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Archive for March, 2008

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Tonight was Middle-Eastern night at our place, and we enjoyed some of our favorite flavors — garlick-y (hummus), salty (olives), and spicy (felafel)— all wrapped in a warm flatbread with some freshly cut veggies tossed in, and a lick of tehina spread. This is Israeli fast-food – mmm, goood. Normally, felafels (chickpea croquettes) are fried in a fair amount of oil, but I simply browned them in a couple tablespoons of olive oil. I served this with some seasoned whole wheat couscous on the side. A mouth-watering change of pace, and gobbled in seconds!

Felafel wraps

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon coriander

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon fresh parsley

2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons olive oil for saute-ing

Combine all of the ingredients (except the olive oil) in your food processor until well blended. Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Wetting your hands with water, form the mixture into 1″ balls, and saute over medium-high heat until lightly browned on all sides (it’s okay to mash them a little while they are cooking, for ease in even browning).

Serve either inside of a pita pocket or wrapped in a flat bread spread with tehina sauce or hummus, and filled with freshly chopped vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, onions – you choose. Add some imported olives or chopped pickles for a really delicious zing to your sandwich.

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Whenever I want to put a quick and delicious cake together. I always turn to this recipe from Beth Kidder’s The Milk-Free Kitchen. There’s no dairy products used to make it; in fact, it’s completely vegan, using no eggs either. But moist and tasty? Yes indeed, and instantly loved by all who’ve eaten it. Enjoy!

Golden cake

1 1/4 cups flour

2/3 cup sugar

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup applesauce

1/3 cup canola oil

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

confectioner’s sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and grease either a 9″ round or and 8″ square pan.

Sift the flour, sugar, soda, and salt together. Mix the applesauce, oil, and vanilla in a bowl; add the dry ingredients and stir just until all of the flour is moistened. Spread the batter in the prepared pan.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until done. Sprinkle confectioner’s sugar over the top while the cake is still hot, or your favorite icing or glaze.

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More pasta YES!

This week’s edition of Presto Pasta Nights is now playing at Once Upon A Feast. I never get tired of seeing all the good recipes featured there – do stop by, and while you’re there, be sure to wish Ruth a Happy Birthday!

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Here’s an easy and flavorful dinner that will go great with either a salad or roasted vegetables. Some rustic bread on the side and you’re set. This would also make a fabulous brunch. Enjoy!

 Salmon-mushroom frittata

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 shallot, sliced

10 ounces mushrooms, sliced

1 14-ounce can pink salmon, drained and flaked

6 eggs, beaten

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup freshly chopped chives

1/4 cup soy parmiagianno cheese

In a large, heavy saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat and saute the shallot and mushrooms until softened.

Meanwhile beat the eggs. Add the salt, pepper, and chives. Turn on oven to broil. Pour egg mixture over the saute and cook on stove for about 5-8 minutes, until the top begins to appear more firm. Sprinkle the soy cheese on top.

Place the saute (in the pan) about 5 inches from the broiler, with the pan handle sticking out of the oven (it’s okay to keep the oven door open for this step. Broil the frittata until the top gets golden. Remove (carefully) from the oven, cut and serve. Makes 4 servings.

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Festa Italiana is up and running at Proud Italian Cook and Finding La Dolce Vita. Look no further for the finest collection of good Italian eats this side of the Atlantic Ocean. Thanks for including me with this esteemed company. Buon Appetito!

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Just like my grandmother used to make, this soup transports me back to family gatherings, big meals, lots of food to eat, cousins running around everywhere, and loads of fun. When my grandmother served her chicken noodle soup, though, all activites came to a halt – except for the sound of everyone slurping up their noodles. Enjoy!

Mom-Mom’s Chicken Noodle soup

4 pounds of chicken parts (include breasts, wings, thighs)

enough water to cover

2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into one inch chunks

2 celery stalks, sliced into large chunks

1 medium onion, tough outer skin removed

1 turnip, tough end cut off and cut into large pieces

2 parsnips, peeled and cut into large chunks

1/2 head garlic, peeled

1 teaspoon salt (more to taste)

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper (more to taste)

1/4 teaspoon dill weed

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 12-ounce bag of fine egg noodles

Wash the chicken parts and place in a large pot. Put enough water in the pot to cover all the chicken, and turn on high heat and bring to a boil.

Skim off the scum that accumulates on the boiling surface, and then add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, turnip, and parsnips. Return to a boil, re-skim the surface, and then lower the heat to medium low and partially cover the pot. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

Remove the chicken from the pot, place in a large dish, and when cool enough to handle, separate the meat from the bones, and tear the chicken into bite-sized pieces; discard the bones and the skin.

Return the chicken to the soup, and continue to cook on medium low. Add the salt, pepper, and dill weed.

Meanwhile, fill a second pot about 2/3 way full with water and bring to a boil. Add the noodles, and cook for 6 minutes. Drain.

Add the parsley to the soup and stir. Place as much noodles as you love into a bowl, and ladle the chicken soup over it, making sure to include all the different vegetables and chicken for each serving. Serves 10.

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One of my favorite times spent in the kitchen is when the refrigerator begins to empty out. Inside the fridge I may find some leftovers or half-filled bags and packages from food shopping and previous cooking endeavors. That’s when my imagination really awakens, and I begin thinking of new recipes and food combinations. My chicken-spinach bake was one such endeavor, using some leftover chicken, combined with any spare vegetables du jour, and a little leftover rice, too! What I created was both tasty and comforting, and a new recipe was born. Enjoy!

Chicken-spinach bake

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 strips turkey bacon, chopped

1 cup chopped onions

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 – 6-ounce packages of baby spinach, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup cooked chicken, diced

1 cup cooked rice, white or brown

1/2 teaspoon basil

1/4 teaspoon marjoram

black pepper to taste

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup soy milk

1/2 cup soy cheddar cheese

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

paprika

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13″ pan or dish with non-stick spray.

In a large saute pan, heat the oil, then the turkey bacon and saute until crisp. Add the onion and garlic. Saute until soft – about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and the salt, and cook until the spinach has wilted. Add the chicken, rice, and spices, stir together, and remove from heat.

In a large bowl, first beat the eggs, then add the soymilk and combine. Stir in the cheese. Then add all of the saute ingredients and stir together. Transfer the mixture to your greased baking pan and smooth out. Sprinkle the top with the sunflower seeds and paprika. Place in oven, and bake for 35-45 minutes until lightly golden. Makes 6 servings.

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