Archive for June, 2010

It’s officially blueberry season in these parts – they’re big and firm and bursting with flavor. Besides just grabbing handfuls of them like I always do, I decided to make a parfait, layering the blueberries with some leftover strawberry glaze I had from this recipe. Topped off with some soy whipped cream, this was an amazing, fresh, and easy dessert.

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This recipe is all about summer. Sweet and refreshing.

Strawberry almond cream tart (modified from Cooking Light)


1 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs

2 tablespoons sugar

4 tablespoons melted margarine

4 teaspoons water


5 ounces soy cream cheese

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract


6 cups strawberries, hulled

2/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. For crust, process the crumbs, sugar, margarine, and water with pulses until moistened. Place cracker mixture in 9″ round removable bottom tart pan. lightly coated with nonstick spray. Press crumbs evenly across bottom and up sides. Bake for 10 minutes; remove from oven and cool.

For the filling, combine the cream cheese, sugar, and extracts in a bowl til thoroughly mixed and smooth. Spread evenly onto the cooled tart crust.

To prepare the glaze topping, place 2 cups of berries into a blender and process til smooth. Combine puree, 2/3 cup sugar, and cornstarch in a medium saucepan, and heat over medium heat. Stir with a whisk and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and cool, stirring occasionally.

Combine the remaining 4 cups of strawberries and the lemon juice. Arrange the berries, bottoms up, in a circular pattern over the filling. Spoon half the glaze over the strawberries (reserve the rest for a future use). Cover and chill for 3 hours. Makes 10 servings.

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Adapted from Martha Stewart to be nondairy, and subbing peaches for strawberries, these are more cake-like than cookie-like. But we still liked them all the same.

Peach shortcake cookies

2 cups chopped peaches

9 tablespoons sugar

pinch of nutmeg

2 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

6 tablespoons cold margarine, cut into small pieces

2/3 cup nondairy creamer

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Toss the peaches with 2 tablespoons sugar. Set aside.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and 7 tablespoons sugar in a large bowl. Add the margarine and mix with the flour mixture til it looks like coarse crumbs. Gently stir in the creamer, and then the peaches.

Use an ice cream scoop and drop the dough onto the parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Space 2″ apart. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown. Cool on a wire rack. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

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This is another one of those anything goes recipes. The key here is the roasted tomatoes. Then add whatever veggies/protein around it that you like. Dress with your very best quality balsamic vinegar for the best flavor.

Grilled chicken with roasted tomatoes

5 Roma tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 boneless, skinned chicken breasts, grilled and cut into bite-sized pieces

2 pounds asparagus (or your favorite vegetable or combination), blanched in boiling water for 3 -4 minutes (also could be roasted if you so desire)

top quality balsamic vinegar

extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

Quarter your tomatoes and place skin side down in baking pan. Sprinkle a little sugar, salt, and pepper on each piece of tomato. Place in preheated 400 degree F. oven and roast for about 35-45 minutes, til shriveled and shrunk and starting to char. Remove from oven and cool.

In a large bowl, add the chicken, asparagus, and tomatoes. Add several shakes of balsamic vinegar, and several shakes of olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste, and sprinkle on the pine nuts. Toss gently and serve. Makes 4 servings.

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With the temperatures soaring in the high 90s around here, this recipe really appealed to me. It calls for 2 cups of crumbled feta cheese. I decided to add grilled chicken and some cheddar Sheese instead. I also used some expensive balsamico vinegar that I had picked up on our trip to Italy last year. It’s the real thing, and it added immense flavor to this delicious salad.

Chopped Greek salad

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 small shallot, halved

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons canola oil

salt and freshly ground pepper

10 ounces mixed baby greens, coarsely chopped

4 Belgian endives, halved, cored, and coarsely chopped

1 English cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded, and cut into 1/2″ dice

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

1/4 cup coarsely chopped dill

3/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved

2 grilled boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

1/2 cup cheddar Sheese, crumbled

In a blender, combine the vinegar, lemon juice, and shallot, and puree. With the machine on, add the olive oil and canola oil, and puree until emulsified. Season the dressing with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, toss the greens with the endives, cucumber, tomatoes, dill, olives, chicken, and sheese. Add half the dressing, season with salt and pepper, and toss. Add the remaining dressing, toss again, and serve. Makes 4-6 servings.

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What a fabulous idea ~ healthy and so nicely spiced and flavorful. The yolks thickened up the gravy; the whole recipe came together in less than an hour. This was both hearty and light at the same time. I had it with rice, but tomorrow I’ll try it with some raisin bread at work. Scrumptious.

