Sunday, November 25, 2007

Lots of different things..

Tofu/cashew based vegan key lime pie on a gingersnap crust. To die for. Sometimes, things work out perfectly the first time you attempt them! No improvements needed.

Delicious and healthy white bean and escarole soup. Topped with a tiny bit of lemon zest and freshly ground pepper.
Super low fat balsamic flax vinaigrette.
Tofu scramble is always a hit in my house. What a great way to start the day!
My 16 year old is happy about this breakfast. I love having my kids in my new place. It makes everything OK.
Beginning the salsa. Serranos, onions, garlic and spices in the pan.
Adding massive amounts of cilantro and crushed tomatoes. Fresh lime juice and a quick whiz with the immersion blender and the salsa is really to chill.
Green bean saute with crushed red pepper flakes, onions, garlic and a bit of the vinaigrette from earlier.
I had some leftover refriend beans, so I turned them into burgers. My kids love veggie burgers, so we had ourselves a nice feast of them with the broccoli on the side.
Must bring my own dishes to my new place. I am renting a winter beach rental that is totally furnished, including dishes. I miss my own dishes.. and my old window I used to photography my food in. I will bring my dishes over soon. I am sick of taking pics in these tacky things.
My other baby came for a visit the other night too... shhhh... don't tell anyone! I just needed her on Thanksgiving as I was all alone. Here she is falling asleep all cozy. I am so grateful for her.. I just wish I could see her more often too.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Several days food and some Thanksgiving Ideas

I had to post the pics in HTML since blogger was acting up, so they are large and cut off. Sorry about that.

This hummus was so good. It is lower in fat than many other recipes.

I made some great refried beans I've been enjoying. I've had to cut most of my recipes in half so I don't end up with too many leftovers. I am stockpiling my freezer even with the half recipes.

boiling away, recipe to follow pics.

I use cilantro almost like a veggie. I love it. If you hate cilantro, you'll probably hate most of my recipes.

In the frying pan. Onions, serranos, spices and bean cooking liquid instead of oil.

Pureed and delicious. These will thicken up over night if they are a bit runny.

Fat Free Refried Beans

1/2 lb pintos, rinsed

2 quarts water

3 inch piece kombu

1/2 t black pepper

1 T onion powder

1 T or 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

bouillon cube

1/4 c bean liquid

1 large onion, or 1.5 cups, diced

1 t cumin seed

1/2 t ground coriander

1 t oregano

1-3 serrano chiles, depending on heat tolerance. Start with 1 and de-seed and de-stem it.

cooked pintos and their liquid

1 T soy sauce

juice of 1 lime

1 bunch cilantro

salt/pepper to taste

Cover and cook the first 6 ingredients over medium heat for several hours or until tender. Check every 20 mins or so and add more water if needed. When beans are tender, add the bouillon cube and bring back to a simmer then turn off heat.

In a large skillet, add around 1/4 bean cooking liquid, chopped onion, cumin seed (you can use powdered, but the seed is better), serrano chiles ,ground coriander and oregano. Cook over medium flame until the veggies are soft, then add the beans and heat through. Add the lime juice, soy sauce, salt/pepper to taste and cilantro and puree with a hand blender or in a food processor. The beans will thicken up after cooling, covered, overnight.

This nacho bake utilized some fo the refried beans, along with sauted mushrooms, onions, green peppers and spinach. I cut up 3 corn tortillas and made baked chips, then topped the bean/veggie mixture with tofu sour scream and salsa, then ran it under the broiler. I added some mango/habanero salsa to the top. Delicious.

Post from a year ago... This was a roasted acorn squash stuffed with Lightlife Gimme Lean Sausage, bulgur, veggies and topped with a cranberry chutney. I don't have a recipe written, but I'm sure you can improvise something delicious.

I do have a recipe for this. It is a roasted butternut squash topped with a lentil/brown rice mixture topped with almonds, cilantro and an orange tahini sauce.

