Monday, December 31, 2012

Ayeb Begomen (Spicy Ethiopian Collards and Cottage Cheese)

The Boyfriend and I just had a delicious 30 minute meal of Ayeb Begomen.  (The dish is pictured in the front right of the above picture.). 

We used Chickpea Flatbread instead of Injera  and the meal came together super fast since we have our spice mixtures ready to go.  

For a vegan version, you could sub crumbled tofu mixed with some cashew cheese

Ayeb Begomen
  1. Heat ghee to medium in a large cast iron; add the cumin seeds and toast for 10 seconds
  2. Add onion, garlic, ginger and spice mixtures, salt/pepper. 
  3. Cook for 10 minutes, then add the collards and water. If you are using tofu, add it now.
  4. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  5. You can cook the greens longer if desired, but we like them to have some bit left.
  6. Take of heat, stir in the cottage cheese (or cashew cheese) 
  7. Taste and adjust seasoning.

I promise to get the Injera recipe up soon too.  

I love being able to create exactly the type of food I want to eat.  Cooking is awesome.  It's New Years Eve...  This has been an amazing year with super highs and lows...  but overall, I am pretty happy.  I have some things coming up soon that I'm excited to share with you...   

Happy New Year!  Be safe and have a great time! 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Simple Marinara for Pizza

I am pretty picky when it comes to pizza, so I often end up making my own.  It is really easy to do.
Click here for a tutorial and dough recipe that works really well to create a lovely crust without a pizza stone. 

If you are Gluten Free, here's a recipe for Super Simple Gluten Free Pizza Dough!

Gluten Free Pizza!

I like a chunky, simple sauce and while my Roasted Garlic Marinara is fabulous, I like to change the flavors slightly for use on pizza.  There's something about Fennel and Marjoram that just do it for me.

Canned tomatoes, dried spices, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and fresh basil come together to create such a lovely, tangy, yet sweet sauce you will never go back to jarred again. What matters here is the METHOD of cooking.  You won't get the same results if you throw everything together.  You are starting with a cold pain and garlic, and SLOWLY bringing it up to temperature to bring caramelizing it; this is essential. Don't rush this step.

The pan you use is important as well, because we will be reducing the sauce.  The chunky tomatoes break down and the juice will thicken and almost become a syrup when it's reduced with the balsamic vinegar.

See how much liquid is in the sauce before it's reduced?  I also like to add the fresh basil twice.  Once before reducing the tomato juice and then stirred in right at the end.

Marinara for Pizza
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel powder
  • crushed red pepper flakes to taste (optional) 
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes and their juice
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • Smoke sea salt and black pepper to taste
  1. In a COLD, heavy bottomed 12 inch skillet add the oil and garlic. Turn heat to medium low and SLOWLY brown the garlic.  This will take 20 minutes or so.
  2. Now add the spices, turn the heat to medium and cook for a couple of minutes. 
  3. De-glaze with the balsamic vinegar, stir in the tomatoes.
  4. Turn heat to medium high, stir in 1/2 cup of the basil and reduce liquid by half
  5. Turn the heat off, add the rest of the basil and stir in the salt and pepper to taste. 
 This is a great sauce to make in triple batches and freeze.  It's also good over pasta and definitely would be a winner to simmer my beanballs in!

See how perfect it is on pizza?  The liquid soaks into the crust just enough and the big chunks of tomato hold the toppings so well...

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Smoky White Bean Spread/Sauce

These Chipotle Chickpea Tostadas are so delicious and simple to make. Click here for the Chipotle Chickpea recipe.

If you look under the cabbage, you will see some sauce peaking out.  It is my Smoky White Bean Spread and it does a great job completing the dish; adding cheese and sour cream notes to make this a meal that will appeal to non-vegans. 

I based this recipe on my Healthier Vegenaise Recipe using White Beans.  This spread will keep for 5-7 days.  Use it to replace mayo, stir it into soups, top a burger with it.  It imparts a cheesy, mayo, sour cream like taste that you will love, as long as you like smoke flavor.

Smoky White Bean Dijon Spread

  • 1.5 cups cooked white beans
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp Dijon or spicy brown mustard
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • ¼ tsp liquid smoke
Process everything together in a food processor until very smooth. 

You could make an amazing sandwich using leftover roasted tofu, arugula, this spread and tomatoes. Use it to replace half of the beans in my Creamy Tomato Soup.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding

Haha.. this is sooo NOT Chia Pudding, but when I am craving something like this decadent Pumpkin Cheesecake, I often want the flavors and for me, I can often satisfy my cravings with healthier options like the Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding I am sharing with you today.

This is one UGLY pudding, but it comes together super fast and is very good for you.

Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk 
  • 1 cup cooked pumpkin (canned is fine)
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon stevia powder
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • pinch salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla 
Mix everything together, chill covered for at least 30 minutes.

Simple. Delicious. Healthy.