Monday, February 28, 2011

Cinnamon Raisin Bake

I had a rough day on Friday, and on Saturday I decided to bake. I don't know if you have noticed this trend on my blog lately, but I haven't baked any baked goods in quite a while. The green diet, particularly the no corn, is making my love for muffins harder to fulfill.

I came across this recipe by Ashley at the Edible Perspective. I think I read through it two or three times before I really believed that this was a baked good with no milk -- or replacement/fake milk -- no eggs, and no baking powder.

This was something I had to try. ... With modifications.

I used Ashley's suggestion of millet flour in place of the chickpea flour. It was my first time working with millet flour, and it's good. It may have made this slightly more dry than the chickpea flour would, but it held together.

Cinnamon Raisin Bake
Adapted from the Edible Perspective

3/4 C millet flour
1/2 C buckwheat flour
1/2 t salt
1T sucanat or pure cane sugar (I left this out entirely. It would taste much better with it)
1 C water
1.5 t cinnamon
2 T safflower oil
1/2 C raisins

Preheat oven to 375.
In a bowl, combine all ingredients and stir well until fully combined.
Grease a 9×9 square pan [or 8-9” round pan].
If using the sq. pan bake for 35min.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Lebanese Lentil Salad

I was looking at recipes and came across this recipe for Lebanese Lentil Salad. I modified it a little (of course), but totally loved it! I picked up all the ingredients so I can make it again this week.

Lebanese Lentil Salad
Adapted from Kalyn's Kitchen

1 C brown lentils
1 C sprouted mung beans
2 T + 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
10-12 cloves garlic, very finely minced
finely chopped fresh parsley (I used dried last time, but will use fresh this week)
4 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Romaine Lettuce

I bought dehydrated sprouted mung beans. Cook them according to the package directions to rehydrate them.
Cook the lentils in about 3 cups of water.

While the beans are all cooking, mince the garlic. Then in a saucepan, heat 2 tbs oil over low heat and add the garlic. Keep the garlic over low heat so it doesn't get burned.

In a bowl, squeeze the lemon juice, add the other 2 tbs oil, cumin, salt and pepper. Then add the fragrant garlic and whisk everything together.

Add the mung beans and the lentils together and pour the dressing over everything, add the parsley, and combine.

Chop the romaine lettuce and spoon the lentils over top.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Parsnip, Turnip and White Bean Soup

I bought some turnips a few weeks ago. Then I roasted them and stored them in the freezer. That wasn't a good idea. When I thawed and ate them, the turnips were incredibly mushy and -- let's be honest -- gross.

I bought some more turnips last week. They are on the list, and I'm not really sure what I thought I would do with them.

So I thought and thought. I knew I didn't want to just roast them again. Then I thought what if I combine it with parsnips. Then I thought, that might be a little overpowering. It needs something to tone down the flavors. So I came up with this soup.

Parsnip, Turnip and White Bean Soup
2 tbs sunflower oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
3 medium turnips, diced
4 parsnips, diced
4 cups (or more as needed) water
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper
1 tbs dried sage
1 can navy beans, rinsed and drained

Start the sofrito. When the sofrito is softened, toss in the turnips and parsnips. Cook them just a little and then add the water and spices. Bring everything to a boil and then drop it to a simmer.

When the parsnips and turnips are soft, add the can of beans. Let everything cook for 5-7 minutes.

Then blend the soup with your immersion blender until it is smooth and creamy. Check for the seasonings and adjust as needed.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Black Eyed Peas and Kale Soup

If you have read much of this site, you know I love soup. Especially this winter. It has been so cold around here that I have a really hard time eating raw veggies. Since veggies are most of what I eat, soups become perfect.

Black Eyed Peas and Kale Soup
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 rib celery, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
2 tbs safflower oil
4 cups water
1 can black eyed peas, drained
handful of fresh parsley, chopped
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper
4-5 leaves of kale, destemmed and chopped

In Italy, the onion, garlic, carrot and celery is called a sofrito. So start your sofrito in the two tablespoons of oil. Once the onions are translucent and the celery and carrots are softening, add the water. Bring it to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add the black eyed peas, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Bring back to a boil and lower the heat.

