Monday, February 27, 2012

Cranberry Pumpkin Bread

I’ve made this bread a couple of times and each time I added a bit more liquid because the batter seemed dry.  This time I added more oil, water and pumpkin, I think a tablespoon each of oil and water and 2 tablespoons of pumpkin but you can play around and see what works for you. 

Cranberry Pumpkin Bread  (

2 cups whole raw cranberries
1 1/2 cups white flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
5 tablespoons expeller-pressed canola oil
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
3 tablespoons water  (I used a tad more because the batter seemed too thick)

         Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 9 inch square (or round) cake pan with vegetable oil spray
***I used a loaf pan.
          In the work bowl of a food processor, process the cranberries a few times until approximately quartered (or chop them by hand). Transfer the cranberries to a small bowl.
         Add the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and powder, and spices) to the bowl of the food processor and process briefly to blend.
         In a large mixing bowl, mix together the remaining (wet) ingredients. Then add in the dry ingredients and cranberries to the mixing bowl, using the muffin method to combine (e.g., mix as little as possible, leaving the batter airy and light). Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
         Bake until the bread has shrunk slightly away from the sides of the pan and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean (about 45 minutes, or 55 if using a loaf pan). If you cool it in the pan briefly (for about 5 minutes) it will be easier to remove it from the pan, but do not leave it sitting in the pan too long or it will get soggy on the bottom. Turn onto a rack to cool completely before putting in a airtight container, where it will keep for about 4 days, after which it begins to dry out.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Savory Crepes w/ Sage Aioli

Savory Crepes with Sage Aioli
We made savory crepes two different nights, with two different fillings and they were both delicious but I have to admit, we could use a bit more practice with the actual crepe. 
We tried a couple different pans and the crepes just seemed to break apart – maybe it’s our flipping technique.  We ended up using a cast iron skillet with a bit of non-stick spray and managed to get a few good ones out of the batch.   The Sage Aioli sauce is amazing and we used it on both versions.  We started with the Squash and Mushroom combo then the second night we finished off the mushrooms and added seasoned tofu from Trader Joes.  We cut tofu into small dices then lightly fried until crispy.

Butternut Squash, Mushroom, and Sage Crepes

Filling  (Candle 79 cookbook) – A great restaurant in NYC
2            cups peeled, diced butternut squash
2            tablespoons olive oil
1/2         cup chopped onion
1 1/2      lbs. cremini mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
1            tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1            teaspoon salt
             Crepes  (to follow)
             Sage Aioli sauce  (to follow)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Put the squash in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.  Toss well to coat, then transfer to a rimmed baking sheet.  Roast the squash until tender, 20-30 minutes.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a saute pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and saute until caramelized, 8-10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute until their liquid has evaporated, 8 - 10 minutes.  Stir in the sage, salt, and squash and cook for about 2 minutes.

To serve, put 1 crepe in the center of a plate, spoon part of the vegetable mixture onto one side of the crepe, and fold the other side over the filling.  Repeat with the remaining crepes and filling. Serve with  a dollop of aioli and a scattering of chives.

Classic Crepes ( Vegan Brunch Cook Book by Isa Chandra Moskowitz)

1 1/2      cup almond milk or other non-dairy milk
1/4         cup water
2            tablespoons agave or pure maple syrup
3/4         cup all-purpose flour
1/4         cup chickpea flour 
1            tablespoon tapioca flour (cornstarch or arrowroot is ok)
1/2         teaspoon salt
              cooking spray

Put all the ingredients into a food processor or blender. Blend for about 30 seconds, scraping the sides of the blender once, until everything is smooth. The batter will be very thin. Refrigerate batter for about an hour.
    Preheat a crepe pan or large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. The pan is ready when a few drops of water flicked onto it sizzle. Lightly spray the pan with oil.
Ladle about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of batter (use bigger amount for a bigger pan) in the center of the pan. Lift the pan off the burner and tilt in a circular motion so that the batter spreads in a thin layer across the bottom.
    Cook until the top of the crepe is dry, the center is bubbling, the edges are lightly browned and crinkly and are pulling away from the sides of the pan, usually about 1 – 1/2 minutes. Gently run the spatulas under the crepe to loosen, then carefully flip and cook on the other side for 30 seconds. Slide the crepe onto a dinner plate.  Repeat with the remaining crepes.

