Tag Archives: baking

Scrambling

I am loving reading everyone’s requests for winning the baked goods! Seems like the lemon poppyseed cookies and birdseed bars are in high demand 😉 Keep on piling in those entries!

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I don’t think whatever that sickness I had yesterday had much of a chance…in fact, I think I effectively slept it off. Between dozing all morning yesterday and sleeping until nearly 8:00 this morning, I was good to go today. I woke up still a little “bleh,” but ate something and took 875% of my d.v. of vitamin C and I was feeling better already.

I actually received this sample along with my iHerb order, and I figured there was no day better than today to use it. Yes, that is 525 mg of vitamin C per serving, and yes, that does equate 875% of my daily value of the stuff.

I was a little worried I was going to turn into a clementine or something, but I’m still alive. Even better than alive, dare I say.

Maybe this was the reason why I felt so good all afternoon? It’s probably just coincidence, but oh well 😉

Good enough to go grocery shopping, even!

…unfortunately, I would have been better off at home. Ugh, $60? Really? I am so upset because I didn’t need to spend that much. In fact, I had just cashed a check for $45 an intended to spend no more than that.

I decided to just go to Price Chopper (from here on out to be called “The store which shall not be named,” AKA TSWSNBN) rather than Hannaford (closest thing I have to a Whole Foods around here, though I’m thinking it’s less expensive from what I hear) because of the whole convenience thing. TSWSNBN = 5 mins away, Hannaford = 1 hour away. It’s convenient if I’m in the area because of work/going to see Teddie, but not on a day like today.

Anyways. I get there and start cringing at the produce prices, but shrug it off thinking “I didn’t spend any gas money to get here at least.” and carry on. Note I pretty much just buy produce that’s on sale. If you can call it that.

Not only that, but they were out of just about everything I needed – most imperatively, dates.

I almost started crying when the stock-boy told me they were sold out. My lip started quivering and I had to breathe deep, but luckily I spared him the waterworks. And moved on to wanting to hit him over the head with the chopped dates he suggested I get.

You know you’re a date addict when you move from feelings of despair to ones of extreme anger.

Not only that but all their produce was on its outs, they didn’t have any old fashioned rolled oats unless I wanted to buy them in the tiniest container possible for $4 and I bought a moldy yucca.

So basically, I have to go to Hannafords and/or the co-op sometime soon anyway. And had I known that from the get-go, I just plain wouldn’t have wasted my time and money there today.

UGH! Okay, rant over. Onto happy things.

Like banana scrambles.

Oh hail yes. I feel better just looking at that. Don’t you?

It’s like food therapy.

See, the other option for breakfast the other morning was a banana scramble, but the French toast had the louder scream.

When I saw Jenny suggest a banana scramble on that very post, I knew it was fate. I had to try one, once and for all. I might start cheating on my pancakes for these babies, too.

But oyu know what I haven’t had in a while?

Anything gingerbread. I’m assuming this has been done already, since it is gingerbread and all…but here’s how I did it:

Gingerbread Banana Scramble

adapted from The Edible Perspective’s Cinnamon Banana Scramble

  • 1/3 c. quick oats
  • 1 T. oat bran
  • 1 t. chia seeds
  • 1-2 T. milk
  • 1/2 of a large banana
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/8 t. ground clove
  • 1/8 – 1/4 t. ground ginger
  • 1/4 t. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 – 1 t. molasses
  • pinch of maple sugar

Mash the banana with the oats. Mix in all remaining ingredients and then form into a patty with your hands. Place on a pre-heated, greased pan and cook until golden brown on both sides. Top with peanut-ginger sauce.

Peanut-Ginger Sauce

  • scant 1/4 c. peanut flour
  • 1/2 – 1 t. molasses
  • 1/2 t. maple syrup (or to taste)
  • pinch ground ginger
  • heavy pinch ground cinnamon
  • 2-3 T. milk

Whisk together all ingredients, starting with just 1 T. milk and adding more to get to your desired consistency. Check for sweetness, adding more maple syrup as your taste buds call for it 😉

The only thing that would have made this better would have been having it between French toast. Too bad I was out of bread :[

But naturally, when new obsessions are born, they do not die quickly. As a snack post-workout, I decided more were necessary as an almost-lunch-but-not-quite.

On a note unrelated to banana scrambles, I think this was when I realized I might be more of a “late morning” workout kinda gal. I’ve never given myself the chance to workout anytime other than mornings, before starting my day. I felt like my mind was so much more in it today, though.

Maybe I was just high on Vitamin C, though.

In keeping with my almost-tradition of making just about everything either gingerbread or carrot cake, though, these ones were carrot cake.

