Search around, let simmer...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Wintery Baking...

Loaves of the Yule

Yes, I've been neglecting the blog but it's that time of year! A friend of mine has been staying with me and my last week before break was busy. Last weekend I did get a chance to do some good baking however. Out of the Bread Bible came Molasses Bran Sunflower Bread. A hearty loaf that baked up nicely, perhaps a bit too dense due to a lack of gluten but good nonetheless.

More recently however (On Christmas Eve it was) I baked the books recipe for Apple Walnut Loaf:
Look at those loaves. if you look closely at the top image (loaf 1 of 2) you can see all the apple goodness dotting the interior.
You could sell that in a store...
I baked my bread up with whole wheat flower in place of white. I'm sure it would have risen further yet and been lighter had I used unbleached white flower but I'm a stickler. Just be sure to use about a tablespoon of wheat gluten (Bob's Red Mill!!!) for every cup of whole Wheat flower subbed in for white flower.

The loaves baked up thick and moist. Especially give the apple-walnut loaf a go if ever you find yourself drooling over the Bread Bible. It was wonderful for toasting bread Christmas morning and I look forward to using it for French Toast tomorrow before shoveling out this New England Blizzard quickly bearing down upon us.

Enjoy and Merry Christmas (or rather a have a happy new year as it is coming up next!)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Baking Up a Slow Weekend...

So the fact that I haven't baked much from The Bread Bible has been bothering me. Being Hanukkah and the holidays generally, I decided to try Challah.
Well, I promptly botched the recipe from the book, and a smaller batch (simpler batch...) from King Arthur Flower never rose properly (but looked and tested pretty good).

What I did bake that came out well was a loaf of delicious
Low-Fat High-Texture Pumpkin Bread
Thanks to my new William Sonoma 1lb Gold non-stick Loaf Pan I found the enthusiasm to bake a perfect loaf.

1.5 cups whole wheat flower (light whole wheat is good)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
.75 tsp salt
2 tbsp baking soda
2 tbsp flax meal
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup shredded (grated carrots), drained
1.5 cups canned (or homemade) pumpkin puree
2 large eggs
1/3 cup water
A sprinkling of walnuts, shopped, and to your liking...

Combine the dry ingredients then add in all of the wet ones. Mix well, but not too well - never over-mix quick breads!
Lightly grease your loaf pan (or hardly at all with your gold non-stick William Sonoma loaf pan :D) and add batter.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until an inserted knife is just dry. Careful not to over bake, however. Letting the pan stand to cool will complete any baking (or over bake it...)

Makes 1 large loaf.

It was moist, sweet, pumpkin-y, and perfect. The key is in the pumpkin/carrot/applesauce additions.
possibly my best quick bread yet! For despite common belief, substitution (and the omition of fat) does not harm these quick breads if done well.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Still nothing about my Thanksgiving so I guess I'll jsut say that I made some good Black Bread rolls from the Bread Bible:

And to accompany my bread [which was said to be the ideal stew accompaniment but perhaps too dense for a dinner roll (one for two, I'm fine with that)] I had, among other things, some terrific Field Roast Celebration Loaf, which made excellent faux-after-Thanksgiving Sandwiches I might say, in place of the Turkey I do miss from time to time...

More recently however I made some delicious Buckwheat Carrot-Spice pancakes.

Vegan Buckwheat Cakes:

1 cup Buckwheat flower
1 tsp canola oil
1 cup water
2 tbsp soy milk (or the mammalian variety if you prefer)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 large carrots, grated
Lots of ginger, cinnamon, and Garam Masala
2 tbsp raisin (I prefer golden myself)

Grate carrots and squeeze some of the water out with a paper towel
Combine dry ingredients then add the wet ingredients. Add in the carrots, spices, and raisins. Add water and milk to get the consistency just right (The carrots and buckwheat flower makes the batter a bit thick).
Cook them up and serve with some syrup, applesauce, preserves, or yogurt

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Belated greeting...

I've been so wrapped up I forgot to post my thanksgiving dishes and pics (made some great bread from The Bread Bible - birthday gift!!!
So when I get to that...
In the mean time, I just made the Meatless Meatloaf from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen. It was delicious and with some roasted broccoli and mashed potatoes it hit the spot on a cold night.

Check out the recipe here

I added Craisins to the batter and used Bok CHoy with Celery seed in place of celery. It made the grade in my house!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


So Saturday was mon anniversaire. Friday night I had a family dinner out at Watertown's Red Lentil Restaurant. It was possibly the best meal I've had out in years.
For an appetizer, we shared the Beet and apple Potato Latkes (sweet and light). I had the Near East Seitan and Teff Crepes as my main course which was fantastic. Curried, meaty Seitan occupied two substantial crepes; a bit of wilted spinach and a sweetly-savory pineapple salsa complimented the crepes' flavours well.
I'm afraid the picture from my woeful phone camera
doesn't do the plate justice.
For dessert I had a wonderful piece of vegetarian carrot cake - moist, sweet, and not oily like the variety can be. My mother had a piece of gluten-free chocolate herself, which wasn't of the best texture (but he, it was gluten free...). A great ganache held it together nonetheless.
So, if you're ever in the Boston area, be sure to try the Red Lentil. It's reasonably priced, small, and delectable.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sandwich November...

