Friday, December 3, 2010

Breakfast Millet

I'm not sure if you are like me, but when the weather gets cold, I crave hot cereal. There's only so much you can eat oatmeal, cream of wheat, grits, etc. I remembered having millet for breakfast once a long time ago and decided to try to recreate it. Millet has an interesting texture when it's cooked, but I like it....and believe it or not, my four-year-old liked it too! "Ummmm, this is so good, Mommy! It smells good AND it tastes good." Those words are like music to my ears.

I made this super easy by using my rice cooker. The proportions are for using a rice cooker, so I'm not sure how it would turn out if made any other way.

1/2 cup millet
Scant 2 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Place all ingredients in rice cooker. Use white rice setting or if you don't have specific settings, just cook as you normally would for white rice. Super easy, huh? You could add chopped nuts, dates, coconut, or any other topping and it would still be delicious.

Serves: 3 generous portions.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Awesome Find

To all my vegan friends who can't indulge in soy: An awesome find! I've been on a special elimination diet for the past week to determine what could be causing my newborn son to have some digestion issues - No soy, no dairy whatsoever. My husband and daughter went on a date and brought me back something special: Purely Decadent Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert made with Coconut Milk. The only flavor that doesn't contain soy or dairy is the Cherry Amaretto, which is fine with me! It is absolutely delicious. I just had to share. Now, off to....Well, I'll let you guess! :0)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Aunt Carol's Orange Rolls

My husband's Aunt Carol is a phenomenal cook. She put together a cookbook of family recipes and gave one to each of her nieces and nephews. I just happened to be lucky enough to marry into the family and the cookbook was transferred into my willing hands.

I've asked her permission to post her recipe for orange rolls, and she was happy to oblige. I've made only a couple of changes to make it vegan, and I hope you'll enjoy the results.

3 1/2 cup flour
1 pkg. active dry yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp. loose active yeast if you don't have a package)
1 1/4 cup plain soy milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup margarine
1 tsp. salt
1 Tb. ground flax seed, mixed thoroughly with 3 Tbs. water
4 tsp. grated orange peel
1/2 cup sugar
4 Tb. melted margarine

1 cup powdered sugar
1 T. margarine
1 T. orange juice (plus a little more if needed to make right consistency)

In mixing bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups flour with package of yeast. Heat milk, sugar, margarine and salt in saucepan until warm, 115 - 120 degrees, stirring constantly to melt margarine. Add to flour and yeast, along with the flax seed mixture and beat on low speed of electric mixer for 1 - 1 1/2 minutes, scraping bowl. Beat 3 minutes more at high speed.

By hand, stir in rest of flour (it may not all combine), shape dough into a ball and place in lightly greased bowl. Cover and let rise until double, 1 1/2 hours. Punch down, cover and let rest another 10 minutes.

Divide dough into 2 parts. On a lightly floured space, roll 1/2 of dough into a 16 x 8 in. rectangle. Brush with 2 tablespoons of melted margarine and sprinkle with 1/4 cup sugar and 2 tsp. orange peel. Roll up jellyroll style and seal edges. Cut into 1-in. slices. Place, cut side up, in a greased 9 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan. Repeat with remaining dough.

Cover and let rise in a warm place until double, about 45 minutes. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes or slightly more, until golden brown. Combine glaze ingredients. Remove rolls from pan and glaze while still warm.

*I glazed half of the recipe and left the other half unglazed for my husband, who doesn't necessarily care for the super sweet glaze on rolls. You could also add some dried cranberries to the inside of the rolls. That would add some special pizzazz, although it's really not necessary.

This may take a bit of time, but the results are definitely worth it!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Peach Berry Cobbler

There is a great little market not far from where I live that has fantastic deals on produce every Wednesday. This last week I was able to find peaches for about $.49 per lb. Of course, I had to buy at least a pound or two. Now that I had my acquisition, what would I do with it? I looked to find a great recipe for peach cobbler. I found this one for Peach-Blueberry...Tell me, how can you go wrong with that combination? I took it to potluck and it was scarfed up pretty quickly. I had to make another one for our family to enjoy!

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup soy milk
1/4 cup margarine, softened
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbs. cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water
3 cups fresh peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced
1 cup fresh blueberries (frozen work well, too)
1 Tbs. margarine
1 Tbs. lemon juice
2 Tbs. white sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl. stir together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and baking powder. Mix in milk and 1/4 cup margarine until smooth.