I die.

Carrot Cake Banana Scrambles

adapted from the Edible Perspective’s Apple Scramble

  • 1/4 c. quick oats
  • 2-3 T. applesauce
  • 5 shredded baby carrots (do you find it funny to imagine me shredding poor little baby carrots?)
  • 1 t. chia seeds
  • 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. ground nutmeg
  • pinch ground ginger
  • 1/2 T. shredded coconut
  • pinch maple sugar
  • 2-3 T. milk

Combine all ingredients, adding in more milk as you see fit. Carefully form a patty (or two) and place it on a preheated, greased pan. Cook until golden on both sides.  Serve and top with peanut-carrot sauce, coconut, carrot, pecans and molasses.

Peanut-Carrot Sauce

  • scant 1/4 c. peanut flour
  • 1 shredded baby carrot
  • 1/2 t. maple syrup (more or less as desired)
  • 2-3 T. milk

Whisk all ingredients together, adding milk 1 T. at a time until you reach your desired consistency.

I think this one would have been ever better with a banana instead of applesauce, just to add a little bit more sweetness to the carrots. I didn’t really want to go on three bananas today, though. What can I say?

What else happened today? Well, naturally I made more bread. Do I even need to say I love Sarena’s bread anymore? It’s probably engrained in everyone’s brains already.

I made this loaf with 6-grain flour that I’d almost forgotten about, adding in a little Vital Wheat Gluten to make up for the heavier flour.

You know bread is good when you can eat it plain without even toasting it.

I made Chelsey’s granola and burnt all the raisins.

Luckily, I don’t mind the occassional taste of char. You probably think I’m being witty right now but I’m totally serious.

Ironically, I also had to make it with quick oats. The whole reason I wanted to get rolled oats at the store was so I could make granola. My heart was dead-set on making granola though, so I didn’t give up. It worked better than I thought it would!

Aaand lastly – sausage and peppers and a baked sweet potato.

You know what I realized? I don’t think I like green peppers anymore.

And also: Jenn’s method of baking a couple sweet potatoes at a time (in the oven) for grabbing one on the fly, totally works. I baked this one when I baked one for last night, and after reheating in the toaster oven, it was just as good as if it were fresh out of the oven. It’s a great trick if I’m craving a sweet potato for work the next day since it takes an hour in the oven and I now flat-out refuse to microwave-bake my taters.

What are your time-saving techniques?


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Filed under baking, banana, banana scramble, breakfast, carrot cake, chia seeds, coconut, cooking, dates, dinner, food, healthy living, molasses, oats, recipe, seitan, sweet potato, vegan, vegetarian

Note to Self…

This morning, hardly awake:

First thought – DKM. Dropkick Murphys. YES! That was it! go back to sleep.

Second thought – Bran muffins. I want some bran muffins. go back to sleep.

Third thought – I think I’ll sleep in today. I’m a little tired and it looks crappy out so I probably won’t be going anywhere anyway. shut eyes.

Fourth thought – The phone would ring immediately after I declare I’m sleeping in, wouldn’t it?

_________________

So, basically I must have been driving myself crazy in my sleep because I still hadn’t thought of what DKM was before I went to bed. There were a couple bloggers who guessed it [e-mail me to redeem your prizes], which just made me laugh and remember waking up with “Shipping Up to Boston” in my head moments earlier.

And no, it’s not just because of the Bruins that I love that song. I mean, just listen to it. First thing in the morning, preferably. And do some Irish jigs around your butcher block in the kitchen while preparing your breakfast.

In a leprechaun hat, preferably.

Not that I would know anything about any of that scenario.

I would know something about flaxy French toast, though. So I’ll talk about that, instead. I’ll leave it to your own imaginations as to whether I was tap dancing around my kitchen while making this, though.

 

Being that I looked out my window and saw this yet again:

Really wet, heavy snow. Read: Sloppy and slippery. House arrest once again.

I decided to make something a little more time consuming for breakfast. I have pancakes down to a science so I can make them quickly in the morning, which carries over to mornings when I have more time, too. Having nowhere to go, I decided to put a little more thought into breakfast this morning.

I’ve been wanting to make French toast for a while now, but wasn’t sure if the mini slices would be enough for keeping me full. Today, I knew I’d be home all day. Worse comes to worse, I eat an hour later, right?! Surprisingly enough, it was difficult for me to finish it all! Don’t worry, though – I took one for the team and did.

Yes, it really is possible to get that same French toast texture without eggs! Making it with flax sounds strange at first, I admit. I mean, I think I was legitimately grossed out when I first heard of it, so I don’t blame you if you are, too.