My better half asked for a sandwich for the long day coming (now upon us). I found a Tempeh-jack sandwich on Happy Healthy Vegan Life in my bookmarks and decided I'd try something similar for the new (again new) Pescetarian.

It's marinated Sautéed Tempeh on a Multigrain loaf with boston lettuce, Alfalfa Sprouts, sundried tomato cheese, a spread of whole grain mustard and (I would recommended) a light go-over of cranberry chutney. I added Bosc Pear slices and a bit of fig-sesame jam.
The pear and fig additions were poorly reviewed and thus I recommended the cranberry spread in place. Experiment, Tempeh can be strong and some may prefer its flavor masked...

Oh, and the tempeh was marinated in a quick blend of Nutritional Yeast, Olive Oil, Spice blend (get creative!), a tablespoon or so of maple syrup, and a squirt of lemon. Just toss them in a good pan for about 4 minutes, until well browned but not stuck on.

P.S. Heres the inspirational recipe: Farmhouse Tempeh-Jack Sandwich

Friday, November 12, 2010


..So calming. Both eating them and baking them.
Life's been more hectic than ever as my college applications are being sent out and as I speak I'm working at the final weekend of my school's production of The Phantom of the Opera.
Needless to say, I haven't exactly had the time to devote to cooking or baking as of late.
This afternoon, however (TGIF!!) I got a few hours to bake some fantastic cookies! They came from a great vegan recipe from Happy Healthy Vegan Life. You can find the recipe below.

I used Canola Oil and a dash extra salt in the batch as the notes suggested possible (as did I use the whole wheat flower I hold so highly). I added a bit extra molasses (as I didn't want to open new Blackstrap Molasses and used the normal stuff, which is somewhat less intense). I also rolled them in extra powdered ginger/brown/cane sugar mixture and baked them for about a minute longer than the recipe specified.
They were the best vegan cookies I've ever made (they're really easy to make and come out very well. I love Vegan Cookies Invade the Cookie Jar but the recipes just don't cooperate with me...)

And in other news, my better half undergoing a transformation (again) to pescetarianism. How long will she last? Wait and find out...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Peppers At Last...

I've been craving Stuffed peppers lately. You remember those - the beef-and-rice stuffed pockets of comfort food from a long time ago? Well, I guess I never really ate them often, but I did enjoy them. Do enjoy them, just sans meat!Surfing around, I found this recipe on The Blooming Platter for Vegan stuffed peppers.
They looked wonderful: crammed with Spaghetti squash, Couscous, seitan, vegan cheese sauce, and veggies.
So good...
So I adapted the recipe to fit both my refrigerator and my laziness!

Vegetarian Crammed Peppers (For 2)
1 large pepper, I used red1 cup spaghetti squash, roasted and skinned (so jut the spaghetti)
4oz tempeh (about a half of a package, per Light Life brand)
3/4 cup yellow and zucchini squash, sliced and diced
1/2 cup Kale, chopped
*And maybe some chopped apples and onions...
plenty of pepper, garlic powder, herbs de provence, celery seed; a splash of smoked paprika, and anything else that looks tempting...
1/4 cup or so of Nutritional Yeast (probably closer to 3 tablespoons)
1/2 cup milk (dairy or otherwise)
any herbs (above probably) that would suit your mood...
2 Tablespoons whole wheat flower

Other...Olive Oilvegan or dairy cheese
Halve and clean the pepper(s). Sprinkle with olive oil, pepper, coriander, and some garlic powder. Bake in oven-safe dish for 25 minutes, open-side up, at 350 degrees.
Whisk all sauce ingredients together for about a minute (it should start to froth a bit).
Saute tempeh (crumble it up!) with oil and some garlic, adding in the yellow and zucchini squash and any spices you like. Combine the squash, all/any vegies, tempeh, cheese sauce, and spices in a large bowl.

Scoop into the peppers (now pre-roasted) and bake covered (tin foil? a covered dish should work too) for 35 minutes at 350 degrees. Don't forget to garnish with any pepper, cheese(ze) or other article of flavour enhancement!
At the end of baking, uncover and bake or broil for another 5 or so minutes, avoiding drying, to allow for browning.
Serve with a nice grain, salad, or other concoction of your liking...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fall Classic...

No, no sports here (as much as I love baseball above all other sports). Rather, I cite an event marking my leaf peeping season.

A small but well renown spot in New England, it's visit tells me fall is here to stay. Whether you enjoy gratuitous omlettes, thick home-baked toast, and baked beans (alas, they are not vegetarian...) or fluffy Pumpkin, buckwheat, blueberry, and seasonally inspired (Apple-Cinnamon this month) pancakes you'll find something to enjoy. Their trademark maple syrup contributes to both the savory and the sweet, so try it; maybe buy some at their tourist-trap country store.
I had a Pumpkin-Blueberry Buckwheat pancake combo with a mug of tea, and found much happiness, if only momentarily.

They're open year-round, so check them out if you're ever in the area (Mason New Hampshire). Visit their website and check on the monthly special before you go!
And stop at one of Hollis' farm markets on your way, they're always good!

A Series of Test Kitchen Fall Concoctions...

Of Which I will supply only thoughts, no recipes. They're not done, so why not experiment yourself ?
Yes, the fall excites me, so naturally I try a lot of different pumpkin-apple-squash-spice combinations without really thinking anything out.

