Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sage and Pumpkin Seed Encrusted Seitan with Roasted Garlic-Pumpkin Sauce

This recipe has made it to Vegan Thanksgiving every year. It is very popular, so my sister makes it every time. This past November, I think she made it correctly for the first time. Of course, it always tastes good. The pumpkin oil is a little unusual. I think it is hard to find--as is the seitan. Try a store like Whole Foods and Sprouts.

Sage- and Pumpkin Seed-Encrusted Seitan With Roasted Garlic-Pumpkin Sauce
For the Marinade:
2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup tamari soy sauce
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
10 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp. ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

For the Seitan:
1 lb. seitan, cut or shredded into large chunks or 1 box chicken-style White Wave Wheat Meat, available at health food stores
1 cup shelled pumpkin seeds
3 Tbsp. finely minced fresh sage
2 cups flour
1 tsp. smoked paprika
Salt and pepper, to taste
3-5 Tbsp. olive oil

For the Roasted Garlic-Pumpkin Sauce:
1 half-pound pumpkin, diced
2 shallots
8 allspice berries
2 oz. nondairy margarine (try Earth Balance brand)
1 sprig thyme
5 roasted garlic cloves
1 cinnamon stick
12 oz. vegetable stock
2 oz. olive oil
1 oz. pumpkin seed oil

For the Marinade:
 In a blender, mix all the ingredients until smooth.

For the Seitan:
 Pour the marinade over the seitan and refrigerate overnight.  With a large knife, chop the pumpkin seeds to form a powder. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add the sage, flour, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Dip the seitan chunks into the pumpkin seed mixture and coat completely (if the seitan does not come packaged in liquid, dip each piece in a little bit of water first). Place the seitan in the oil and fry until lightly browned and crispy on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot with Roasted Garlic-Pumpkin Sauce.

For the Roasted Garlic-Pumpkin Sauce:
 Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a baking dish, combine the pumpkin, shallots, allspice berries, vegan margarine, thyme, garlic cloves, and cinnamon stick. Cover and roast for approximately 25 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender. Remove the allspice and the cinnamon stick. In a blender, combine the pumpkin mixture with the vegetable stock, olive oil, and pumpkin seed oil until smooth. Serve warm.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Raspberry-Lemon Muffins

What do you do when your new lemon trees have 2 whole lemons for you to use? Make muffins--or anything that has lemon in it really. Our lemons are pink lemons. Well, they are regular lemons, but the flesh on the inside is pink. Very cool. I found this recipe at the Eating Well magazine website ( They have a very nice website.

Raspberry-Lemon Muffins

2 lemons

1/2 cup sugar
1 cup nonfat buttermilk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup white whole-wheat flour, or whole-wheat pastry flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen (not thawed) raspberries

Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 12 large (1/2-cup) muffin cups with cooking spray or line with paper liners.

Zest the 2 lemons and juice half of 1 lemon. Combine the zest and sugar in large bowl. Add buttermilk, oil, egg and vanilla and pulse until blended.

Combine whole-wheat flour, whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add the buttermilk mixture and fold until almost blended. Gently fold in raspberries. Divide the batter among the muffin cups.

Bake the muffins until the edges and tops are golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Serve warm.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

German Chocolate Cake

Not actually German, but it doesn't matter. This cake is good. I am used to making this cake from a box with only the coconut pecan frosting from a tub. This was much better. In fact, super yum. This cake is a lot of work. It involves many steps an lots of waiting for things to cool. So don't think you can just make if a couple of hours before you leave for a party. I had some trouble with the piping. Some of the chocolate did not melt (double boiler would fix that). There were a few tiny pieces that kept getting stuck in the star tip. So annoying. The frosting/ganache needs to be really cooled down (I put it in the freezer) before it is thick enough to frost. The filling needs to be really cool to thicken too. So make sure that you have enough time for all the parts to cool. This is definitely a special occasion cake. BTW, this is from David Lebovitz's blog.

For the cake:

2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons water
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ¼ cup + ¼ cup sugar
4 large eggs, separated
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the filling:
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
3 large egg yolks
3 ounces butter, cut into small pieces
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
1 1/3 cups unsweetened coconut, toasted

For the syrup:
1 cup water
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons dark rum

For the chocolate icing:
8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 ½ ounces unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream

 Butter two 9-inch cake pans, then line the bottoms with rounds of parchment or wax paper. Preheat the oven to 350°.  Melt both chocolates together with the 6 tablespoons of water. Use either a double-boiler or a microwave. Stir until smooth, then set aside until room temperature. In the bowl of an electric mixer, or by hand, beat the butter and 1 ¼ cup of the sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the melted chocolate, then the egg yolks, one at a time.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix in half of the dry ingredients into the creamed butter mixture, then the buttermilk and the vanilla extract, then the rest of the dry ingredients.

In a separate metal or glass bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold soft, droopy peaks. Beat in the ¼ cup of sugar until stiff. Fold about one-third of the egg whites into the cake batter to lighten it, then fold in the remaining egg whites just until there's no trace of egg white visible.

Divide the batter into the 2 prepared cake pans, smooth the tops, and bake for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool cake layers completely.

While the cakes are baking and cooling, make the filling, syrup, and icing.

To make the filling:
Mix the cream, sugar, and egg yolks in a medium saucepan. Put the 3 ounces butter, salt, toasted coconut, and pecan pieces in a large bowl.

