Sunday, February 28, 2010

Easter Pie

This is one of my sister's "go-to" recipes for holidays. It's from and it's very good. It's kind of a casserole so you don't notice the fact that it has fake meat.

Easter Pie
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup dairy-free margarine
1/4 tsp. sugar
1 1/4 tsp. salt (for innards and crust)
1/4 cup water
1 lb. vegetarian sausage, crumbled
2 lbs. firm tofu, crumbled--only used 1 lb, 2 is too much
1/4 cup soy Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. ground fennel seeds

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a food processor, combine the flour, margarine, sugar, and 1/4 tsp. of salt. With the machine still running, add the water to form a dough ball. Divide the dough into two balls and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the vegetarian sausage, tofu, soy Parmesan, parsley, remaining salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, and fennel seeds.

Roll out the dough into two 11-inch circles. Place one circle in a 10-inch pie plate and spread the filling mixture over it. Cover with the other dough, pinch the edges, and prick the center with a fork. Bake for 1 hour, or until golden brown.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Arizona Sunshine Lemon Pie

I found this recipe in the newspaper. The lady that used to do the Smitty's commercials has the job I want. She writes a short article on a recipe from someone in Phoenix and publishes it. This pie is like a pie version of lemon squares. It has the same consistency as a lemon square. The pie is very lemony, so I highly recommend making some whipped cream to balance the tartness. That being said, I thought it was pretty tasty. And how often do you get to make your pie filling by throwing everything in a blender, including lemon rind? The recipe recommended getting a large lemon from your or your neighbor's tree. I was lucky enough to get such a lemon. It was huge. I am sure grocery store lemons will work just fine.

Arizona Sunshine Lemon Pie

1 large lemon
4 eggs
8 T butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1&1/2 cups sugar
1 unbaked pie crust
whipped cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut lemon into small chunks and remove seeds. In a blender or food processor, blend lemon, eggs, butter, vanilla and sugar until smooth and creamy. It should be fairly runny. Pour into pie crust. Bake for 40 minutes. Serve with whipped cream.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Zucchini Oatmeal Muffins

I don't know if I would pick zucchini muffins as my favorite, but I do love them. Equally as good as a carrot muffin. This is a healthier version than using my zucchini cake recipe but still yummy. I have discovered that you can freeze muffins and then zap them in the microwave for 30 seconds when you want them. Just wrap them up in plastice wrap and you can have muffins for breakfast anytime.

Zucchini Oatmeal Muffins

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon rolled oats

1/4 cup pecan halves
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3 large egg whites
1/2 cup apple butter
1/4 cup canola oil
2 cups grated zucchini, (about 1 medium)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat 16 muffin cups with cooking spray or line them with paper liners. Spread rolled oats and pecans on separate areas of a baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted, 5 to 10 minutes. Let cool. Chop the pecans. Stir together all-purpose and whole-wheat flours, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, 1/2 cup toasted oats and pecans in a large bowl. Whisk together eggs, egg whites, apple butter and oil in a medium bowl. Stir in zucchini. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until moistened. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them about 3/4 full. Sprinkle remaining oats over tops. Bake until the tops are golden and spring back when lightly pressed, 20 to 25 minutes.

Source: Eating Well

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Challah Bread French Toast with Blueberry Syrup

I love french toast. I really love challah bread french toast. My husband was nice enough to make me some for breakfast on Valentine's Day. He also made some blueberry syrup. MMMM. You can just heat some blueberries in a sauce pan until the blueberries become syrupy, but this Nigella Lawson recipes is yummy too. It gives you a little maple flavor to compliment the blueberries. I don't usually use a recipe for french toast, but if you need one try Alton Brown's french toast recipe.

Blueberry Syrup

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 1/2 cups blueberries

Put the syrup and blueberries into a pan and bring to the boil. Let bubble for 2 to 3 minutes, and serve.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Almond-Crusted Chicken Fingers

Chicken nuggets are just so darn good. I have to try and be healthy though. These are much healthier because of the nuts and whole wheat flour. They were pretty good. I have made better ones though, so I think they won't be in the rotation.

Almond-Crusted Chicken Fingers

Canola oil cooking spray
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 large egg whites
1 pound chicken tenders, (see Ingredient Note)

Preheat oven to 475°F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Set a wire rack on the baking sheet and coat it with cooking spray. Place almonds, flour, paprika, garlic powder, dry mustard, salt and pepper in a food processor; process until the almonds are finely chopped and the paprika is mixed throughout, about 1 minute. With the motor running, drizzle in oil; process until combined. Transfer the mixture to a shallow dish.

Whisk egg whites in a second shallow dish. Add chicken tenders and turn to coat. Transfer each tender to the almond mixture; turn to coat evenly. (Discard any remaining egg white and almond mixture.) Place the tenders on the prepared rack and coat with cooking spray; turn and spray the other side.
Bake the chicken fingers until golden brown, crispy and no longer pink in the center, 20 to 25 minutes.