Simmer for a while so that the flavors begin to blend and the veggies soften. Then toss in the chopped parsley and kale and cover so they steam for a minute.

Remove from heat and serve.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Stuffed Acorn Squash

I had some friends over for lunch this weekend. I haven't seen them in a while, so it was really nice to get together.

Sometimes when we get together we do a potluck. This always turns out fun because everyone will bring the veggies they have in the fridge and we turn it into a huge salad. But this time I decided to cook the meal.

First I made the Lima Bean Soup. I've made it before and really liked it and it was a big hit with my friends too. And secretly, it was the perfect way to use up that yellow squash that was looking a little sad.

Second, I made Stuffed Acorn Squash. I had an acorn squash sitting on the counter, which was where my idea came from. Then I looked in my Mark Bittman cookbook to see if he had any good ways to cook acorn squash. He had several, but none of them worked for me. But I liked the idea he included of stuffed acorn squash with a filling with rice and some other stuff. So with that idea in mind, I took to the internet.

I quickly found that most people stuff their acorn squash with a lot of very sweet stuff. I like my squash (and my sweet potatoes) a little more savory. They are sweet enough themselves, so I need balance.

After looking and looking, I decided what I wanted to put in my squash.

Stuffed Acorn Squash
3 acorn squash, halved and deseeded
1 cup wild rice blend
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, diced
1 celery rib, diced
1 apple, diced, but slightly larger
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
2 tbs olive oil, plus some more
1/2 tbs sage
salt and pepper

Start the rice. Check the package directions, because some wild rice blends are different, but mine was the usual 2 cups of water for one cup of rice. Salt the water and add some oil.

Prep the squash, then brush the flesh with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place it cut-side down in a baking dish or on a cookie sheet. Bake in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes.

While the rice is cooking and the squash is baking, prep the veggies. In a large frying pan, heat 2 tbs of olive oil. Toss in the onions and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Then add the carrots and celery. When those are starting to soften, add the apples and remove it from the heat.

In a large bowl, combine the rice with the veggies/apple mix. Add the chopped walnuts. Stir it gently. Add the sage and salt and pepper to taste. Go ahead and be liberal with the seasoning, because there isn't a lot of strong seasoning on the squash.

Pull the squash out of the oven. Flip each half over and fill it with the rice stuffing. I had enough of the mix to fill all 6 halves plus a little left over.

Return the squash to the oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Cinnamon Bananas

I love to read food blogs, but I haven't actually been reading a variety of food blogs for that long. So I am fascinated to see the cycles that the entire food blog world seems to go through.

Right after Christmas, all the blogs started a "Healthy" or "Detox" kick. Everyone was posting soups, salads, smoothies, etc. Then, almost as quickly as that started, they moved into a "Superbowl Sunday" phase. All the food was chicken wings and pizza and all kinds of dips. And now, it is all Valentine's day. Everything is chocolate and red or pink.

Despite my super cute little hand towel up there that says "Love," this will not fit into the category of a Valentine's recipe. I just thought it was cute.

This was my dessert today and I ate it for breakfast.

I had a super super mushy banana. It was even beyond the point at which I would just eat it. Normally I would just throw it into the freezer and use it later in pancakes or a smoothie. But today I decided to do something a little different.

Sauteed Banana
1 overripe banana, sliced in large pieces
drizzle of oil

Heat a small sautee pan and put a very small drizzle of oil in. Barely enough to coat the bottom. Then put in the bananas and cover liberally with cinnamon. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side.

This makes the banana warm, super sweet, and a little caramel-y.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Red Lentils and Rice with Carmelized Onions

I'm still having a lot of fun cooking out of my brand new cookbooks. The second book that I bought is Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.

I tried one of their recipes this week, and I quite enjoyed it. Although when I make it again I will be making a few little tweaks.

The Recipe is Red Lentils and Rice with Carmelized Onions.

The carmelized onions are absolutely the best part.

And this is the final dish.