Lentil Stuffed Squash:
2 butternut squash, cut in half and seeds removed, sprayed with cooking spray, seasoned with salt/pepper and roasted in a 425 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Stuffing (makes enough for this dish and you will have tons of leftovers to freeze or make another dish)

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 large onions, sliced

heat oil over med-lo heat, add the onions and slowly caramelize them until they are golden brown. This will take up to 30 minutes.


1 cup lentils

1 cup brown rice

5 cloves garlic

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried sage

1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1 carrot diced

6 cups veggie stock or water

salt/pepper to taste

1 large bunch swiss chard or 10oz frozen spinach (thawed and drained)

1/4 cup golden rasins

4 tbsp chile-garlic sauce (optional)

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar


Bring everthing but the greens, chile garlic sauce, vinegar and salt/pepper to a boil. Lower heat to medium and cover. Cook until the lentils/rice are done. Stir in the swiss chard and rasins and cook for several minutes. Finally, stir in the vinegar and chile sauce and add salt/pepper to taste.

Take around a cup and fill the hollowed out part of the butternut squash then top with almonds, orange-tahini sauce and cilantro or parsely.

Orange Tahini Sauce:

juice of 2 oranges

zest of 1 orange

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 cup yogurt or soy yogurt or silken tofu

1 shallot

2 cloves garlic

4 tbsp orange juice concentrate

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

1 tsp turmeric

3 tbsp tahini

salt/pepper to taste

Blend all of the above in a food processor or blender.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Holy chickpeas.... and a question

Many bloggers are talking about the Roasted Garlic, Tomato and Rice soup from VCON, so I had to try it. I didn't have any brown rice, so I sub'd half quinoa and half millet instead. Also I cooked up a pound of dried chickpeas earlier in the week, so I used those instead of white beans. Super good and comforting. I followed the spice instruction exactly, but then felt it needed more flavor, so I added a bit of balsamic vinegar and some dried basil and several drops of truffle oil to the top. Very comforting. I have a bad cold right now, so this is helping me breathe.. oh and I added crushed red pepper flakes.
As I mentioned, I have a lot of cooked chickpeas on hand, so I turned some into a roasted wasabi chickpea salad. Freshly grated ginger, wasabi, garlic, soy sauce, celery, carrots, lime juice and a ton of siracha tasted great with roasted chickpeas. I like eating it on celery for a snack.
This was my lunch yesterday. Low carb lavash, chickpea "tuna" salad, baby spinach and avocado. Delish. I've still been using my laptop lunchbox, but this is as close as you'll get to a pic... taken at 5 am. The low carb lavash does not hold up all night, so I have to make lunch in the morning before I leave for work.

Onto my question. I'm teaching an Ethnic Food cooking class Tuesday night and am wondering which dishes I should feature? I usually cook 5 different main dish meals.
My tentative menu is:

-Chipotle lime black bean burritos with homemade salsa
-Sesame Tofu and Broccoli
-Hummus and Tabouli
-Moo-Shi Veggies with Tofu
-Spinach Walnut Sauce over Whole Wheat Fettuccini

I have 3 hours to make all of the dishes and I will need around 15- 20 portions of each dish, so simplicity is a must.

Since most of you have been reading me for a while, if you were to come to a cooking class of mine with the theme Ethic Foods, which 5 dishes would you want to make?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Leftovers into soup

Lunch today... a simple wrap with the leftover adzuki bean patties on a low carb lavash with peppers, mushroom and onions, jalapenos, bbq sauce and vegenaise dressing.

Last night's dinner turned into leftovers. I pressure cooked some chickpeas and mixed them with the angel hair and toped with fresh spinach just before serving.. oh and some yeasty parmesan. Water created the broth and it was much better than the pic portrays.
The view outside my window.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Dinner for one