So first was a Sweet-Potato Terrine of mashed sweet potatoes combined with milk, a bit of butter, pie spice, garlic, and Herbs de Provence. Layered wit h blanched carrot and Zucchini slices and topped with an Apple Cider reduction, it was a bit too sweet despite a lack of any processed sugars or significant rich foods. I served it up with haddock baked atop cheesy (Parmesan mixed with nutritional yeast constitutes "Cheesy" as opposed to Gratin) penne and spinach. An old favorite of mine from Bertuccis early years...Moving on, I had the pleasure of devouring a dinner of Mashed Butternut Squash, Brussel Sprouts sauteed with apples, and an Amy's Veggie burger today. The first truly Fall-ish day thus far (didn't top 55) and warm comfort food sounded ideal.
I confess, I didn't make the squash but it was a simple peel-boil-and-mash scenario. Seasoned with nothing but cinnamon, pepper, and ginger it hit the spot. The Burger speaks for itself, so I conclude with the Brussel Sprouts, which really came out very well and will certainly see future experimentation.
Quartered and peeled, I simply browned the sprouts with some olive oil, garlic, and pepper. Reducing heat, I let the cabbage steam with a few dashes of lemon juice, about a quarter cup of water, and a few dashes of white-wine vinegar. Adding a few tablespoons of chopped walnuts, and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan. Mixing in some already sauteed cinnamon apples (diced, unpeeled, I cant stand the removal of skins from veggies, it's where the nutrients are!) I let the mess simmer and steam.
Other than being a bit undercooked, the sprouts came out well. A nice blend of flavors - like the classic Oktoberfest dishes I keep seeing sans sausage or other meats popular in the European cuisines of the period.
As I make progress with the recipes, I'll post them.
Until them, gute nacht.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thank You Kashi...

Kashi produces some of my favorite whole grain snacks and cereals. It's no Bobs Red Mill, but to compare the two is comparing apples to oranges, as the saying goes. Despite their being under the control of behemoth Kellogs, Kashi has managed to remain a purveyor of generally healthy foods. I'm partial to their snacks, frozen dinners (the vegetarian on par with Amy's) and their ready-to-eat cereals.
So, looking for Kashi coupons to fuel my stomach, I noticed Kashi was giving away free samples. Hoorah!
Just entering your name, address, and other pertinent information, you can pledge to trade in your processed, your inadequate, your bland, texture-less snacks for whole grain goodness.
I just got my free trail-mix bar in the mail, and it even came with a coupon. Personally I'm partial to the pumpkin fruit and nut bars, but hey, anything is fine with me!
And Thank you, Kashi.

Friday, October 1, 2010


Well, here's a double post. Life has been hectic and I guess I finally fit something in that I wantedto do (or rather 2 things).
First, I visited the Nourish Inc. Restaurant in Lexington Mass. It's all about sustainable eating and the like so naturally a good deal of vegetarian, vegan, and pescetarian options grace the menu. I had a deliciously spicy, savory, Vegetable-Tofu Tagine over Whole-Wheat Couscous. My better half had a turkey burger (I know, she's not vegetarian, but it did look good). We split a serving of Phyllo Rolls stuffed with a light cheese and vegetable mixture - reminiscent of Spanikopita. Despite a very tempting Carrot Cake Special, we sided on two cups of excellent loose-leaf tea (green and Rooibos) for desert.
Sound good? besides the many tofu, tempeh, and sustainable options involving fish, our waiter was terrific; attentive and helpful if not a bit overly influential. But hey, that's part of the job, no?
There's even a healthy selection for the carnivorous consumer.

So, now part deux...
I haven't baked for a while, so seeing the dismal remnants of a tropical storm outside my window, I decided to whip something up for my dad who just the other day said he had a hankering for brownies. I saw an excuse to experiments and declared Carpe Diem!
So over at Vegan Dad I think it was (but I may be wrong) I found a link to these Brownies.
They're fudgy, sweet, and perfect. They seem so healthy, but the enormous quantities of chocolate make me wonder...
Ah well, they taste good!

Have Cake Will Travel's Chocolate Brownies
(Butterscotch (or White) Chocolate Fudge Brownies)

Non-stick cooking spray
1 1/2 cups (263 g) mix of nondairy butterscotch (or white chocolate) and semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled

I used solely Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, by the way...

1 cup (255 g) sweet potato purée

And I used Pumpkin Puree, too - Cans are just so convenient
2 tablespoons (30 ml) canola oil
2 tablespoons soy creamer or nondairy milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup (30 g) powdered sugar
1/2 cup (60 g) light spelt flour
2 tablespoons (10 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (88 g) mix of nondairy butterscotch (or white chocolate) & nondairy semisweet chocolate chips, optional

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4). Lightly coat an 8-inch (20-cm) square baking pan with spray.
In a large bowl, combine melted chips, sweet potato purée, oil, creamer or milk, and extract.
In a medium bowl, sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder.
Fold dry ingredients into wet, being careful not to over mix. Fold in optional extra chips.
Place and level batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 28 minutes.
Let cool in pan, on a wire rack. Let cool completely in fridge before
Enjoy cold, store in fridge.

Yield: about 12 brownies

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fall is Here!!! Be Glad.