In a medium saucepan, stir together the brown sugar, cornstarch and water. Mix until smooth. Mix in peaches and blueberries. Cook and stir over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Mix in 1 Tbs. margarine and 1 Tbs. lemon juice. Continue cooking until the butter melts. Pour into an 8x8 baking dish. Evenly spoon batter over hot fruit.

As a final garnish, mix together 2 Tbs. sugar and cinnamon in a small container. Sprinkle over the batter as much as desired. (I only used half of the mixture.) Place the baking dish into the preheated oven. Bake for approximately 40 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the crust comes out clean.

Yield: About 9 servings

Original Recipe was submitted to by Amy Posont. I've tweaked it to make it vegan.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Curried Red Lentils

I happened upon these delightful split red lentils a few years ago, and developed one of our favorite recipes. One thing I appreciate about the red lentil is that it cooks so quickly. The stew was done before my brown rice could finish cooking!

1 celery rib, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 C. red lentils
2 C. vegetable broth (I made mine with 4 Tbs. vegetarian chicken broth and 2 cups water)
1 C. water
1/2 can lite coconut milk
1 Tb. curry powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. granulated garlic
pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan, saute celery, carrots and onion. When they are softened, add red lentils. Cook for a few minutes before adding broth and water. Bring to a boil and add seasonings and coconut milk. Cook on medium-high heat until the soup begins to thicken slightly, then turn down and simmer until the lentils look slightly smooth and creamy. Stir occasionally to keep from sticking.

This stew is great served over brown rice. We even eat it over whole wheat toast sometimes!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Peanut Butter Cookies

Gracie and I were in the mood to bake cookies. I have an over abundance of peanut butter, so naturally the best way to use it up is make Peanut Butter cookies, right? Daddy has been gone all weekend (just arrived early this morning) so we decided to surprise him with a little treat.

This recipe is very easy. Measurements are pretty much the same throughout, so it's easy to memorize. I substituted flax seed for egg and like the gentle nut flavor it adds to the dough. 1 tablespoon ground flax seed mixed with 3 tablespoons water is the equivalent of one egg. You could also use chia seed gel which adds yet another layer of protein to these delicious cookies. 3 tablespoons of chia seeds mixed with 1 cup of water yields a nice thick gel. 3 tablespoons of gel equals 1 egg.

1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar or 1/4 cup honey
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 Tb. ground flax seed, mixed with 3 Tb. water
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Granulated sugar

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and peanut butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar, baking soda and baking powder. Beat until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Beat in flax seed mixture and vanilla until combined. Mix in as much flour as possible with the hand mixer. Stir in any remaining flour with a wooden spoon.

Shape dough into 1-in balls. Roll in additional white sugar. Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten by making crisscross marks with the tines of a fork.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 7-9 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Tasty, tasty! Enjoy with a short glass of soy or almond milk. :-)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Vegetable Pot Pie

One of our family's favorite meals is vegetarian chicken pot pie. I remember when I was a child, we could buy individual frozen vegetarian pot pies at the health food store: chicken or beef flavor. Once in a while we'd have them for a treat and it seemed like the longest 45 minutes in the world as that delicious pot pie cooked in the oven. I'd sneak a peek at the ever-goldening crust and hope that it was ready to eat soon. Then...the moment arrived. I'd slip my fork through the flaky crust and try to take a bite and immediately burn my tongue! It was worth it. All too soon the pot pie was finished and the craving was satisfied for a while.

Unfortunately, the company stopped making those little delectable morsels of vegetable goodness. The only frozen precooked pot pies you can find now are the Amy's brand. I've tried them, and while very good, they just don't measure up to the original vegetarian pot pies of my memories.

The solution? Make my own. Here is my rendition of pot pie. I'm sure there are many wonderful recipes out there, but this is what I've created. I hope you enjoy this recipe. If you make it, please send me your feedback. I'd like to hear what additional ingredients you added or subtracted.

1 T. olive oil
3 small Yukon Gold potatoes, washed and diced (red potatoes would work fine, too)
1/2 onion, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
1 carrot, peeled and sliced into bite sized pieces
2 vegetarian chicken patties, cooked and cubed
1 T. vegetarian chicken seasoning
1 tsp. granulated onion
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
salt, pepper to taste

1/2 cup raw cashews
2 cups water
4 T. vegetarian chicken seasoning
1 T. cornstarch

In a medium pot, saute vegetables in olive oil. Add seasonings as vegetables soften.

In a blender, blend 1/2 cup cashews with 1 cup of water until very smooth. Add additional 1 cup of water, chicken seasoning and cornstarch. Continue blending until well combined.