But I mean, really. Have I ever lied to you? -insert shifty-eyes here-

Buttering/Earth Balancing your pan is critical to making any sort of pancake or sandwich – and French toast is no exception. You don’t need a lot, but you can’t even compare the flavor to that and just using non-stick spray.

And please, no need to be “neat” about it. We’re not after pretty awards here, we all know the ugly food is the best.

Huh, maybe that’s why I’m always disappointed whenever I go out to eat…

If you’re patient and give it enough time – the outside still gets crispy while the insides are still moist and flavorful. I’m sorry if you hate the word moist. I do, too – but really, what else can I say? Damp? It’s not juicy not is it soggy.

The Mixture I used (approximately, anyways…about that measuring thing…)

  • 2 T. milled flaxseed
  • 1/4 c. + 2 T. coconut milk
  • 1/2 t. coffee extract (vanilla would work just fine, I just so happen to be the person who is all out of vanilla, yet has plenty of coffee, peppermint and coconut extracts. I would.)
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • pinch ground nutmeg

Mix all with a fork, allowing to sit a few minutes. Add more milk if necessary. Poke each piece of bread a few times before dipping each slice in and saturating. Transfer to a greased pan, allowing extra of the flax mixture to remain on the bread. Cook about 4-5 minutes on each side, until crispy.

Garnish with grilled banana and figgy peanut butter and jelly sauce. And chia seeds and honey-roasted almonds if you’re feeling feisty.

Note to self: I miss you terribly. (speaking of “bring me back” songs…)

Er, wait, what I meant was – note to self: make French toast more often.

And about those bran muffins?

They were not just a groggy early-morning sentiment, my dears. They were happening.

I promise these were muffins for me, not Teddie. I kept thinking how much he would love them. Carrots, applesauce, molasses, cinnamon and sunflower seeds? The kid would be in heaven.

I used these almost-forgotten about pressed dates that Mo sent me way back when. I got a kick out of the “serving size: 1 package,” as I imagined myself just plopping down on the couch and nommin’ on the brick like so:

om-nom-nom

The recipe I used was Kelsey’s. And they are fantastic! It’s a good thing I didn’t actually read the recipe before I printed it off and trekked into my kitchen, though. It requires the use of a food processor, which is usually a big no-no for me. For some reason, I detest cleaning the processor in addition to regular baking dishes. Or in general. Same goes for garlic presses.

Life’s tough.

I realize this is probably old-news, but my new trick is using an ice-cream scoop. I used to just spoon it in, but then I’d have really ugly muffin tops. This leaves them nice and smooth!

And perfectly sized! Well actually my mini-muffins are perfectly sized since I usually just want a little somethin’ somethin’ when it comes to muffins, but that would have required me refilling the tray about ten times.

Which wasn’t happening.

I am very picky about my bran muffins – a lot of bran muffin recipes use more oat bran than wheat, and are too sweet for my liking. I like my bran muffins to be dense, moist and…well…wheaty! These are just the ticket.

Another added bonus: they didn’t require any bananas. I love bananas, and have a great branana muffin recipe – but I’m down to my last banana and you guys know what happens when I lose my bananas. I think I might hide the last one, just as an extra precaution. You know…in case someone else might want it, heaven forbid.

But if I haven’t convinced you to make bran muffins or flaxy French toast…maybe I can convince you to do this:

Toast up some good bread…smother one slice with cashew butter…smother the other with a bit o’ butter/earth balance…throw on some good dried apricots…drizzle a smidgen o’ maple syrup…and chow down. Heavenly.

(but what’s with me saying o’ instead of “of”? Am I really feeling that Irish today?)

And I’ll leave you with this scandalous picture:

I had sausages with dinner! I love sausages…

What’s something you openly admit to having high standards about? I am definitely a bread snob!

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Filed under baking, banana, bran, bread, breakfast, brunch, carrots, chia seeds, cooking, dates, dinner, food, french toast, healthy living, muffin, muffins, recipe, Uncategorized, vegan, vegetarian

Energy Cookies!

I loved hearing whether my voice/self was at all what you’ve imagined it to be. I’m not surprised a lot of you mentioned it sounded quieter/higher than you’d expected. I should have mentioned that I was trying to not talk normal-level, and my voice gets sort of higher pitched when I’m nervous.

Yes, I was nervous to be vlogging. Don’t laugh. I still haven’t seen many of you try an accent vlog!

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You’re probably not surprised to learn that today was a snow-day. Since I don’t need to be anywhere in particular on Tuesdays I should add it was a self-proclaimed snow day, but still a snowday nonetheless.

…poor Teddie.