It's that day - the first of fall. I'm most certainly happier today than I was on the first of summer. Yes I'm odd that way. My favorite days go Christmas, Thanksgiving, my Birthday, Fall, Halloween, New Years and so on.
In recognition of this marvelous day (despite unusually high temperatures this week) I made a casserole! Based on this and the Pumpkin-Black Bean variation, also from Fat-Free vegan Kitchen, I whipped this little dish up to savor the perfection of an oven in the cool September air.

A Red-Green Fall Casserole:
1 can Chickpeas, drained
4 large stalks of red Swiss Chard
1/2 bundle (use your best guess) Asparagus stalks
3-4 medium beets, peeled and sliced
1/3 package Silken Tofu
1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast
1/2 onion
minced garlic
olive oil
1/4 cup sliced White Button Mushrooms
1/4 cup vegetable stock, for sautéing
Garam Masala
Garlic Powder
Curry Powder
Celery Seed
Cumin Powder
And Eureka! I've got it...
Add extra garlic, ample Thyme, and grated carrots(2 medium) to the mixture prior to baking
Top with 1/2 large grated Sweet Potato
Grated cheese, Cherry Tomatoes, and whole-herbs; for garnish and to taste

Sauté onions and garlic with olive oil. Once browned and aromatic, add in first the Mushrooms, followed by the Chard, asparagus, and beets; add the stock to whole mixture after several minutes. Add the rinsed and drained Chickpeas as well as the carrots and let cook after another few minutes, allowing this mixture to simmer as well.
Combine Yeast, some garlic powder, and the silken. Add spices to the vegetable mixture as desired.
As the vegetables become something to your liking, combine the silken to them and mix on low heat. Combined, pour this mixture into a covered casserole dish and top with the sweet potato; bake at 425 for half an hour. Uncover and broil for an additional 5-10 minutes.
Oh, and don't forget your garnishes before you bake the whole mess!
I served it over some brown rice and I, at least, found it interesting.
It certainly needs work, but not bad for the first of fall!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sandwiches au Matin...

My better half asked for a special sandwich from a local vegan restaurant today. Rushing through my morning I threw this together and it was said to pass muster. The original from Life Alive (Which I cannot recommend enough, by the way - Boston and Lowell Mass. if you're ever in the state) called for Avocado and Broccoli, neither of which I had. I substituted, but that didn't mean I ruined it! Or lets hope...

The Hopeless Romantic:
1 Large Whole-Wheat Tortilla
enough cheddar cheese to melt and hold the sandwich together (a few ounces)
1/2 apple, sliced thinly
2 tbsp Nutritional yeast (Nooch!)
a half dozen or so baby carrots, sliced thinly (or equivalent)
1 tsp soy sauce
Optional: Sprouts (I thought I had some but they were old, sadly...), Sunflower Seeds

Steam the Carrot slices with water and the soy sauce in the microwave (in a dish with a few tablespoons of water). Layer the cheddar, yeast, apple slices, and finally the carrots in the center of the wrap. (Add any extras too!)
Spray a nonstick pan with canola oil and heat. Fold the wrap, ends closed so as to prevent the loss of any goodness from within. Grill each side of the wrap for a few minutes and cover, reducing heat for a few minutes more, so as to adequately melt the cheese.
*A Panini Press or similar may work well...How I want one.

Serve hot and melting with some good vegetable crudités, chips, maybe some hummus...

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I've been stressed lately and it's taking a toll on me and everyone around me. Subsequently I've been moody. Weird, I know.
So I think i'll take a trip down the path to baking. I began with some Red Velvet Cupcakes with Nutella-Butter Cream frosting. I'll perfect the recipe before I post it, but they smelled wonderful and my frosting got good preliminary reviews.
Now I just need to make the beat-juice work in place of food coloring... For now, I've simply perfected Devil's Food Cake (what can I say, I'm excited at a success for once)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Zuppa! #1

It's been cold and rainy in New England this past week. Having a great new cold and being relatively sleep-deprived I've had a hankering for some hot soup. Well, I hadn't gotten than as of Thursday night and so I decided I'd make some for Friday.
This was adapted from a post on Vegan Dad and another from NPR's Kitchen Window series from last year. It came out well (although, I prefer low sodium and love cinnamon, whereas those who ate it with me felt otherwise on both points). Served with some hearty bread, maybe a bit of cheese it's a great fall soup. If you like, add come cooked brown rice, Barley, Farro... the list goes on...
1 cinnamon stick, whole
4 cups of Vegetable Stock
2 cups of water
1 can White beans, or whatever you may prefer
1 Sweet Potato, Sliced and quartered
2 small potatoes (I used a purple-skinned Russet and a fully purple potato - color good!)
1 1/2 cups Kale, chopped
1 Onion
8-10 button mushrooms, sliced into sixths
a few cloves garlic, diced
1 cup carrots, sliced and halved (1-inch pieces)
2 apples (I used fresh Macs) finely cubed
8 or so fresh Sage leaves
a sprig of fresh Rosemary
Olive Oil
Ground Nutmeg
Bay Leaves (I never have any so I used old Bay seasoning - sodium free!)
Ginger (powder, sadly - I recommend about 1/2 of a walnut sized piece, grated)
Optional: cooked Farro, Rice, or other grain of your liking (and depending on volume desired....)

