Preheat a large skillet over medium0high heat for about 2 minutes.
2.  Toss the mushrooms with olive oil until coated.  Place in pan in a single layer.  Let cook for 5 minutes, until they start releasing moisture.  Turn over and cook another 2 minutes.
3.  Add vinegar and salt; saute for 30 seconds.  Add garlic and saute for another 3 minutes.

Orange-Glazed Beets

From Vegan with a Vengance

1 1/2 pounds beets (3-4 average-sized), peeled, quartered, and sliced about 1/4 inch thick
1 cup orange juice
1 tsp orange zest
1 tsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp salt

1.  Place all the ingredients in a large pan, cover, and bring to low boil.  Simmer, stirring occasionally for about 12 minutes or until beets are tender.  Uncover and boil until the liquid has reduced to a glaze, about 4 minutes more.  Serve hot, room temperature, or chilled.

Black Bean, Mushroom, and Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers

From Vegan with a Vengance

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups finely chopped mushrooms
1 Tbsp chile powder
1 tsp salt
15 oz tomato sauce
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup quinoa
4 large red bell peppers
15 oz black beans, drained and rinsed (canned)
1 tsp pure maple syrup
fresh cilantro for garnish

1.  In saucepan over medium heat, saute onions in olive oil for 3 to 5 minutes, until they are translucent.  Add garlic and mushrooms; saute about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms have released their moisture.  Stir in chili powder and salt.  Add quinoa and 1 cup tomato sauce and water, lower the heat and cover, simmering for about 20 minutes, stirring once.
2.  Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare the peppers - boil a pot of water.  Cut the tops off the peppers and remove seeds.  Boil the peppers for 5 minutes and then drain them.
3.  Combine the beans and maple syrup with the cooked quinoa mixture.  Stuff each pepper with filling and stand them upright in a baking dish.  Pour remaining tomato sauce over the peppers and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven, garnish with cilantro, and serve.

White Bean and Roasted Garlic Soup

From Vegan with a Vengance

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp salt
few dashes pepper
1/2 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
4 cups veggie or chicken broth
3 cups cooked great northern beans, drained (or canned beans drained and rinsed)
3 fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 bay leaf
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 heads garlic, roasted

1.  In stockpot over medium-high heat, saute onions in olive oil for 5 to 7 minutes.
2.  Add salt, pepper, and fennel seeds; saute for 1 minute.  Add broth, beans, sage, and bay leaf, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.  Remove bay leaf.  Add the roasted garlic and puree in batches in a blender or preferably in a food processor.  Return to the pot and add lemon juice.

To roast garlic
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Peel off as much of the papery skin as you can and put the garlic in the oven about 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and, when cool, squeeze the garlic out or peel the skin away from each clove

Potato-Asparagus Soup

From Vegan with a Vengance

3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, diced
1 pound asparagus, rough ends discarded, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp salt
few dashes pepper
4 cups veggie or chicken broth
2 bay leaves
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

1.  Place potatoes in stockpot and cover with cold water.  Cover the pot and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until tender.  Add asparagus, boil for 3 minutes, drain and set aside.
2.  Rinse out the pot, then in the same pot, saute the onion in olive oil for 5 to 7 minutes; add garlic, salt, and pepper and saute for 2 more minutes.  Add broth and bay leaves, boil for 10 minutes, discard bay leaves.  Add potatoes and asparagus, heat through, then puree half to three quarters of soup using stand- or hand-blender.  Reheat if necessary.  Add a squeeze of lemon and serve garnished with fresh dill.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Chipotle, Corn, and Black Bean Stew

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
few dashes pepper
2 chipotle peppers (canned), drained and chopped
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
3 cups water
4 russet potatoes, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 cup corn
16 oz black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
finely grated zest of 1 lime
juice of 1 lime

1.  In a stockpot, saute onions in oil over moderate heat for 5 minutes.  Add garlic, cumin, salt and pepper.  Saute 1 more minute.  Add chipotles, tomatoes and water, stirl.  Add potatoes and carrots.  Cover and bring to a low boil, and simmer for 20 minutes.
2.  Uncover, add the corn and beans.  Thin with more water if needed.  Cook uncovered 5 more minutes.  Add cilantro. lime zest and lime juice.  Let sit at least 10 minutes, or longer!)