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