Tonight is my first night in my new apartment. Dinner for one. My boys are at the house with their dad. They will be living there the majority of the time as they want to stay in the same school district. They'll be here on the weekends and a day during the week and I'm spending the night there on Thursday nights.
How strange to cook for one. I am feeling a little shell shocked, and craved my old time favorite comfort food: spaghetti and salad. This was whole wheat angel hair with a veggie infused marinara, topped with a tiny bit of truffle oil and nutritional yeast. The salad was super simple with balsamic vinegar and nooch as the "dressing".
I went food shopping today; again very different. When the kids are here on the weekend, I'm sure I'll have to stock up more.
Work is going to be super busy tomorrow and Thursday and then I'll get to hang out with my kids and dog.
I didn't bring my alarm clock and have to wake up at 4:10am.. hmmm.. I'll have to see if I can set my cell phone.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Adzuki Bean and Millet Burgers

Adzuki Bean and Millet Burgers:

Wheat free if you use tamari and water!

1 c dried adzuki beans, cooked in 1 quart of water or 3 cups cooked beans
1 t thyme
1/2 t rosemary
1 t olive oil
1 onion or 1 c , chopped
1 T grated ginger
1 serrano chili, seeded if desired
3 cloves garlic, pressed or 3 t
pinch salt (smoked sea salt if you can find it), black pepper
1 c dried millet
4 c stock or water
1 veg bouillon cube if not using stock
2 T soymilk or water
2 T chickpea flour
1 T Braggs or low sodium soy or tamari
1 T balsamic vinegar
2 T toasted sesame oil
1 /2 t pepper
3 T nutritional yeast
olive oil spray for frying

To cook the beans, combine the water, dried spices in a large soup pot and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a strong simmer for an hour or so.

To cook the millet, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onion, ginger, chili, garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté for several minutes, then add the millet and continue to sauté for 2 minutes. Add the water and bouillon cube and bring to a boil for 2 minutes, the reduce heat to simmer and cover. allow the millet to cook for 40 minutes or so.

Now, add the cooked millet and cooked beans (the beans should be drained, but I found that I didn't have any cooking liquid left) to a large bowl and add the soymilk, chickpea flour, braggs, vinegar, sesame oil, pepper and yeast. Stir to combine. Let the mixture chill overnight. You don't have to do this, but it makes the patties hold together better. Use about 1/2 cup per burger and cook over medium heat in a cast iron or non stick skillet for around 4 minutes a side. I spray mine with olive oil spray.
You can use leftover millet and canned beans or leftover beans. This should yield around 10 burgers.

They are delicious served with mushroom gravy and sautéed peppers and onions. I topped mine with bbq sauce and sautéed peppers and onions. I suggest sweet potato fries and a side of kale. You can also eat this on a bun with all the fixins.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


I just love quinoa is soups. This was an easy black bean/quinoa chili. My youngest son loves this. It is even better the next day and freezes well. I used my pressure cooked black beans. I haven't bought canned beans since I bought my pressure cooker.
I am always trying to come up with one pot meals. I swear, my next cookbook (oh, I have lofty goals!) will be one pot meals. This is half and half pasta.. white and whole wheat. The sauce is a low fat pesto. I used chickpeas, garlic, basil, and entire 10oz bag of organic baby spinach, toasted sesame seeds, lemon juice/zest and vegetable stock. Just before serving, I will spray the dishes with my olive oil pump sprayer. My kids ate this up. I haven't made a dairy containing pesto is so long, I think they've forgotten what it tastes like and are 100% satisfied with my low fat/vegan versions. I only used 3 T of toasted sesame seeds for the sauce.
Chana Aloo Stew... spicy, healthy and delicious.

Thank you all for your kind words and support during this transition. It isn't easy.. and the ups and downs are difficult. It helps to have caring people, even on the net.

Friday, November 02, 2007

One nights dinner

This is one sorry excuse for a post. The pics are nothing special and there is only 1 meals worth of dinner here. I've been busy.
I taught a cooking class this week, but did not take pics. In fact, I didn't even remember my camera. Oy... I had worked 10 hours that day before I even taught the class... so I was pretty much toast.

Onto dinner... this was a tofu based pumpkin sauce over ziti, with baby beet greens and tangy balsamic dressing. Roasted brussel sprouts were perfect on the side.

.....all toasty with red onions, garlic, spices and a bit of toasted sesame oil