Pour cashew milk mixture into vegetables and cook over medium heat until combination begins to thicken. Stir often to make sure vegetables do not stick. Take off of heat and immediately pour into 8 x 8 casserole dish. Cover with your choice of uncooked pie crust. Poke 4-5 holes in top of pie crust to vent. Bake pot pie at 350 degrees for 45 - 60 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting through.

Complete the meal with a fresh green salad. Serves: 4 (depending on the size of pieces you cut!)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Classic Favorite

I went to bed last night wondering what I would make for breakfast this morning. I know, I know! I really need to expand my thought patterns. I had some leftover home fries and sausage. Throw some scrambled tofu and a flour tortilla into the mix and you have one of my all-time favorite breakfast foods: the breakfast burrito. Voila! Breakfast is solved.

The breakfast burrito is so user friendly. You can add or subtract ingredients as you like.

Flour or corn tortillas
Scrambled tofu
Crumbled cooked tator tots or hashbrowns
Vegetarian sausage links or patties, cooked and crumbled
Soy sour cream
Soy cheese
Salsa or Taco sauce
Olives, optional

Layer ingredients in tortilla. Roll and enjoy!

I made a Mexicali Tofu Scramble for my breakfast burrito this morning.

1/4 of an onion, chopped fine
1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped fine
1/2 orange bell pepper, chopped fine
1 block water-pack tofu, crumbled
Turmeric, Cumin, Granulated Onion, Granulated Garlic, Soy sauce, Oregano, Salt

Saute onion and bell pepper in a little cooking spray over medium heat. Add crumbled tofu to pan. Add seasonings to taste and color consistency. I only used a sprinkling of turmeric, oregano and garlic. I like the taste of cumin so added more. The soy sauce is nice because it adds a touch of saltiness with a rich flavor.

You'll have to experiment for yourself, but that's most of the fun, isn't it?? :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Breakfast Today

So, last night I planned to make waffles for breakfast this morning. I usually use a modified recipe that my mom created with granola and other ingredients (super easy!), but I didn't have everything that I needed. My husband always talks about these incredible oat waffles that he used to eat, so I decided to try my hand at making oat based waffles.

I think I may have created a new favorite! It takes a little longer than your average white flour waffle, but it's definitely worth it. Not only for your heart and digestive system, but for your taste buds as well.

1/2 cup raw cashews (you could experiment with other kinds of nuts if you wanted)
7 dates
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup corn meal
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups of water (plus a little more as needed)
handful of coconut (opt.)
1 T. flax seed (opt.)

Blend cashews and dates with 1 cup of water in blender until very smooth and creamy. Add rolled oats, corn meal, vanilla and salt ~ blending with the rest of the water. Turn off the blender and stir in the coconut, if using.

Spray your waffle iron with cooking spray and pour batter onto hot waffle iron. Bake for 11 minutes. Remove and enjoy with your favorite toppings! I made a mixed berry sauce for mine.

Yield: 3 large square waffles or 7 small round waffles (give or take depending on your waffle iron)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Something Different

I's been a while since I've posted anything. There is a good explanation for that! Around the time of my last blog, I discovered the joys of morning sickness. I was sick for seven weeks straight, sometimes not able to get out of bed without being overcome with nausea. I couldn't think about food, much less cook, thus the quiet blog. (We are due in early October.)

Yesterday I was given a bag of plums. I've never cooked with fresh plums before, but I had seen a recipe in my recent Vegetarian Times magazine that sounded good, Plum Cobbler. Since I had most of the ingredients on hand, I decided I would put it to the test. The results? My husband thought, and I quote, " it was awesome".

My 3 year-old daughter enjoyed helping me make this dessert. She washed the plums and carefully placed most of the ingredients into the blender. It's a joy to watch her take an interest in something that I'm passionate about.

The texture of the cake-like topping is very moist due to the escaping juices of the fruit as it cooks. The cobbler has a nice contrast of sweet to tart.

2 lbs. fresh or frozen, thawed, pitted and halved plums or apricots, or trimmed, halved figs
6 oz. silken tofu, such as Mori Nu, drained
1 Tb. cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbs. cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray deep-dish glass or ceramic pie dish or 9-in. square baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange fruit in layer in prepared dish.

Blend tofu in blender or food processor until smooth. Add vinegar and 1/4 cup water, and blend until smooth. Add sugar, vanilla, and almond extract; puree 1 minute or until sugar dissolves. Add flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Blend again for about 2 minutes, or until a smooth thick batter forms.