For starters, I think i give up on putting down spice measurements for the most part - they can be so personal (I'll stick with them in baking maybe...).
Begin by slicing the onion and caramelizing it with the garlic and olive oil. As it sits, browned, add the vegetable stock to a large pot and heat, adding the potatoes as they're prepared. As the stock begins to boil, empty the onions into another container and begin to sauté the chopped kale in any oil left from the onions (perhaps adding a splash extra).
Add the onions to the stock and add water towards the end of the Kale's cooking - it needn't be softened too much, merely to break down some of its Kaleness if that makes any sense... Chop the other vegetables as the kale cools in its pan, beginning with the apples.
Add first these chopped apples, then each subsequently prepared vegetable to the soup, adding water as needed. Add any spices to taste, and continue to top with water, stirring occasionally.
You may need to add more stock if too much water has been added - it shsould allow for a thick soup but not stew-like consistency.
Add the beans last - about half an hour prior to completion (if using canned as I did be sure to rinse first).
Add any grain about ten minutes later (cooked, remember) and let simmer, covered or un, depending on desired thickness. And don't forget to remove the cinnamon stick at about this point in cooking, before the final simmering takes place.
Update: It's better leftover - the flavors have to "blend" as they say. THERE'S STILL HOPE!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

It's Been Busy...

Life's been busy these past few weeks, and I haven't had much time to cook...
I made some wonderful (well, I thought so) a week ago for my family who was stranded with us over night. I sautéed some Extra Firm tofu, sliced into small cubes with garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and herbs. Separately I sautéed spinach, diced tomatoes, and some zucchini with garlic and some other spices. Tossing it together, I added some goat cheese and simmered.
Served over pasta, it came out much better than I had expected. My grandfather didn't even notice the tofu! Victory I'd say...
But here's what I've actually been working on: a catalog of vegetarian restaurants in New england (mostly). I like to have it on hand, maybe you would too? It will live in "The Sites" bar on the left of the blog. Enjoi!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Too little Thyme...

I don't really have a recipe or even a picture for this one (Well, here, it's too perfect not to show off at the least)
I just wanted to remind of the wonders provided by fresh herbs. Whilst my family was making an enormous pot of meat sauce this weekend, I was making myself a smaller one of Primavera. Sauté diced, semi-peeled Eggplant, julienned Summer Squash, Onions, and Garlic with a ton of fresh Thyme and you have good things. Tossing my veggies with some leftover diced green pepper, fresh basil, garlic powder, cracked pepper, a bit of sugar and plenty of fresh and canned tomato chunks makes for the best sauce. Just don't burn it! Me and my deep need to run at poor times...

But just remember, don't be afraid of herbs (and thick pasta sauces, they're the best kind).

Monday, August 30, 2010

Roasting in August...

So it's hot in new England today - a bit above ninety today. So what better way to spend the morning than roasting butternut squash and Beets!
Yes, there are a plethora of ways to spend the day that are better but they did accompany my dinner of Spinach Pie, marinated tomato, and fresh sweet corn decidedly well.

Simple (sweet) Roasted Squash and Beets
1 large Butternut Squash, sliced and peeled
3 large beets, peeled and sliced
1-2 tbsp olive oil
a dash of fresh ground pepper
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground nutmeg

Brown Sugar
Garlic powder

Simply begin by cutting the squash in half length-wise. Slice into semi-circles, and further into cubes. Slice off the skin and set aside in a large container (that you can cover). Wash, peel, and slice the beets into 1 inch cubes (or similar to the squash cubes).
Combine the beets, squash, oil, clove, and nutmeg. Cover your container and shake to coat all of the ingredients so as to evenly coat the the vegetables. Empty into a large ceramic casserole dish, evenly. Sprinkle a few pinches of sugar and a few shakes of the garlic over the whole mess and pour about 1/4 cup of water into the dish. cover (with a real cover or tinfoil) and bake for 40 minutes at 375 degrees.

Uncover at the end of this time, stir the contents of the dish and uncover. set the oven to broil for 5-10 minutes.

Let cool and enjoy hot, lukewarm, or tossed together with other delicious things.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Baking in the Storm...

New England has been rainy for the past few days (the first real rainy days of this long summer, finally an excuse!) and so I've found myself indoors with relatively little to do. As my mother was asking me to bake more of the peach muffins I made a week or so ago, I decided last night (at about 9pm for whatever reason) to whip up a batch of muffins. Sadly, I find myself without the delicious peaches I had had for my last batch. Skimming through my beloved "The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes" I found a tantalizing recipe for French Toast muffins. Dense, sweet, and aromatic they came out terrifically. I did make some additions, however, to the recipe (largely because I couldn't run to the store at 9 to buy the maple extract called for and maple syrup itself wont work in place). So here it is, late-night French toast in a muffin cup.

Mmmm... French Toast but in a muffin shape
French Toast Muffins (with Maple crumble)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flower
3/4 cup Graham (or other whole) flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp Vital Wheat Gluten
1/4 cup Wheat bran
9/16 (1/2 cup + 1 tbsp) agave nectar
1 1/4 cups milk (soy etc, otherwise if you prefer)
1/3 cup oil
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp plain fat-free yogurt (6 oz - a small container's worth)
1 1/2 tsp maple extract**
1/2 tsp vanilla*
1/2 cup baking raisins (the soft sort - golden or red)
1/2 cup oats
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp brown sugar
Cinnamon to taste

*/**If you don't have maple extract, don't use maple syrup - it doesn't work that way. Add more vanilla extract (maybe 2-3 tsp vanilla? More was good).