I made do, though – I have plenty of reading and homework to do this semester, that is for sure!

…but there comes a point in time when you’ve just got to take a break!

Dreena’s Energy Cookies have caught my eye and called my name everytime I open Vive le Vegan, but I kept just opting to bake SuperCharge Me cookies instead. Because the ingredients list was shorter.

Long lists overwhelm me.

But, given the fact that I have about every nut or seed imaginable and plenty of flours to choose from, I finally figured a long list would probably be better than a short one today. You know, dig into the stash.

My kinda cookies! They’re so nutty, seedy and moist! The only thing I changed from the recipe was I used 1/4 c. amaranth flour and the rest white whole wheat as well as some quick oats, almond extract instead of vanilla, cranberries instead of raisins and added some ground nutmeg. Oh, and replaced some of the maple syrup with almond milk.

Dare I say it, but I think I prefer these over SuperCharge Me cookies! I loved the combination of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and hemp seeds.

They’re also a bit more moist than SuperCharge Me cookies, which sometimes come out to dry for me. I realize that’s probably just due to me getting too experimental though, since SCM cookies are practically the holy grail of the power cookie and blog world. Rightfully so.

And re: amaranth flour – I love it! I think it lends a nice crust – these cookies have a bit of a crust on the outside that gives way to their soft interior, and my bread that I baked had a wonderful crust, too. I was terrified to use it when I first opened the bag as it had a very grainy, almost “dirty” smell to it. It doesn’t taste like that, though!

Chocolate has been growing on me more and more lately. I’m still not one to eat a bar of it plain, but I’ve been loving dark chocolate chips in baked goods. And stuffed in dates a la Gabriela. Maybe I should look into purchased dark chocolate chips that don’t contain artificial flavoring if this is going to become habit…

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And I got over my unspoken-of cauliflower fear today!

I admit it. I had an irrational “thing” about cauliflower before.

I suppose there was no basis to this “thing,” because if I remember correctly, cauliflower happened to be one of the few vegetables I ate as a kid.

Of course, “if I remember correctly” usually means I’m not remembering correctly…but I digress.

In attempts to make Appetite for Reduction’s roasted cauliflower, I needed bread crumbs.

Or, pretzel crumbs if you’re like me.

Note to self: find whole wheat bread crumbs somewhere.

(who am I kidding, I can’t find whole wheat bread crumbs to save my soul…)

Maybe this is where I should clarify that I actually used a yellow cauliflower, not a normal cauliflower. Just before you go thinking I ate some wonky cauli.

The yellow one was fifty cents cheaper and I was being thrifty, remember?

Much to my surprise the cauliflower tasted like…well…the barbecue sauce I dipped it in. Crazy, right?!

It must have been the special Kaia-hair seasoning I used.

(and that’s mushroom tibs by the way, even though it may look like I decided to just share my plate with Kaia.)

Time for me to go batten down the hatches for the big storm.

And by batten down the hatches, I mean watch the Bruins game. I wonder how long it will take me to go stir-crazy tomorrow?

Are you easily intimidated by recipes with long ingredients lists?


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Filed under baking, cookies, cooking, dinner, foodblog, healthy living, lunch, recipe, vegan, vegetable, vegetarian, veggies

Bacon. Mmm, Bacon…

I am in metaphorical foodie heaven.

Also known as…a plate full of my soon-to-be obsessions. I think the only reasons none of this is already an obsession is because I didn’t know it existed up until now. Or last night, if we’re talking onion rings.

Chavez Caesar Salad. With Eggplant Bacon.

And a side of homemade bread. (we’ll get there.) Oh and a couple onion rings. I had a few leftover and am rationing them two at a time so I can savor them over and over. I only have two left.

I already am plotting more excuses to “need” to get groceries so I can purchase a lifetime supply of sweet onions.

Fun fact: for just about the entire duration of my teen-hood, say from junior high to high school, you could bet $5 that whenever I’d/we’d go somewhere to eat, I’d be having a caesar salad or a caesar salad wrap. With chicken. Even after learning it had anchovies. And then something happened…maybe it was a caesar salad burnout. Maybe I was just too lazy to want to make my own once I started saving my pennies and stopped eating out for every meal.

But I finally geared up motivation to make a caesar salad (read: wasn’t feeling too lazy to clean the blender) and it. was. phenomenal. I don’t know how Isa thinks of these things, but seriously – this dressing is the caesar salads I remember.

Except better.

And you’d better believe I was picky about my salads. You’re probably thinking I was healthy even back then anyways, but honestly, for some reason I just had an inexplicable attachment to chicken caesar salads.