Heat the cream mixture and cook, stirring constantly (scraping the bottom as you stir) until the mixture begins to thicken and coats the spoon (an instant-read thermometer will read 170°.) Pour the hot custard immediately into the pecan-coconut mixture and stir until the butter is melted. Cool completely to room temperature. (It will thicken.)

To make the syrup:
In a small saucepan, heat the sugar and water until the sugar has melted. Remove from heat and stir in the dark rum.

To make the icing:
Place the 8 ounces of chopped chocolate in a bowl with the corn syrup and 1 ½ ounces of butter.
Heat the cream until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Let stand one minute, then stir until smooth. Let sit until room temperature.

To assemble the cake:
Remove the cake layers from the pans and cut both cake layers in half horizontally, using a serrated bread knife. Set the first cake layer on a cake plate. Brush well with syrup. Spread ¾ cup of the coconut filling over the cake layer, making sure to reach to the edges. Set another cake layer on top. Repeat, using the syrup to brush each cake layer, then spreading ¾ cup of the coconut filling over each layer, including the top.
Ice the sides with the chocolate icing, then pipe a decorative border of chocolate icing around the top, encircling the coconut topping.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Honey-Chipotle Glazed Chicken

I love the combination of honey and chicken. I will always love McDonald's McNuggets with just plain honey as dipping sauce. Nothing beats that. This glaze is a bit spicier and a little smokier. It's for a more exotic evening. The glaze does coat the chicken very well, but I still like to keep a little extra for dipping.

Honey-Chipotle Glazed Chicken

1/2 cup honey

2 tbsp pureed canned chipotle chilies in adobo
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp ancho chili powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp Spanish paprika
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2″ thickness
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp chopped chives

Heat your grill to high. Whisk together the honey, chipotle puree, mustard, 1 tbsp ancho powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tbsp oil in a small bowl.

Stir together the remaining ancho powder with the coriander, cumin, and paprika in another medium bowl. Add the chicken breasts, the remaining oil, and toss to coat. Season with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Place the chicken on the grill and grill for 3-4 minutes. Flip the chicken and brush the pieces with the honey-chipotle sauce. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. Flip the chicken again and brush the other side with the sauce; cook for 1 more minute. Flip once more and cook for another minute. Remove chicken from the grill and brush on more sauce as desired. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, cilantro, and chives before serving.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Bacon-Chipotle Twice Baked Potatoes

When you make twice baked potatoes, it's best not to be the middle of summer. Good thing it's winter. They are easy to make, but take a long time in the oven. Cheesy, bacony, a little could this be bad. That's right they aren't. MMMM. Potatoes. These are very good. They remind me of something Bobby Flay would make.

Bacon-Chipotle Twice Baked Potatoes

6 medium baking potatoes (about 3 pounds)

1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk
1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) shredded extrasharp cheddar cheese, divided
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 tablespoons finely chopped chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce
1 teaspoon salt
4 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled (drained)

Preheat oven to 450°.

Pierce potatoes with a fork. Bake potatoes at 450° for 50 minutes or until done; cool slightly. Cut each potato in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp, leaving a 1/4-inch-thick shell. Combine potato pulp, milk, 3/4 cup cheese and remaining ingredients in a large bowl.

Spoon potato mixture evenly into 10 shells; discarding remaining 2 shells. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese evenly over potatoes. Bake at 450° for 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Roasted Parsnips

I can't say that I am familiar with parsnips. I may have eaten them once before. They look like white carrots and are a little sweet. Apparently, they do well with the roasting technique. They looked like french fries when we cooked them, but they taste more like sweet potato fries. So, not bad. If you like sweet potatoes, you'll like these. French fries are still much better.

Roasted Parsnips

2 parsnips
olive oil
herbs (I used rosemary)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Peel and cut parsnips into matchsticks pieces. Toss in olive oil on cookie sheet and sprinkle with salt, pepper and herbs. Cook about 20-25 minutes or until browned.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Steak and Farfalle with Creamy Tomato Sauce

So after new jobs, company, holidays, colds and vacation, I have finally started posting again. Hooray :) I imagine that almost everyone has to adjust their diet at one point in their life. I currently am on a low glycemic diet. So there won't be a lot of posts for desserts or potatoes. That being said, here is a recipe from Clean Eating magazine. The sauce tastes like those creamy tomato sauces that you get at Italian restaurants. It was very tasty. The meat was a bit chewy, but otherwise good.

Steak and Farfalle with Creamy Tomato Sauce

5 cloves garlic, finely minced, divided
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 lb lean eye round steak, cubed
16 oz whole-wheat farfalle pasta
Olive oil cooking spray
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
1 28-oz jar or canned no-salt added crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp dried basil
8 oz low-fat sour cream

Prepare marinade in bowl, whisk together 3 gloves garlic, vinegar, Dijon, cinnamon and pepper. Pour marinade over steak cubes in another container, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (You can also leave steak to marinate overnight.)

Cook farfalle according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Drain steak cubes and discard marinade. Heat a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over high heat for 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-high, mist with cooking spray and saute steak until browned on each side, about 4 minutes total. Remove steak from pan and set aside.

Mist same pan with cooking spray again, add onion and remaining garlic and saute until brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and reduce heat to medium low. Add seasoning, basil, and sour cream and combine. Cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, then mix in reserved steak and cook for 2 more minutes, until meat and sauce are completely warmed.