Egg curry

6 eggs, boiled and peeled

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1″ fresh ginger, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2-3 small rings of green chilies, chopped

2 onions, chopped

3 plum tomatoes, chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons coriander powder

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1 1/2 cups water

3/4 teaspoon  garam masala

2 handfuls fresh cilantro, chopped

salt to taste

Boil 6 eggs over medium heat. Add enough water to cover the eggs. Once the eggs start boiling, turn off the stove. Cover with lid and set aside for 10 minutes.

Heat a pot on medium heat. Add the olive oil, then the mustard seeds. Once they start to sputter, add the cumin seeds and turmeric powder. Saute for 10 seconds. Now add the ginger, garlic, and green chilies. Saute for 30 seconds. Now add the onions and some salt. Lower the heat to medium low, stir, and allow the onions to become golden (about 10 minutes). Stir frequently.

Drain the water from the eggs and peel. Set aside.

Once the onions are golden, add the tomatoes, red chili powder, coriander, and season with salt. Combine. Increase heat to medium. Continue to cook for about 15 minutes until the onions and tomatoes form a paste-like consistency. Cover with lid while cooking.

Now slice the eggs in half. Then add water to the pot. Lower the heat to medium-low, and add the eggs and gently combine. cover with lid and let the gravy cook for 15 minutes. You may need to smash the yolk pieces into the gravy; this will help thicken the gravy.

Remove from stove; add garam masala. Adjust salt. Add fresh cilantro. Combine. Serve after 30 minutes; this will allow the flavors to combine and gravy thicken. Serve with rice. Makes 4-6 servings.

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Meh. This pizza recipe read and looked better than it tasted. Not that it tasted bad; it just seemed to be missing a little kick. Next time, I may add a little more spice to the bean puree.

Mexican pizza (modified to be nondairy)

1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup coarsely chopped jarred roasted red peppers

1 garlic clove

1 tablespoon chili powder

kosher salt

1 pound whole wheat pizza dough

cornmeal, for dusting

1 cup shredded soy Jack cheese

1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved

1/4 cup pitted black olives, sliced

1 scallion, thinly sliced

1 cup shredded butter lettuce

3 tablespoons soy sour cream

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

In a food processor, combine the black beans with the roasted red peppers, garlic clove, and chili powder, and puree until smooth. Season with salt.

Stretch pizza dough to a 12″ round and transfer to a cornmeal-dusted pizza pan. Spread the black bean puree on top, leaving a 1/2″ border. Sprinkle with the cheese, tomatoes, olives, and scallion.

Place pizza in oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, until the bottom is crisp and the cheese is bubbling. Transfer the pizza to a work surface and top with the lettuce and dollops of the soy sour cream. Cut into 6 wedges and serve.

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The original recipe calls for zucchini blossoms, ergo the name, zucchini blossom curry cake. Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful finding any zucchini blossoms. But, since the entire recipe has already been modified by me for a nondairy adaptation, I felt that this recipe would probably still work well without the blossoms. And it did – this was sooo goood.

Zucchini curry cake

3 medium green zucchinis

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 cube of vegetable broth

1/8 teaspoon red chili flakes

3 eggs

6 tablespoons almond milk

6 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/4 cups grated soy cheddar cheese

1 tablespoon baking powder

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a removable bottom cake pan.

Grate the zucchinis into thin ribbons. First, heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the aromatics(minced garlic, chopped onion, curry powder, red chili flakes, and vegetable broth cube) and let everything mingle for 2-3 minutes. Then add the zucchini ribbons and saute lightly (not for too long). You don’t want them to melt and disappear – they will be going into the oven. Set aside to cool down.

Combine eggs, almond milk, and olive oil in a large bowl and beat together. Add the flour and grated cheese. Season with salt and pepper; stir to combine. Gently fold in the baking powder. Add the zucchini mixture and fold in. Transfer to the prepared pan; arrange some extra zucchini ribbons on top, and drizzle with a bit of olive oil and maybe a shake of paprika. Bake for 40 minutes, then let cool before removing from baking pan. Makes 4-6 servings.

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Kitchen Closed!

Will reopen on Monday. Have a great weekend!

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We enjoyed a delicious meal recently at a Cuban restaurant. The spices and flavors were so vibrant; can’t wait to go back. Meanwhile, I found this recipe on the internet, and we had this for dinner tonight. I’m definitely in love with the Cuban spice mix.

Cuban sweet and spicy chicken (slightly modified by me)

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups onion, chopped

5 cloves garlic, mashed with 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 cup ripe mango chunks

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Saute the onion until translucent. Add the garlic and chicken and continue sauteing, stirrin until the chicken is lightly browned.

Add the brown sugar, mango, ginger, cumin, and red pepper flakes. Cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes over medium-low heat. Toss in the cilantro during the last two minutes.

Serve hot over rice. Makes 4 servings.

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