And then there’s the eggplant bacon.

Does it taste like bacon?

No! It’s eggplant!

Is it good?

Oh hell yes it is.

I was basically munching on it for the entire hour leading up to dinner. I’m lucky I had any left for my salad. I was never a “bacon-on-my-caesar-salad” kinda gal, but apparently I am an “eggplant bacon on my vegan caesar salad” kinda gal.

And here’s the kicker: I can make all of the above but apparently remembering about the bread I put in the oven is too difficult for my brain to handle.

Not to mention my other rookie mistake of completely forgetting to spray the plastic wrap I put over top while it rose, so of course when I went to pull it off I disrupted the entire top of it, beautifully risen and all.

But ohhhhh hot damn, this bread? Best loaf I’ve ever tasted. Hands-down. And unfortunately for you guys, I can’t give you the recipe.

Neener-neener-neee-ner!

Ahem. I’m sorry. That was incredibly rude of me. But this recipe was so generously passed along to me from a wonderful blogger friend. I’d really love to tell you because these acts of generosity deserve mentioning – but I’m afraid my ugly loaf would be an embarrassment, so instead I will choose to hold off until I make a prettier one.

Which won’t be very far away.

See, I fell in love with L’s idea of making mini loaves, so I halved the recipe and just made a mini loaf. My “problem” was that I’d make a normal sized loaf of bread and feel like I had to live off of sandwiches for fear if I didn’t have at least one a day, the bread would get wasted. Mini loaf? No problem.

Except…it’s almost all gone already. Mreh, well.

And as an aside – I need to publicly thank Jenn for being better support than WordPress is. She helped me figure out a way to publish the site I designed in iWeb for my photography! It’s got some kinks, but I feel so much more streamlined now 🙂 This blog’s gotta be next, though!

eventually.

What’s something you accomplished today? It took all morning – but I was so glad to get my site up. Far from done, but done enough to be public, I think. And at least better than what it was! I also did a bunch of schoolwork. Grumble.

Do/Did you have a favorite “restaurant meal”? Something you love to order out, but never make at home? I never made caesar salad (of course, I didn’t make myself anything back then!) but as mentioned – always ordered it out!

[Side note: Ask me how happy I was to have natural, real light to photograph my dinner. Go ahead, ask me! I’m so sick of using flash!]

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Filed under bacon, baking, bread, cooking, dinner, food, healthy living, photography, review, salad, vegan, vegetable, vegetarian, veggies

Maybe I am a Little Rude…

Weellll…I guess now I know who I can count on to share a banana with me, and who I can count on to hide the last one. Unfortunately for me, if I were to ever live with any of you, you’d all be hiding your bananas so if I was in a banana crisis myself, there would be none around.

Fine. I see how it is.

I jest, I jest. What matters is that we share when it counts. Moral of the story, though, is to never take the produce. Everything else is fair game. As my boss says, “sharing is for kids.”

At least I share with him. Even if I am a little rude about it.

So there I was, having an intelligent conversation with my boss, when my pretzels and apricots caught the corner of my eye. Ooh. I started munching. First it was pretzels, and then apricots. Together but separate, y’know?

And then it was “oooh, it’s kinda fun to split the apricots apart! they’re so gooey!”

Gosh, I’m so polite.

He was still talking.

I was still sort of listening.

My thoughts moved along to “hey, lets make a pretzel-apricot sandwich!”

He was still talking.

I was eating.

My input to the conversation? “Look! I just made a pretzel sandwich! It’s really good! Wanna try it?!”

Luckily, we weren’t talking about anything critical. Not that I recall, anyway…

Luckily, he’s as “into” food as I am. The pretzel sandwich was a hit, but he mentioned it would only be better with some cream cheese and cayenne pepper. I instantly vetoed that idea.

Though when I had a little remake of my pretzel-apricot sandwich earlier, I threw in some cashew butter.

Mreh, no denying the yum-factor…but I’m sticking to my guns and saying the pretzels and apricots have got a good thing goin’ and don’t need anything else.

But maybe it could be transferred to pumpernickel.

It was okay.

But we all know – okay, well at least Tat and I know – that the real way to eat pumpernickel is like so:

With almond butter and date syrup.

Oh, yes.

Dense. Chewy. Pumpernickel-y.

And oh-so-hideous.

Seriously. The only thing my homemade pumpernickel is missing?

The canoodling couple on the package.

I even slept with it at night for it to sour. This bread relies on being given 18-24 hours to just sit and, well, be dough. And then it requires a sloooooowwww baking time.

