Archive for September, 2008

This recipe sounded too good not to try. What a scrumptious dish. I only made minor modifications. Enjoy!

Vegetable paella

3 tablespoons olive oil + 1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 cup arborio rice

1/2 cup long grain rice

1 bay leaf

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced + 1 clove garlic crushed

1 medium carrot, halved and sliced

1 cup green beans, cut into 1″ length

1 medium zucchini, halved and sliced

1 red or orange pepper, cut into 1″ slices

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

1/4 cup spinach, chopped (use frozen spinach)

1 3/4 cup vegetable broth

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon coriander

1/2 teaspoon saffron

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

freshly ground pepper

Use a large pan with a lid.

Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in pan, toss in garlic. Then add rice and saute until the rice becomes slightly translucent (about 8 minutes). Pour out the rice into a bowl and set aside.

Using the same pan, add 3 tablespoons olive oil and saute the onions, garlic, bay leaf and carrot until they are soft. Add the zucchini, peppers, and green beans and saute another 2 minutes. 

Add the rice into the vegetable mixture, as well as the spices. Stir until all is well combined. Add the tomatoes and combine.

Now add the broth and let the pan come to a slight simmer. Cover with lid and cook under medium heat for 10 minutes. Quickly toss in the frozen spinach, turn off the heat, and let the pan sit for another 15-20 minutes. Do NOT open the lid! This makes sure that all the moisture and flavor is completely absorbed into the rice. After 15-20 minutes, fluff the rice and serve hot. Makes 3 servings.

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When I saw this recipe on VeganYumYum blog, I was immediately intrigued with the use of raw cashews to make a creamy base for the sauce. Of course, I had to try it. This pasta dish offers fresh flavors and a comforting blend of healthy and simple ingredients. This one is a keeper. Enjoy!

Tomato basil cream pasta

1 large ripe tomato (2 cups, roughly chopped)

1/2 cup raw cashews

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

8 ounces spaghetti

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons wine

1-2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper

1 large handful fresh basil, chopped

Put a large pot of salted water to boil.

Core the tomato, then roughly chop it. Add it to your blender, seeds, skin and all. Add the cashews, tomato paste, and water. Blend until very smooth.

Add olive oil to a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and saute until golden. Once water is boiling, add the pasta to the pot. Pour the sauce from the blender into the saute and bring to a simmer. Add the salt and let cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add wine to thing out the sauce a little. Taste and season more if necessary. Let simmer until the pasta is finished. Drain, then add the pasta to the saute pan with black pepper and the chopped basil leaves. Toss to coat. Serve immediately, garnishing with more pepper and basil. Makes 3 servings.

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Two words: yum yum. This simple, quick, and easy recipe belies its enveloping aroma as it bakes, and the wallop of great flavor with each and every bite. I cannot recommend these meatballs enough, and am offering a big shoutout to BakingHaven blog for this recipe. Enjoy!

Vietnamese chicken meatballs

1 pound ground chicken breast

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 shallots, minced

handful of mint and coriander

3 tablespoons fish sauce

1 stalk fresh lemon grass, minced (white inner bulb only)

1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 cup sugar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix all the ingredients together, EXCEPT the sugar.

Spread the sugar on a plate. Roll the chicken mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls with slightly moistened hands, then roll each meatball in a little sugar. Arrange on the baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until browned and cooked through. Makes about 20 meatballs.

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The 82nd edition of Presto Pasta Nights can be enjoyed at Once Upon A Feast blog.  A truly delectable collection of pasta recipes to explore. Enjoy!

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Another wonderful dish from Steamy Kitchen, this recipe is quite addicting. I just love how the filling is wrapped in the dough, and the whole house smelled so good while I was preparing it. Actually, the filling tastes pretty darn good all by itself. I loved this, and so did my taste-testers. Enjoy!

Chinese pastry with Hoisin chicken

1/2 pound ground chicken

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon wine

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon cooking oil

1/4 cup minced onion

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

1/4 cup minced scallion

1/4 cup diced mushrooms

1/4 cup minced canned bamboo shoots

1 tablespoon oyster sauce

1 tablespoon hoisin sauce

1/2 teaspoon garlic-chili hot sauce

1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed

1 egg + 1 tablespoon water (egg wash)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Marinate the chicken in the soy, wine sesame oil, cornstarch, and sugar for 15 minutes at room temperature.

In a wok or large saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon cooking oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add onion. Saute until onions are softened. Add the scallions, garlic, and ginger. Saute another minute until fragrant. turn heat to high.

Add the marinated chicken, mushrooms and bamboo shoots. Saute until the chicken is about 80% cooked through. Add the oyster, hoisin, and hot sauce. Stir through. Spread out on a plate to cool.

Take your thawed puff pastry and cut each sheet into 4 squares. Spoon filling onto one side, brush egg wash on the edges and bring over to fold into a triangle. Pinch to seal tightly, place on baking sheet. Brush egg wash on the top of the pastry, and repeat with the remaining.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Makes 8 pastries.

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I found this recipe on the Wheat Food Council website, and it tastes wonderful. It has one of the lower fat contents I’ve seen in a carrot cake (of course, excluding the frosting), but tastes just as rich. I subbed soy cream cheese for the real thing, and I sprinkled a few candied flowers on the top, because this is such a pretty cake. Enjoy!

Carrot-pineapple cake with soy cream cheese icing

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup canola oil

1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup grated carrots

1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, undrained

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Grease and flour the bottom of a 9x9x2″ pan, or a 9″ round one

In a large mixing bowl, stir together whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; add canola oil, apple sauce, eggs, carrots, pineapple, and vanilla. Mix on low speed until moistened; beat 2 minutes at medium speed.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes; toothpick inserted into center of cake should come out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Soy cream cheese frosting:

2 ounces soy cream cheese

2 tablespoons margarine

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar

3 tablespoons toasted chopped pecans

Beat together cream cheese and margarine; add vanilla and salt. Gradually add enough confectioners’ sugar to make a spreading consistency. Spread on cooled cake and top with pecans.