It really is very tasty, but I have to be honest. I like red lentils so much plain that this is just not my favorite way to use red lentils. And of course, because I am slightly cheap, I would rather use cheaper regular old lentils because they would work perfectly here.

I'll post my adaptation when I make this dish again.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sweet Potato and Leek Soup

I was reading my Mark Bittman cookbook and kept looking at the recipe for Potato and Leek Soup.

It said "3 potatoes, any kind."

Does that really mean ANY kind? Would it work with sweet potatoes? I love soup. How bad could it be?

It is delicious. It's a little like a butternut squash soup. And absolutely the best kind of recipe.

Sweet Potato and Leek Soup
adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman

2 tbs olive oil
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into small pieces
2 leeks, cleaned and sliced (cut off the dark green parts)
2 cups homemade vegetable stock
salt and pepper
1 bay leaf

Heat the oil in a deep stock pot. Add the vegetables and cook for 2-3 minutes on medium high. Salt and pepper.
Add the stock and enough water to cover the vegetables. Toss in the bay leaf and another teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
Simmer for about 30 minutes until the sweet potatoes are soft.
Remove the bay leaf and puree the soup. Taste and adjust seasoning.

This is linked to Simply Sugar and Gluten Free.

Cooking up a Storm

Last weekend two cookbooks that I ordered arrived. I was so excited! I spent Saturday reading, and Sunday cooking up a storm.

I got every pot and pan I own dirty.

This is book number one: How to Cook Everything -- Vegetarian by Mark Bittman. Now I love him.

Of course I couldn't cook all the recipes from the cookbooks at once. So here is what I did make.

Tuscan-Style White Beans -- from How to Cook Everything -- Vegetarian.
These are navy beans cooked with sage and garlic. They are very good.

Braised Lentils, Spanish Style -- from How to Cook Everything -- Vegetarian.
These are lentils with carrots, celery and onions and a whole lot of paprika.

A Special Dinner Out

While I was hanging out at my parents' house for Christmas, my older sister and her husband made us a fantastic meal as part of our special night to go see the Lion King.

They worked really hard to make the meal so that I could eat everything.

First course: Navy Bean Soup
Second course: Salad with cherries
Third course: Lamb with a minted Pea Puree
Dessert: Chocolate Mousse with Cherry Compote (I didn't eat that. I ate fresh cherries)


Have I ever shown you my lasagna?

I lived in Italy for a year and a half. I learned how to make magnificent lasagna. Over Christmas, Kim and I made our own homemade pasta, and then she helped me make lasagna.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tuna Steak

One of the things on my green list is tuna. I've eaten a lot of tuna from a can, and I love tuna sushi, but my sister has always told me to try tuna steak.

I was at the grocery store one day and found some frozen tuna steaks that were on sale. So I bought them.

This was the sweetest, most delicious piece of fish.

The package directions recommended broiling. So that is what I did. I wilted some spinach in a pan, with just a little olive oil and salt, and then plated everything.

It was delicious. And I should go buy some more tuna.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


As a family, we have a lot of Christmas traditions. One of those traditions is our Christmas morning breakfast.

This is the table as we are just getting ready for breakfast.

Our breakfast is a special meal called Ebelskivers. These are a Danish pancake ball. If you get the Williams Sonoma catalog, you have seen these as filled pancakes. But we did them before Williams Sonoma made them cool.

The history that gets told about ebelskivers is that the Vikings cooked little balls of dough in the divets on their shields. Our family history says that somehow an ancestor at some point passed the tradition down. We have always made them on Christmas morning and filled them with strawberries and whipped cream.

To make the ebelskivers, you need an ebelskiver pan. As you can sort of see, it just has half spheres. You fill each groove with batter, and then use a fork to keep turning it until all the batter is cooked and you have a little ball.

And voila! the finished product.

And these are gluten-free.

My mom used the Bisquick pancake mix. Instead of following the instructions exactly, she used whipped egg whites, one more than is called for (so if it's 3 eggs, use 4 whipped egg whites). She also added more milk than was called for.

My brother said they tasted fabulous.