Oh, and did I mention it needed a warm place to sleep for the 18-24 hours? Well, being that I made this when it wasn’t even 0* out, I took that as a damn good reason to turn my space heater in my room on for just a little bit longer than usual 😉

When it first went in the oven (for hour one of five) I was alittle worried. It wasn’t a deep, dark pumpernickel color like I thought it would be. I was disgruntled. I didn’t know that the low and slow baking process is what gives it that color.

It emerged deep, dark and pumpernickel-y. Crisis averted.

And hey, it’s not even gross like I thought it might be when smeared with hummus and a roasted red pepper! Phew.

Of course, just because I can make pumpernickel bread doesn’t mean I can make pancakes anymore. Seriously – my groove was stomped on and thrown out the window this morning or something.

As much as I hate to admit this, there were two takes on pancakes this morning.

Take one fed the trash. And you know I hate to do that. But they were inedible. I don’t know why. The  middle would not cook. Oh, yeah – probably because I accidentally dumped in flat seltzer water because I’m all out of milk and am too belligerent to go shopping before this weekend. Oh, and I don’t get my day started by forcing down an inferior breakfast, thank you.

Take two, above, I burnt. Not a bad thing necessarily as I don’t mind burnt bread/toast/pancakes/cookies/whatever – and I actually really enjoyed the taste. I accidentally dumped in nutmeg instead of cinnamon, but that ended up being an error that worked out for the better. They were perfectly spiced.

However, the cranberries were…hear me out here…fizzy on my tongue. WTH? Maybe someone who knows anything about food science can tell me if maybe the acidity of cranberries react with baking soda? Because that’s all I could think of. I never use baking soda in pancakes but decided to throw it in there for the hell of it, and while the pancake itself was fine, the cranberries in the pancake were just…weird.

Yes the cranberries themselves are good. I had them just the other day.

It’s a mystery. Or maybe not. Maybe I should just get a clue in the kitchen?

OH and while we’re on the topic of ugly food, look at last night’s dinner.

Polenta stuffed pepper with mashed yuca.

Wow, don’t you just want to gobble that up?! You’re all probably shocked to learn this was actually the best stuffed pepper I’ve ever had. I’d share the (really easy) recipe but I’m 99% sure anyone who sees this picture would just as quickly decide it’s something they wouldn’t eat in a million years.

Hey, don’t judge a book by its’ cover!

Edit: Since a couple people were curious, here’s the recipe for the peppers. As you can see, I was out of a lot of…well, out of almost everything…so it’s been kept pretty simple. Simple is good!

Polenta Stuffed Peppers

Serves 1 as a main, 2 as a side. For a more complete meal, maybe throw in some chickpeas, or have some marinated tofu on the side! I had a side of mashed yuca, which complemented perfectly.

  • 1 medium-large red pepper, sliced in half and de-seeded
  • 1/4 c. fine- or medium-ground cornmeal/polenta
  • 1/2 c water
  • 3 white mushrooms, diced
  • 1/2 c. stewed diced tomatoes (I used fire-roasted)
  • 1 T. nutritional yeast
  • 1 T. hummus
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 375*. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat in a small saucepan. Once boiling, lower heat and slowly add the cornmeal, 1 T. at a time, stirring or whisking all the while. Once all combined, add in the tomatoes and nutritional yeast and season with salt and pepper. Continue to stir/whisk over medium-low heat until thickened. Remove from heat, stir in the mushrooms and hummus, and divide the mixture between the two peppers. Bake for 45 minutes, or until firm to the touch and the peppers are cooked through.

I loved having mashed yuca with this – its likeness to mashed potato really complemented the pepper. I followed a recipe out of Appetite for Reduction for mashed yuca with cilantro and lime. Even though I had no cilantro…

Anyways.

It’s All Star weekend. Don’t you wish you were my neighbor so you could come over for some of this pumpkin crumb cake?

AND YES, All plans are being made around the all star festivities.

Alright, everyone’s gotta have a really simple, maybe random combination of foods that they love together. Like apricots and pretzels. What’s yours?

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Filed under almond butter, baking, bread, breakfast, cooking, cornmeal, dinner, food, food blog, health, healthy living, lunch, pancakes, polenta, vegan, vegetarian

Curry Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Day 1 of the Deep Freeze:

obviously not spent at the barn. This will be a weekend that is intended for curling up with a hot cup of something and watching the Bruins slaughter the Avalanche. Avalanches? The Avs, we’ll leave it at that.

Unless I’m at Hannaford’s, I guess. My mom and I both had to do some work in town and then pick up something in the “big town” (I know that sounds corny, I’m just refraining from naming places!) so I ran into Hannaford’s for some sweet potatoes…

…but Amaranth flour found its way in my basket when I saw it “bargain priced to move” at $1.99. I don’t pass up bargain flours that I haven’t tried yet. Even if I’ve never even had amaranth as a grain before.

