Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sunday, December 14, 2008


this is a test. google blogger is screwed up!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tired of Tofurky? Try this!

I find this to be a very reliable, tasty, and easy vegan entree for holiday meals. It makes for plenty of leftovers and non-vegans generally enjoy it as a side dish. It is from the cookbook "Everyday Vegan" by Jeani-Rose Atchison. North Atlantic Books. 2002. Buy the book-I did. Happy Thanksgiving. Parenthetical comments are my own.


1 Large kabocha, butternut (my choice), or acorn squash
3 cups water
1 cup corn grits
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. oil
1 large onion, diced
4 cups cooked beans : anasazi, pinto, etc. (black beans, pinto and/or kidney beans might be good-or a combination.)
1 Tbsp Vogue Vege Base (I use Orrington Farms soup seasoning powder or Better than Bouillion paste instead)
1 Tbsp. chili powder
2 Tbsp. Bragg Liquid Aminos (I substitute soy sauce instead)
1/8-1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder, optional (1/4 tsp. is a bit much for those who can't handle much spice)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Quarter squash (can be difficult to cut squash). Remove seeds. Place on baking sheet, cut side down. Bake for approximately 45 minutes. Let cool. Mash. Set aside.

Bring water to a boil. Add grits slowly. Turn down temperature to low. Stir continuously until polenta thickens. Add salt and oil. Stir briefly. (total cooking time should be 7 to 10 minutes. Pour immediately into oiled casserole dish. Set aside.

Saute onion with oil in pan until translucent. Add remaining ingredients, adding a small amount of water, if needed. Adjust seasonings. Cook for 5 minutes. Pour over polenta.

Layer the mashed squash over beans. Sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds, if desired.

Bake at 350 degrees until heated through, approximately 15-20 minutes.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Nectarine Sorbet, take two

No, you didn't miss take one-I simply didn't bother to post it. The recipe was posted in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. I followed it exactly as called for and I had a nice lemon-flavored sorbet with 5 nectarines stuck in it. Seriously, I couldn't believe they thought it was the best recipe they had tried. It was ok, but I'd like to taste the nectarines please. So, I tried again today with much less lemon. I eliminated the zest entirely and cut the lemon juice from 2 tbsp to less than one tbsp (maybe 2.5 tsp). I was out of almond extract this time so I left that out. The results were wonderful. Highly recommended.

  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (I skipped this)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 5 nectarines (about 1 1/2 pounds), pitted and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (more like 1 tbsp or less)
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Mash the lemon zest with 1 teaspoon of the sugar to release its oil. Skip if not using zest.

In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining sugar and the water, bring to a boil while stirring, and cook the syrup until it is clear. Let cool, cover and refrigerate for 1 or 2 hours, until thoroughly chilled.

In a blender or food processor, puree the nectarines and lemon juice; add the lemon zest, syrup and almond extract.

Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Or, to freeze without an ice maker: Pour the prepared mixture into an 8- or 9-inch square metal pan or a half-gallon plastic container. Cover with aluminum foil, plastic wrap or a lid and freeze until firm, about 2 to 3 hours. Transfer to an electric mixer or food processor and beat until light and fluffy. Transfer to a container, cover and freeze until firm, about 1 to 2 hours.

Ok, seriously, you don't want to do all that extra work, just get an ice cream maker. You can get a Cuisinart for $50 or less. Other brands are even cheaper. You can make slushies and other frozen drinks with them as well.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Tip-Make your own oat flour

Bob's Red Mill is the only oat flour you can buy around here. It's good, but usually $3 for a 22 ounce package. I can get a 48 ounce tube of oatmeal for $1.39 at Aldi or on sale at other stores. All you need to make your own oat flour is a food processor or blender. My cookbook told me that I could use a spice grinder. I bought one at a gourmet store-but I really didn't know what I was doing. The thing was tiny, and although it functioned properly, it took FOREVER to get a usable amount (that's what she said). So, go with the blender/food processor.

From Quaker's web site:
"Place one or more cups of Quick or Old Fashioned Oats into a food processor or blender. Process for 1 minute, or until the oats are the consistency of cornmeal or a course flour. Store unused (dry) oat flour in a covered container as you would wheat flour."