Sage Aioli
1  1/2     tablespoons olive oil
3            cloves garlic, chopped
3            fresh sage leaves
1/2         cup vegan mayonnaise
1/4         cup soy or nut milk
1            teaspoon freshly squeezed  lemon juice
1/2         teaspoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
              pinch of salt & pepper
Heat the olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 3 minutes.
Combine the sage, vegan mayo, soy/nut milk, lemon juice, parsley, salt, and pepper in a blender and process until smooth.  Add the garlic and oil and blend until well combined.  The aioli will keep, covered,  in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Chia Pudding

Chia Pudding – Chocolate/Banana  (Raw Live CB by Mimi Kirk)

The original recipe doesn’t call for chocolate but I thought I’d throw some in to see if it would turn out and it was pretty good.  I’ll try it with just the banana next time to see if there is a big difference.  The pudding has the texture and taste of a firmer tapioca pudding.

1            cup almond milk
1/3         cup chia seeds
1            ripe banana, mashed
1/2         12 oz. bag of semi-sweet vegan chocolate chips  (optional)
1            tablespoon agave or sweetener of choice
1            teaspoon vanilla extract

Soak chi seeds in 1 cup of almond milk. Mix well and let rest for 15 minutes. Stir with a fork to break up any lumps and let rest for another 10 minutes.  Mash banana, melt chocolate in double broiler then add to mashed banana and mix well.  Stir in agave and vanilla.  Add banana mixture to the chia seed mixture and mix until well incorporated.
Place in refrigerator to set.
To serve, sprinkle with cinnamon or top with fruit (raspberries are my favorite).

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Chia Seeds

Chia Seeds

Ch Ch Ch Chia!!  Who would have thought that the Chia Pet seeds were an awesome source of protein, but if  “Your Ozness”, Doctor Oz, backs them, you’ve gotta give them a try!  I’ll be posting a pudding recipe I made with the seeds soon.

The Chia plant is a member of the mint family that’s native to Mexico and Guatemala. Its seeds can be eaten raw and also processed in a variety of ways.  Chia seeds are high in dietary fiber and omega-3 fatty acids which are essential to good health.

Chia seeds are often eaten raw as a source of dietary fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. The seeds can be soaked in liquids to form a gelatinous mixture which can be used to make porridge and other dishes. Chia seeds can also be ground into a powder for use in beverages and baked products.

As the richest source of Omega-3 fatty acids among non-marine whole food items, it is certainly the most versatile supplement known to man. They are almost tasteless yet slightly sweet so they can easily complement the flavor of your favorite meals, making them easier to consume on a daily basis.  A 25-gram serving of Chia contains 64% of the omega-3 fatty acids you need in your daily diet.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Orange Smoothie

We make smoothies almost every day and just sort of toss in whatever fruits and veggies we have, so when we saw a few smoothie recipes in my newly purchased cookbook  “Live Raw” by Mimi Kirk , we decided to give them a try.  The Orange Smoothie was our favorite, so light and fresh.  The only thing we did differently was to add Chia seeds for an extra protein kick.

Orange Smoothie (Live Raw CB by Mimi Kirk)
2            oranges, peeled and cut in quarters
7            kale leaves, stems removed (if you don’t have Kale, use spinach or romaine)
1.5         cups water or to your liking
1            green apple, cut in quarters
              hand full of berries
Add ice and blend in high-speed blender.
 ****  I used homemade Almond Milk which was little thicker and creamier than regular almond milk.

Banana Smoothie
2            bananas
4            stalks of celery
1            apple, cut in quarters
3            handfuls of spinach
1/2         cucumber, cut in half
1.5         cups water or to your liking
Add ice and blend in high-speed blender.

Pineapple Smoothie
1            cup pineapple  (we used frozen)
1            pint of berries   (we used strawberries and blueberries)
3            handfuls of your favorite dark greens
1-1.5      cups water to your liking
Add ice and blend in high-speed blender.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Vegetarian Tostadas

Vegetarian Tostadas
I originally found this dish on then found out that they made this dish from a blogger in Michigan!  I’ve included her site for the recipe along with the changes we made.