The irony? When I got home, I was reading through my comments on yesterday’s post with buckwheat flour, to discover my flour infatuation is rather well-known to you guys, too.

Look at how much iron it has, though!

Anyways. I haven’t used it yet and probably won’t even open it up for another couples…weeks…but I just found it ironic I suppose.

I did, however, make more sweets today. Cookies for the fam. We have a lot of desserts in the house right now, but they keep getting gobbled up so I’ll keep making them.

Which is probably the reason why I do try and make an effort to make stuff at least a little bit healthier if it’s possible. I don’t want to be blamed for making my loved ones unhealthy, so it’s my way of being able to continuously keep baking things I guess 😉

Which is why it’s going to be our little secret that I didn’t actually follow the recipe for the cookies that were requested, and instead followed Angela’s Ultimate Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Recipe instead. The “requested recipe” was one that was an advertisement in a Rachel Ray magazine for Ocean Spray Craisins. It wasn’t that bad a recipe…but I think it was more of a “I like the process of finding a recipe rather than following one given to me.” sort of thing.

And yes, I baked with Angela’s printed-off recipe snugged in the magazine so it would look like I was following the magazine should anyone walk in the kitchen.

Ironically, I sort of unhealthified it, but mainly because I was feeling cheap and didn’t want to use the last of my coconut oil or maple syrup for something I wasn’t baking for myself.

Go ahead and call me selfish, I know.

That and, obviously, I needed to use cranberries. Raisins would just be a dead giveaway that I didn’t follow the other recipe, y’know?

The swaps:

  • 3/4 c. all purpose flour in place of Kamut
  • scant 1/2 c. brown sugar (the alternative suggested for Sucanat)
  • 1/3 c. maple syrup rather than 1/2 c.
  • 2 T. cow’s milk
  • 3.5 T. butter vs. coconut oil
  • 2/3 c. dried cranberries vs. raisins

I realize it probably seems contradictory to talk about using butter when I previously said I tried making things healthier – but I should probably clarify that I really don’t have any problems with butter or anything labeled “unhealthy.” I just don’t like to use a ton of it. And less than 4 tablespoons for 20 cookies is pretty marginal, if you ask me.

Alright alright. You’re sick of the cookie pictures. In case you were wondering, though, they were a serioius hit. And they smell amazing whilst baking. I think it was all the walnut meal and maple syrup.

Onto other, really unattractive things. I have the most difficult time photographing sweet potatoes and curries. The color just makes my WB go crazy, and it doesn’t help that I am so. sick. of having to use my flash to photograph anything that’s not lunch.

…which is just about everything, these days.

Being that my mom and I got home from town sort of late, I didn’t have time to have my daily sweet potato for lunch.

You think I’m kidding, but I’m not.

And so that meant only one thing: I had to make up for it at dinner.

Normally I’m pretty content just eating them plain, but decided I’d live life on the edge tonight. And stuff it. I had a stuffed sweet potato kick sometime last year, and they really are delicious.

I know it’s easy to slice into a fresh oven-baked sweetie and want to just eat it plain right then and there – but please, every so often…give the sweetie the love and time it deserves! Here’s one way 😉

Curry Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

  • 1 medium-large sweet potato (try and choose a round one versus a long skinny one!)
  • 1/2 a red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 a medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 t. olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3/4 c. diced white mushrooms
  • 1/4 a block of tempeh, diced (or chickpeas or tofu or ground beef, for all I care)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 T. curry powder, depending on your taste (I used a heaping 1/2 T. of a sweet-ish curry)
  • 1/2 t. honey
  • salt, to taste

Preheat your oven to 425* and poke the sweet potato a couple of times. Bake for an hour, or until tender – when I knife can slide through it.

About half an hour into cooking, prepare your filling: in a small pan over medium heat, preheat your olive oil. Add in the onion and sautee until softened, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and sautee one more minute. Add in the mushrooms and red pepper and allow to cook until all of the liquid has been cooked out of the mushrooms. Stir in the tempeh and then the curry powder and honey. If necessary, add a tablespoon or two of water at this point.

Once the potato has cooked, cut in half and very gently scoop out the insides, leaving 1/4 – 1/2″ around the outside. Chop the sweet potato you’ve scooped out and mix in with the filling. Spoon the filling back into the sweet potato and enjoy!

I’ve always been a fan of sweet potatoes and curry powder. If you’re hesitant, don’t be! It’s a lovely balance of flavors.