Preheat oven to 350, and either lightly oil or preset with baking cups, a muffin tin (6 extra large muffins, or 12 more normal ones).
Combine flour(s), baking powder, salt, cinnamon, bran, and gluten in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together agave, milk, oil, yogurt, and vanilla in a separate bowl.
Add dry (although I did this backwards) to wet ingredients and mix very lightly. Add raisins and finish folding. Remember to mix as little as necessary or the muffins will be flat, overly dense, etc...

Spoon the batter evenly into the muffin cups so that they are nearly full. Combine topping ingredients and spread over filled muffin cups, evenly coating the muffin-caps.
Bake for 18-20 minutes (longer for extra-large muffins) testing with a toothpick (careful not to over bake - they seemed to bake more quickly than I anticipated in my beloved, old, non-convection oven).

Store covered in a dry place, room temperature. They're dense and sweet but very moist, so watch out for spoiling in rainy (like it is here...) weather.

Friday, August 20, 2010

A long summer day...

It's been a long tired day. Little to do and a need to bake. I was considering making some cookies but then I found this recipe for Black Bean Brownies and wanted to give them a go.
Nothing too spectacular, but a good recipe, certainly up to my standards for healthiness too!

I used 3 eggs in place of bananas (because, to my great sorrow, I found myself without the 2 bananas called for) so they're not really vegan, but still good and vegetarian. Also, I would recommend sticking to the recipe except perhaps by adding more cocoa powder, a half of a cup of chocolate chips (perhaps...) and reducing baking time by a portion. It could have been that I made my brownies in muffin cups in my new favorite muffin pan but they cooked rather quickly. No pics just think brownie and mild chocolate. they're good, just be very careful not to over-bake these ones.
Enjoi :D

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The first leftovers...

So today I took the lentil stew (dal) from last night and threw it together with a few ounces of firm tofu, about a half of a cup of quick oats, third of a cup of pepitas, sprinkle of Nutritional Yeast, two eggs, some minced garlic (again, the ready made kind...), about a tablespoon of whole wheat flower to help bind and some other spices I found. It was all random, so no real recipe but I based it off of this 101 Cookbooks recipe (I love that blog...)

Pan fried with a bit of cooking spray, flipped, and then steamed with a lid on for about 5 minutes per trio (or however many your pan accommodates) they formed pretty well. A simple whole wheat bun and some pickles, lettuce, etc... made for a good veggie patty!

Monday, August 16, 2010

A Lentil-Kale-Tomato Dal...

So I have this huge bunch of Kale in my fridge, several not-quite-ripe Tomato, and some Lentils burning a hole in my cabinet. What ever did I do you ask? I cut up some Eggplant, Zucchini, shallots, and figs in and sautéed. It may be mid August (and I keep thinking fall is around the corner!) but I've had a hankering for stew and curry lately (albeit, not together necessarily). So with the help of some leftover Quinoa from last night and some roasted Cherry-tomatoes from last week, I threw something together for dinner that more or less fit the bill for curry, stew, lentil, and kale.

I sprinkled some feta around the edges, can't say why... I like Feta I guess
Sweetly Spicy Kale Dal

1/2 cup green lentils
1 1/2 cups water
1 medium shallot
1 tsp diced garlic (I cheated, used the jarred type)

3/4 cup diced eggplant, un-peeled
1 small zucchini, diced
3 cups kale, chopped and with the spine removed
1/4 cup roasted cherry tomato halves
12 dried black gigs, cut into eighths*
1 medium tomato, cut into chunks (they can be tough to cut...)
1/2 cup vegetable broth (and any water to add to the vegetables as they simmer)
2 tsp curry powder
1-2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp olive oil
light 1/2 tsp salt
pinch of cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
For the Yogurt addition:
1/2 cup Fat-Free yogurt
1/2 medium cucumber, diced (peeled)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
And on the bottom:
(Insert quantity of) leftover grain (I used Quinoa) mixed with a few tablespoons of whole grain mustard, some Herbs-De-Provence.
And a pinch of Microgreens on the top, for a simple garnish!

I simply threw the diced Eggplant and zucchini in Tupperware with a bit of the curry, pepper and the olive oil and shook it all up.
Begin cooking the lentils (per package directions) and begin to sauté first the eggplant mixture and after several minutes the kale, and then the rest of the veggies in a large, deep pan with the vegetable stock. Add water as needed, as the stock will evaporate in the beginning and you will burn the vegetables!
Begin to sauté the diced garlic and shallot with a splash of olive oil and set aside. As the vegetables are probably shaping up well, add the spices and continue stirring. After several minutes (the tomatoes begin to break down, or rather the skin should look as if it's drying) cover and reduce to low heat. Make sure you stir periodically!
Combine the shallot-garlic sauté with the lentils just as the water is beginning to disappear (by this i mean the lentils are separating from their shells and the water has reduced below the height of the lentils). Stir and cook for several minutes more.
Combine lentils and vegetable mixture. Stir and simmer for a few minutes more. Serve over grain of your choice, top with (optional) yogurt, and finish with a pinch of greens (Alfalfa!)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Whats for Breakfast...