I used my food processor and my oat flour pancakes came out pretty well-a touch thick. I will try the blender next time and see if I can get the oat flour a bit finer. This is so easy to do, I am not likely to buy oat flour ever again.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Mediterranean Burritos

Ok, this is mostly my own idea and recipe, which is kinda cool to me. Although I think Lindyloo's recipe probably subconsciously influenced me to use couscous instead of rice. Anyhow,
I was making one of my favorite breakfast dishes last weekend (Ethiopian ful) when I came across an idea-since I am cooking these fava beans to be like refried beans, why not use them to make a burrito? I also figured that using a food processor would be much quicker as the beans are already cooked in the can. Ok, so I use pita bread and not a tortilla, so it's not really a burrito-but it's part of the Mediterranean theme so please do deal with it. This is not a fancy meal. It's easy and convenient and I use the microwave. It's also got fresh veggies and low in fat if you don't use too much olive oil or tahini. All week I had been thinking about what to put in the burrito and what I came up with is this:


1 can cooked fava beans (use the liquid in the can if you want-I did)

1/2-1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

5-6 full (not cut in half) Pita bread rounds-white or whole wheat ( I used white out of necessity)

chopped onion ( I used yellow) a small one is probably plenty

chopped or sliced fresh tomatoes (if you dare) I put 2 cherry tomatoes sliced in half on each burrito

cooked couscous -maybe 2 servings worth? I always cook the whole box and refrigerate leftovers(whole wheat or white-I used white because the store had no whole wheat)

fresh spinach leaves

Tahini/Sesame butter

ground cumin to taste

chili powder to taste

fresh or dry mint leaves-add to personal preference


Prepare couscous according to the instructions on your box-if you buy in bulk, I assume you know the water to couscous ratio-because I don't. Set aside.

Pour the can of fava beans (with liquid if desired) into a food processor. Add olive oil. I used about a capful. You may need more if you don't use the liquid in the can. Add cumin and chili powder to taste. I added just a sprinkling of each. You could add more, but I didn't want the flavor too much like ful. Process until the mixture looks like refried beans. Set aside. If you don't have a food processor you could make the refried beans the way it's done here

Warm pita bread in the microwave to soften it up a bit-maybe 10 seconds each round. Mine still wanted to break when I folded it up so who knows-experiment.

Spread some of the fava bean mixture on one half of a pita round-leave the other half empty. Spoon some couscous on top of it. You can add the tomato, onion and spinach now and heat it up in the microwave (for about 25-30 seconds) or add the veggies later and microwave the fava bean-couscous on the pita first. After the veggies are added and the burrito is heated up you can add some mint to it. I added maybe one chopped fresh mint leaf per burrito. I don't even know if that's right-maybe I should have used dried, but I didn't-I used fresh. Drizzle with tahini. Tip-after stirring tahini with a butter knife I pulled the knife out of the jar and it just naturally drizzled over the burrito. Fold up the empty half of the pita so it now looks like a pita taco. Enjoy.

Note-this is a burrito recipe and burritos are pretty flexible with what you put on them. You could use rice instead of couscous. A tortilla instead of pita bread. You could add black olives, hot sauce, you can omit things, whatever. There is even a vegan feta cheese recipe floating out there somewhere. Probably the only necessity here is the refried fava beans.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Recipe Idea - Pineapple Coconut Milk Ice Cream

An idea more than an actual recipe unfortunately. From the moment I bought my ice cream maker I wanted to make a pineapple-coconut sorbet or ice cream. I had bought some pineapple juice that only had a couple days left on it and no recipe I found made use of both pineapple juice and coconut milk. So, I just did it myself.


Coconut Milk (at least one can)
100% Pineapple Juice
Pure Cane Sugar
Lime Juice (optional)

Basically, I put some coconut milk, pineapple juice and sugar in a bowl. I used a hand mixer for one minute to dissolve the sugar in the mixture. Then I tasted the mixture and added more coconut milk or pineapple juice until the combo tasted the way i wanted. Then I added a touch of lime juice-oops. Even though I used only a capful or so it was more potent than anticipated which caused me to add more milk, sugar, and juice until I restored my preferred flavor balance. Once achieved I simply put it in my ice cream maker until it was thickened and then placed in freezer.

I waited until the next morning to try it and it was fantastic. Most ice creams from the machine need a little defrosting prior to eating-this one does not. Spooned it right out. Nice and firm and creamy, but not TOO hard, so you can have instant gratification. I suspect this might have to do with the coconut milk. This was good plain or in a sugar cone. It was also fantastic with a simple raspberry sauce that I had leftover from my raspberry almond flan. I will have to find the raspberry sauce recipe. Anyhow, that's it-my first sort recipe posting. Sorry I can't be specific on quantities-I should have kept track how much I put in. Anyhow, experimenting is part of the fun anyway.