…or maybe I’m just weird. I’ve never been one to want to slather almond butter or maple syrup on my sweet potato, after all 😉

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Filed under cookie, cookies, cooking, dessert, dinner, food, food blog, healthy living, recipe, sweet potato, sweet potatoes, tempeh, vegan, vegetable, vegetarian, veggies

Funny Things

Tastebuds are funny things, don’t you think?

I mean – we may start out hating one thing, but before you know it – we’re in love. In a way, I think this is a good thing. We can “train” our tastes to prefer less sugar, less sodium, more fruit and more vegetables and reap the benefits from the change.

Lately, I’ve been wanting to cut back on the sugar I consume that is in food. I mean – I’ll never dismiss my love for spooning maple syrup or date syrup over a couple of pancakes, or preference to have a sweet fruit over a vegetable snack. And I’m okay with that. But little things, like sugar in peanut butter or almond milk? Well, those can be eliminated and still enjoyable, right?

My initial answer was a flat-out “no,” it couldn’t still be enjoyed. But considering the fact that I’m not about to chuck an entire jar of peanut butter or carton of almond milk, I got over it and eventually realized I do enjoy it.

Peanut butter that’s just peanuts and salt? Mreh…was my response at first, as I’d add it to any sort of baked good I could in attempts to get rid of it STAT. My response now? Well, lets just say I’ll use any excuse to spread it on something.

And I disctinctly remember telling you all how much I disliked the unsweetened almond breeze. But, I’ve kept with it – and now? The original sweetened kind is too sweet! My mom picked it up for me the other day thinking it was the kind I used – and of course I used it – but plain? Too sweet.

Pancakes? Oh, I’ll have them sweetened with some banana if I’m in the mood, and always a little drizzle of maple or date syrup on top – but I’m noticing that I love the natural sweetness and nuttiness of the whole grains themselves whether or not there’s anything on top.

Not to worry – by no means have I gone to extremes, nor am I starting some sugar free diet. I am just enjoying the simplicity of foods not too sweet or overly seasoned, I suppose. Like this cranberry-orange bread I made from a recipe the wonderful Tatianna shared with me. It is hardly sweet, with only a little bit of honey and a wonderful orange essence, neither of which mellow down the tartness of the cranberries. Spread with a little bit of almond butter, this is a perfect snack.

And as we talk about molding our tastebuds, expanding mine has been another mission I’ve been on. I used to always try a new fruit or vegetable while at the grocery store, but lately I’ve mellowed out.

I don’t want to be mellow!

It may take me five minutes to decide what shape pasta I want – but it took me five seconds to land a yucca in my cart. I didn’t know what it was, the sign offered no explanation, and I had absolutely no plans, but apparently picking up a yucca root on a whim is my idea of living life on the edge these days.

Apparently, I should have just asked my mom before I did any research, because when I told her it was a yucca that I was slicing and dicing, she spouted off all sorts of informationa bout it “being a medicinal cure for foundering horses, originating in Arizona.” There you have it. Apparently I’m a foundered horse.

That didn’t tell me much about what to do with it, so Google was my friend and a quick search told me that yucca, also commonly called cassava, “is very rich in starch and contains significant amounts of calcium, dietary fibre, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin b6 and vitamin C.” [source]

Oh, and that they are commonly made into fries, too.

I wasn’t sure I was a fan at first – but by the time I had my fourth or fifth one, I definitely was. They are very similar to a white potato, but better – my common complaint with white potatoes is that they’re too dry. The yucca fries didn’t have that complaint.

Oh, and those green things?

Collard greens – another veg I’d (embarrassingly enough) yet to try. Gabriela inspired me to finally try a green other than kale and spinach, and I’m glad she did! I loved these collard leaves as “wraps,” with baked beans inside. I wasn’t brave enough to try them raw quite yet, and instead “marinated” them with a bit of lemon juice and salt before running them under some super hot water for a couple seconds and then really quickly pan-frying them once stuffing them with the beans.

Speaking of beans…no, they didn’t help the B’s last night. Bummer.

Other things:

  • I’m really glad I’m not the only crazy one with a computer screen  bigger than my television.
  • A lot of you were wondering what I stuffed my hummus crepe with, and silly me for forgetting to say! I don’t know what I was thinking, but apparently I had too much a. bruins and b. iMacs on my mind. But, inside my hummus crepe was boiled tempeh, iceburg lettuce (blech) tomato and a pickle. Oh, and red onion.

Have you tried anything new lately?

What’s something you’ve noticed your tastebuds adapting to lately?

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Filed under breakfast, cooking, dinner, foodblog, health, health food, healthy living, lunch