Sure, I love Crepes, French Toast, Pancakes, and a wide array of more savory egg and tofu dishes for breakfast, some weekends I just want some old fashioned, stewed oatmeal.

Here's a basic dish from this bright, cool August Saturday...

Oatmeal A la mode (because oatmeal is in fashion - no ice cream, I swear)
Serves 2
1 1/4 cups oatmeal. (preferably rolled, Steel cut is good too; quick don't work well on the stove)
1 large fresh peach, diced and partially peeled.
1/3 cup blueberries.
2 cups water.
1 tsp lemon juice.

Add oatmeal and water to saucepan, boil on high. As the oatmeal begins to bubble, add the fruit and lemon juice. Stir periodically (to avoid sticking), boiling until the water is low enough so that it has a consistency consistent with your taste (soupy or solid? I like the former).
Serve hot, with a fine cup of tea (or coffee... I guess...if you must).
*Feel free to add chopped nuts or Flax meal - In fact add flax meal, its just too good to pass up (I forgot this morning, sadly).

Friday, August 13, 2010

Peachy, Muffins...

What began as a hope for peach cobbler cookies became peach muffins (I'll get you evetually, cobbler cookies...). I just added an extra egg last minute - It worked out well (and probably would have been too cake-like anyways had I kept them as cookies. Because I cannot help myself when it comes to boosting nutritional content of foods, these muffins pack 100% whole grain goodness between wheat bran, oatmeal, and whole wheat flower. Delicious and, well, peachy.
The trial (top left) was quite good...
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Scant 1/4 cup wheat bran
1 cup quick cooking oats
3/4 cup chopped (broken-by-hand) walnuts
1 1/2 tsp pie spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves...)
4 medium-large peaches, ripe
A bit more than 1/2 cup agavae nectar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 eggs
A light 1/2 cup canola oil (I prefer blends myself, but at the least use canola)*

*And as a thought, feel free to substitute about 1/2 cup of low/no-fat plain yogurt for all but 1 tbsp oil. It brings lowfat muffins to the oven, without harming the consistency - infact, I generally like its baking properties more.

Mix flour, oats, bran, salt, and baking soad in a large bowl (a whisk is nice). Seperately, combine the eggs, oil, agave nectar, and extracts. Chop (or use pre-chopped) walnuts and cut the peaches into small, cubes/rectangular prisms; add to dry mixture. Finally, add the wet ingredients to the fruit, nut, dry mixture and mix, lightly enough so that the air isn't beaten out (remember, never mix muffins or breakfas breads too much - you want to keep the air pockets).
Preheat oven to 325. Line muffin pan with cups (medium sized work well) and fill (about 2-3 tbsp each, give or take). Bake for 13-16 minutes.
Enjoy for breakfast, that snack attack, or warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream (or frozen yogurt, or better yet soy cream!)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The First Time I’ve Approved Of A Bread, Wholly…

I love Pumpkin Bread. I also Love Lemon Poppy-Seed baked things. Seldom would I recommend someone eat a bread like these as a healthy snack. I did, however find a recipe on one of my favorite cooking blogs - Half baked - for Carrot Muffins. A conglomeration, in the sense that everything fits, of fruits, nuts, and veggies made my mouth water; swapping in whole-wheat flower and yogurt made my stomach growl with desire. So I took out to design the perfectly healthy muffin for my mother when she asked me to bake her something as I offered to do some cooking (for myself… and anyone else) one weekend. Throwing the recipe together into my favorite loaf pan and several large muffin cups, I had found my favorite - and most publicly accepted - baked good to date. If you like Carrots, applesauce, yogurt, almonds, blueberries and warm breakfast breads, I suggest you take a look at this recipe!

2 1/4 Whole Wheat Flower
3/4 cup Agave Nectar + 1/4 cup Sugar (I use organic evaporated Cane Sugar - just a preference)
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. Nutmeg (and whatever other sweet spices you may like)
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups grated carrot, squeezed mostly dry (About 4 medium carrots)
1/2 cup Apple Sauce
1 Sliced Apple (A firm variety - granny smith… Partially peeled)
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats (or I Pureed Old-Fashioned rolled oats)
1/3 cup walnuts roughly chopped (Any Nut works though - I put almonds in the food processor… A loud adventure)
3 large eggs
2 tbsp vegetable oil + 1 cup Fat-Free(or low-fat) plain yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla (And, as an afterthought - I didn’t actually try… - add 2 tsp almond extract - if you’re into the flavor only of course)

And… 1 cup Fresh blueberries (because they’re in season - hooray!) mashed slightly with a fork (just to help it blend in together)

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.

Combine: Agave nectar, sugar, apple sauce, yogurt, extract(s), and set aside. In a larger bowl combine flower, baking soda, nutmeg…, cinnamon, and salt - whisk until combined. Add the eggs, oil, blueberries, apple, carrots, nuts (anything else/that I forgot?) to the flower mixture, mixing lightly, and then the wet mixture you first mixed. **Remember, only mix so that the flower is all combined and the mixture as homogeneous as such a chunky, awkward batter can be. over mixing will leave baked goods like this flat - you want it light!

Now, pour the batter into a greased loaf pan (maybe 2 inches deep for a long, skinny pan) and any excess into muffin cups (if that’s what you’re into).