Pour batter over fruit in baking dish. Bake 30-40 minutes, or until top is golden-brown and a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

*This dessert freezes well, too. Wrap the baked, cooled cobbler with foil and plastic wrap before freezing. Thaw frozen cobbler, remove plastic wrap and foil, and warm in a 350 degree oven 20 minutes or until filling is hot and bubbly.

You can find this recipe in the July/August 2010 issue of Vegetarian Times.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Fruit Empanadas

So, tomorrow I am making a mexican themed breakfast, complete with beans, huevos rancheros, and fruit empanadas. I like to practice the principle of eating like a king for breakfast, a prince for lunch, and (sometimes) a pauper for supper. It doesn't always happen that way, but I try to have great filling breakfasts as often as possible.

One of my first purchases as an adult was the cookbook 1,001 Low-Fat Vegetarian Recipes by Sue Spitler. It has inspired many of my own attempts at creating delicious meals. Today I'm going to share the fruit empanada recipe ~ simple and delicious.


Filling ~
1/2 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup dried sweet cherries
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar (you could cut down on this)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
dash of lemon extract, or some lemon zest

Pastry ~
1 1/4 cups white flour
1 T. sugar
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
3 Tbs. shortening
1 tsp. lemon juice
3-4 Tbs. soymilk or water

Heat apricots, cherries and water to boiling in a small sauce pan. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until fruit is very soft, about 5 minutes. Mash fruit with fork until almost smooth; stir in sugar and spice.

Meanwhile, make your pastry. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix in lemon juice and milk, a tablespoon at a time to form a soft dough.

Roll half of the pastry on a lightly floured surface until 1/8 in. thick; cut into circles with a 3-in. round cookie cutter (I used a glass cup). Place slightly rounded teaspoon of fruit mixture in center of each pastry circle; fold the pastries in half and crimp edges with tines of fork. Make a slit in top of each pastry with a knife.

Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 350 degrees until golden, 12-15 minutes.

Yield: 24 empanadas [They are about 3-bites size! :)]

Enjoy ~

Friday, January 22, 2010

Wacky Banana Cake

This recipe is adapted from my Better Homes and Gardens Baking Book and it's in a section called Baking with Kids. This should tell you how easy this recipe is! It's so good, too. The original recipe calls for chocolate chips and butter, but you can easily substitute carob or vegan chocolate chips and margarine. It's called Wacky Banana Cake because you mix all the ingredients right in the baking dish.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2/3 cup mashed banana
6 Tb. margarine, melted
1/4 cup cold water
1 Tb. vinegar
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips or carob chips
1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional, but a delicious addition)

In an ungreased 8x8x2 in. baking pan, stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add the bananas, melted margarine, cold water, and vinegar to the dry mixture. Stir until just combined. Sprinkle the chocolate or carob chips over the top of the cake. Bake in a 350 degree oven 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Halfway through the baking time, sprinkle the nuts over the top of the cake. When done baking, remove from oven and cool in pan on a wire rack.

Yield: 9 servings

Vege Resource

After the holiday season and all the traveling accompanied with it, I am finally updating my blog! I've been experimenting with new recipes lately and you can be expecting some new additions to be posted soon, but for now, I'll share one of my favorite resources for vegetarian/vegan cooking with you.

My dear aunt Carol recently got me a gift subscription to Vegetarian Times, a great publication for anyone who needs inspiration for tasty vegetarian, vegan or even gluten free recipes. As soon as I receive my monthly issue, I sit down and devour it.

One of the recipes featured this month sounded really good, and I am definitely going to try it: Mushroom and Wild Rice Hotdish.

1/2 cup uncooked wild rice and brown rice blend
1 1/2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 med. onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 large stalk celery, diced (1/2 cup)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. button mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 cup creamy portobello mushroom soup, such as Imagine
2 Tb. lemon juice
6 oz. Quorn Chik'n Tenders
1/3 cup vegan sour cream (Tofutti)
2 Tb. panko breadcrumbs

Bring 1 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in rice, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 30-40 minutes or until rice is tender. (You could eliminate this step if you have a rice cooker - just cook as normal in a rice cooker). Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, celery and garlic. Cook 5 to 6 minutes, or until onion is soft. Add mushrooms and lemon zest. Cook 4 to 6 minutes, or until mushrooms are soft and beginning to brown. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Stir in mushroom soup and lemon juice. Remove from heat and stir in Chik'n Tenders, rice and sour cream. Spoon into 8-in. square baking dish and top with breadcrumbs. Preheat oven to 375. Place casserole on baking sheet. Bake 25-35 minutes, or until golden brown on top and bubbly in the center.

Serves 6