I used pre-made Tostada shells, which I quickly found out aren’t that easy to find.  Holiday Market has three different selections and was the only store in the area to carry them.  I heated up re-fried beans then spread a layer of beans on each tostada shell.  I added grilled squash, green peppers, sautéed  red onions, diced tomatoes, diced green pepper, sprinkling of almond cheese and dollop of vegan sour cream.
Cilantro for garnish.

I heated stacked tostados under broiler until cheese melted.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Broccoli Soup - Raw

We'd like to try and incorporate some Raw dishes into our diet other than the smoothies we make daily but when we flip through Raw specific cookbooks, it all looks a bit intimidating.  So we thought we'd start with simple soups first and work our way up to more difficult recipes.  When we were in New York, we went to a fantastic restaurant called Pure Food and Wine -
If you are ever in NYC, this is a great place to try out, it’s definitely not hippy/earthy!

Broccoli Soup (Live Raw by Mimi Kirk)

2            cups almond or cashew milk
2            cups broccoli, broken into florets
1            avocado, cut in chunks
1            tablespoon onion
1            clove garlic
1/2         stalk celery, coarsely chopped
1             tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2          teaspoons cumin
               sea salt to taste

Place all ingredients into a high-powered blender and blend until smooth.  Refrigerate for 2 hours to meld ingredients. Warm in double boiler, or a pot on the stove, stirring constantly.  Do not overheat to retain the enzymes.  Warm as in baby-bottle warm.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Red & White Cauliflower Bake

This casserole has a few different stages but you can use jarred tomato sauce to save a step.  We actually liked it better the next day because it was a bit firmer.  It tastes like lasagna but without the noodles. 

***Nutritional yeast has a strong flavor that is described as nutty, cheesy, or creamy, which makes it popular as an ingredient in cheese substitutes.   It is a source of protein and vitamins, especially the B-complex vitamins, and is a complete protein. It is also naturally low in fat and sodium and is free of sugar, dairy, and glutenis a source of protein and vitamins, especially the B-complex vitamins, and is a complete protein. It is also naturally low in fat and sodium and is free of sugar, dairy, and gluten.

Red and White Cauliflower Bake (Vegan Yum Yum Cookbook)

Simple Marinara
1            tablespoon vegan margarine or olive oil
2            teaspoons dried Italian herbs
2-4         cloves garlic, minced
1            can (1.45) stewed tomatoes, blended
1/2         vegetable bouillon cube
4            cups cauliflower, chopped small and steamed

Herbed Tofu Ricotta
1            package extra-firm tofu well pressed and crumbled
1/2-3/4  teaspoon salt
2            teaspoons dried basil
1            teaspoon dried rosemary
1            teaspoon marjoram
1            tablespoon lemon juice
2            tablespoons nutritional yeast (health food store)
1            tablespoon olive oil  (optional)
              black pepper
2            tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water

White Sauce
 1/4        Earth Balance margarine
1/4         cup all-purpose flour
1            tablespoon tahini
1            tablespoon lemon juice
1            teaspoon stone-ground mustard
2            tablespooons nutritional yeast
1            cup soy milk
1/2         teaspoon salt

1               cup bread crumbs

 Start by making the marinara. Heat the margarine or olive oil in sauté pa. Once hot, add the herbs and sauté for a minute or two, being careful not to burn. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.  Add tomatoes and bouillon cube. Simmer until the sauce is the consistency you like; about 10 minutes. Since this sauce is going on the top of the casserole, you might want to cook longer to make it thick.

Chop cauliflower into very small pieces and steam.

Then make the herbed tofu ricotta. Mix together the tofu, salt and herbs, lemon juice, yeast, olive oil, pepper and the cornstarch/water mixture.

Next, make the white sauce. Whisk the margarine in a saucepan until melted. Add the flour and whisk into a pasted. Add the tahini, lemon juice, mustard, and the yeast and whisk well.  Slowly add the soy milk, whisking well to make a smooth sauce. Add the salt and pepper and whisk until mixture is thickened; it should coat the back of a spoon thickly.

Assembly:  Place tofu ricotta in an oiled 1 1/2 qrt. Casserole dish. Press it down to form an even layer.
Mix he cauliflower with the white sauce and spread over tofu in an even layer. Add tomato sauce on top of cauliflower, top with bread crumbs, and baked at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.