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This recipe is the real McCoy, from Steamy Kitchen blog. All of Jaden’s recipes look soo good, and I really wanted to try this one. I substituted chicken for the pork, but followed the rest of the recipe. Perfect on a cool fall evening, with an authentic Asian flavor. Yum! Enjoy!

Wonton noodle soup recipe

1/2 pound ground chicken

2 stalks scallion, finely minced

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon rice vinegar

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon sesame ol

1/2 pound wonton wrappers, room temperature, covered with a damp towel

1 tablespoon cornstarch + 1/4 cup cold water (cornstarch slurry)

2 quarts chicken broth

8 ounces dried wonton noodles (or thin, egg noodles)

1/2 pound bok choy, leaves separated and washed well

1 teaspoon sesame oil

In a large bowl, combine the chicken, scallion, soy sauce, rice vinegar, cornstarch, sugar and sesame oil. Mix well. Put a scant teaspoon of filling in the middle of a wonton wrapper, brush with the cornstarch slurry on all edges. Fold over to form a triangle, press to secure edges and encase the filling. Place on clean, dry plate in one layer and cover loosely with plastic wrap to prevent drying. Repeat with remaining.

In a large stockpot, add all but 2 cups of the broth and bring to a boil. The 2 cups of reserved broth should be room temperature. Turn the heat to medium-high and add the wontons. Bring pot back to boil. When it reaches a boil, add 1 cup of the reserved broth. Bring back to a bil and again, add the remaining 1 cup of reserved broth.

Keep the heat on the pot (you still need to cook the noodles and bok choy), while using a sieve to scoop up the wontons and distribute amongst the bowls. Cook the noodles according to the package instrucitons. Add the bok choy to the pot during the last minute of cooking noodles and let simmer, until cooked through. Ladle broth, noodles and bok choy to bowls. Drizzle just a few drops of sesame oil in each bowl. Makes 4 servings

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I’m a big seitan fan. I think it’s a totally under-utilized and under-appreciated source of protein. But it must be prepared right. This recipe looked good, but in my experience, when cooking with seitan, you usually need to properly season it. The pot roast sauce tasted great, but I found the seitan’s bland flavor to come through a little to strong. I think the next time I make this, I’ll season and saute or grill the seitan first, to add some depth of flavor to the seitan. Maybe also add some big cut veggies, like potatoes and carrots. Hmm, I’ll have to experiment.

Seitan pot roast

2 teaspoons canola oil

1 large onion, thinly sliced

1 1/2 cups tomato sauce

1 16-ounce can jellied cranberry sauce

1 tablespoon prepared horseradish

1 teaspoon dry mustard

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/4 cup vegetable stock with 1 tablespoon soy sauce

16 ounces (2 packages) seitan, drained and sliced 1/4″ thick

Heat a non-stick Dutch oven, add the oil and the onion and saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes, til the onion starts to soften.

Add the tomato sauce, cranberry sauce, horseradish, dry mustard, vinegar, and stock/soy sauce. Raise the heat and bring to a hard boil. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes.

Add the seitan, lower the heat, and cook, covered, for another 10 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

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This sounded so good I just had to try it. This was my very first time grilling tofu, and that went well. But I think I sliced the tofu too thick. It seemed more like a slab of tofu instead of something more delicate. With a piece that thick, it overpowered the delicious chimichurri sauce, which was quite good. Don’t get me wrong, this didn’t taste bad; I just have some ideas on how to improve it next time. Served on some good whole grain bread, with halved grape tomatoes on the side, it was a healthy and delicious sandwich. Enjoy!

Grilled chimichurri tofu sandwich

2 blocks extra firm tofu, sliced in 1/4″ slabs

1 large bunch Italian parsley, coarsely chopped

1 cup olive oil

juice of one lemon

4 cloves garlic

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

big pinch sea salt

8 slices whole grain bread

8 ounces grape tomatoes, halved

To make the chimichurri: add the parsley, olive oil, lemon, garlic, pepper flakes, and salt to a blender and puree until smooth.

Marinate the tofu in the chimichurri for at least 20 minutes before grilling.

Preheat the grill, then carefully place the tofu on the heat. Let the slabs sit on the grill undisturbed for 5 minutes on each side and grill marks appear. Take care flipping them, as it may get crumbly. (mine didn’t)

Toast your bread, then place the tofu and any extra chimichurri that you want to add. Makes 4 sandwiches.

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One of the food blogs I truly enjoy reading is David Lebovitz’ Living the Sweet Life in Paris. Not only is he living in the biggest foodie capital of the world, but he’s funny, too, and I love his photos and recipes. When I saw this coconut ice cream recipe, I just knew it had non-dairy possibilities for me. His original recipe called for heavy cream; I substituted soy cream. He used cane sugar; I used plain old white sugar. (his was actually an adaptation from a recipe by Nicole Stich). Anyway, the results were fabulous for me – I absolutely LOVED this ice cream, and highly recommend it for the lactose-intolerant. The saffron embued in it a most beautiful golden hue, and I served it in an old teacup from my grandmother and mother. Enjoy!

Coconut ice cream with saffron

2/3 cup soy cream

1 cup coconut milk

1/4 cup sugar

scant 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads

In a medium saucepan, bring all the ingredients to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and chill the mixture thoroughly.

Once chilled, freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. Once churned, be sure to scrape any saffron threads clinging to the dasher back in to the ice cream. Makes 1 pint.

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