Bake for about 10 minutes and check them - the muffins will finish first, around 12 minutes, the loaf pan closer to 15 minutes - careful not to overcook. slight moisture is ok, pull it out - let it cool and it should finish.

That’s ll there is to it. Enjoi :D

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Meatless Monday!

Here's a great article from NPR from a day ago - going meatless on Mondays to help yourself and the environment. Hooray!
Let's hope it catches on (it has for some of us...)

Campaign Aims To Make Meatless Mondays Hip

The Beets...

I was in Montreal a few weeks ago - had some delicious Quiche, Crepes, and Beet salads. Comfortable with the first two, I haven't had much experience with Beets in the kitchen, and so I thought I'd have a go at making my own beet salads. I think I got a good dressing down last week when I first experimented (I however used red carrots - they're what I had) and so now I think I will apply Beets to the aptly named Sweet, Beet Salad (oh, how clever I am with names...).
A simple wrap of Yves and veggies... with it

Sweet, Beet Salad

8 medium sized beets, peeled
2 relatively hard pears
4 pieces of candied ginger (or 3 quarter-sized fresh pieces - to taste, it's strong!)
2 tbsp chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 to 1 tsp pie spice (nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves)
About 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar (a healthy 1/4 cup)
1 tbsp agave nectar (or honey, if thats what you have)
Large pinch ginger powder
Pepper to taste
Boil the beets, draining of most of the liquid (careful it stains, gets everywhere - save it for Red Velvet Cake :D ) and slice into small chunks when cooled. Slice the pear into pieces slightly smaller than the beets (or very near the same size I suppose...) and combine in container you intend to store in.
Add chopped walnuts and slice the ginger into small pieces (the candied variety is harder to slice, so it will be larger, fear not).
Pour in vinegar, trying to pour it over all of the ingredients evenly. Add spices and agave nectar. Add water to bring the water level into sight (this depends on your container, mine being about 4 inches deep needed about 3/4 cup of water I estimate). Mix all ingredients to evenly distribute and coat liquid and spices among the salad pieces.
Add a bit more water, mix/slosh it around (careful not to spill!) and then pour about 3/4 of the liquid out. the Vinegar will become too strong if you leave it in more than about 24 hours, so feel free to let it soak, I just like the beets' natural flavor.

Stores for about a week covered in the fridge!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Fruit on the Plate...Repost

For anyone who wants to find that sausage-y goodness from back in the meat eating times but just wants to try something that isn’t made from soy (I love soy, that said) there’s a wonderful company called Field Roast. I wanted to pick up one of their celebration roasts to freeze for Christmas or Thanksgiving this year (I’m tired of the prodding glare telling me to eat turkey). Stopping in Burlington Vermont (a teriffic college town by the way, filled with wonderful restaurants - go to Stone Soup if you’re ever there - and all sorts of stores) on my way back from a Montreal vacation, I ran across the company’s products in a large Co-Op market. I bought that roast and some of their delicious sausage - Sage Apple - and decided that I needed to make something summery to go with them. Grilling them simply, I served them with whole wheat Crepes - a personal favorite and, at the moment, of particular interest after my visit to Montreal - a delicious Avocado, Tomato, Onion salad from Clare’s Corner Copia in New Haven CT (Or their cookbook I should say) with added Bulgur Wheat, and a sweet fruit salsa I found atFat-Free Vegan Kitchen.

The sausage pre-made, the crepes simple to whip up, I’ll share the two recipes that accompanied and truly made the meal.

Blueberry-Peach Salsa (fromFat-Free Vegan Kitchen)

1 1/4 cups fresh blueberries

1 peach

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 seeded and minced jalapeno pepper (or to taste)

1/4 cup diced red bell pepper

1/4 cup chopped red onion

1/2 teaspoon maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon salt

Put blueberries in food processor. Pulse 4-5 times until berries are coarsely chopped. (Some berries will remain whole; do not over-chop.) Cut peach into 1/2-inch cubes. Combine berries and peach in a medium-sized bowl with remaining ingredients. Mix well, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Servings: 8

Yield: 3 cups

Avocado, Tomato, Onion (and Bulgur) Salad

(From the ever-wonderfulClaire’s Corner Copia)

3 Large Tomatoes (I used solely cherry tomatoes, because my garden has been churning so many out this summer - about 2-3 cups, sliced into quarters)

1 Large avocado, ripe, peeled and sliced

1/4 small red onion (2-inch diameter, I made that mistake…) sliced into thin rings

3 tablespoons Olive Oil

Juice of 1/2 lemon (soft, roll it around before you cut it to help squeeze all of the juice out)

6 fresh basil leaves, chopped

salt to taste (1/2 tsp. or so)

1/2 tsp. pepper

And… I added about 1/2 cup of bulgur wheat, cooked, to the salad - to add some whole grain. The nuttiness surpasses that of brown rice, and it just fits nicely.

Cut each tomato (if using regular beefsteak… cut in half lengthwise, and cut each half into 6 wedges). Cut the avocado in half, and slice lengthwise, about 4-6 pieces per half. Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix, careful not to mash the tomato or avocado slices.

A delicious dish, relatively easy to prepare, and simple to plate elegantly.

Fruit on the plate...

My blog (having moved from has landed here. It was so very young, but there are still a few posts there. if you read it, read here now :-D