Source: Eating Well

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Gobi Manchurian

If you go to the website that I found this recipe, you can learn about how Chinese food went to India and then back to China. It's very interesting. I had gobi manchurian at a local Indian restaurant, and it was really good. So when I got a couple of heads of cauliflower in my produce basket, I thought I should try it. Bird's eye chilies are hard to find, so we used 4 habeneros. It was quite spicy. The sauce in this had a little too much ketchup for my taste. It also didn't stay crispy. I will have to try it again. Meanwhile, it was decent.

Gobi Manchurian

10 to 12 cloves garlic

1 piece ginger, peeled and sliced into coins, + 1 teaspoon julienned ginger
1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets
2⁄3 cup cornstarch
2⁄3 cup flour
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
2 tsp. plus 3 tbsp. soy sauce
Peanut oil
2 small onions, chopped
8 to 10 fresh bird's eye chilis, thinly sliced
3/4 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons sesame oil
Cilantro leaves for garnish

In a blender, purée garlic, ginger slices, and 1⁄3 cup water. Set aside.

In a a pot of salted water, cook cauliflower until tender, about 5 to minutes. Drain, pat dry with a clean towel, and set aside. In a small bowl, mix together cornstarch, flour, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Stir in half the garlic paste, 2 tsp. soy sauce, and 3⁄4 cup water to form a batter.

Heat about 1 inch of oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Working in batches, dip cauliflower in batter, then fry until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer fritters with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels.

Drain all but 2 tablespoons of oil. Sauté onions until soft, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add chilis and remaining garlic paste and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add ketchup, remaining 3 tablespoons soy sauce, sesame oil, and 1⁄3 cup water; simmer until sauce is thickened, about 1–2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Return drained cauliflour to the wok and toss to coat. Transfer to serving plate(s), garnish with julienned ginger and cilantro, and serve as an appetizer or with rice as a main entree.

The Ultimate Fish Tacos

I always thought fish tacos sounded gross. One day, I decided to make them for my husband who loves them. Well, I discovered that if I make Tyler Florence's Ultimate Fish tacos, they  are really good. I have to admit, I don't put sauce on it and use flour tortillas instead of corn. But they are so yummy. I have never tried making the mango-radish relish, but it really doesn't need it. I usually use tilapia or mahi mahi. Whichever is on sale.

Bill's Tacos (corn tortillas and sauce)

My Taco (whole grain flour tortilla and no sauce)

Ultimate Fish Tacos

2 pounds mahi mahi (skinned, boned and cleaned) cut into 1-ounce strips

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 eggs, lightly beaten
4 tablespoons water
2 cups panko bread crumbs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil, for frying
1/2 head savoy cabbage, finely shredded
1 bunch cilantro, leaves picked
1 bunch chives, chopped
3 limes, cut into wedges for garnish
Pink Chile Mayonnaise:
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
3 chipotles in adobo, plus 2 tablespoons of adobo sauce
1/2 lemon, juiced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Mango-Radish Salsa:
2 limes
2 mangoes, diced
4 to 5 red radishes, diced
1 red onion, diced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, leaves chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Prepare the fish. Cut the pieces of fish into 1-ounce strips. Set up a breading station of flour, lightly beaten eggs with water, and seasoned panko bread crumbs. Season all with salt and pepper. Dredge the pieces of fish in flour, egg then bread crumbs. Once all the fish is breaded deep-fry in small batches in (375 degrees F) oil. Drain on paper towels and season with salt. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Prepare the pink chile mayonnaise. Put the chipotles in a blender and puree until smooth. Add the sour cream, mayonnaise, adobo sauce and lemon juice and continue to process until the mixture is consistent and creamy. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate until ready to use.

Prepare the mango-radish salsa. Remove the peel and pith from the limes and cut between the membranes to remove the segments. Put these "supremes" into a bowl and squeeze over the juice from the membranes. Add the remaining ingredients and mix. Season and refrigerate until ready to use. You can also place all of the ingredients into a food processor and puree for a smoother salsa.

To serve, set up the tacos "family-style". Assemble the fish in a pile on a plate; the pink chile mayonnaise in a bowl; and mango-radish salsa in another. Set a pile of shredded savoy cabbage, cilantro leaves, chopped chives and lime wedges next to the fish. Toast the corn tortillas lightly over an open flame (on your stove top) and serve.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Asparagus Stir Fry

This ended up being the perfect dish to use up some ingredients that we had. Plus side, it tasted really good too. I didn't plan it, but we had a vegetarian/vegan dinner both Saturday and Sunday. If you can't handle tofu, you can switch it out for chicken (or fake chicken if you want to keep this vegan). I used kale for  my leafy green. I recently discovered it's yumminess. I also used brown rice. I am slowly getting used to having brown rice instead of white. It grows on you.

Asparagus Stir Fry

toasted sesame oil
8 ounces extra-firm tofu, cut into slices thick as a pencil
4 green onions, thinly sliced
scant 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger (peeled)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 a bunch of asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
a couple big pinches of fine-grain sea salt
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 big handful of toasted cashews, chopped up a bit
a few handfuls of spinach, or chopped kale, or chopped chard
zest and juice of one lime
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 small handful fresh mint, slivered
1 small handful fresh basil, slivered

Have all your ingredients prepped and within arms reach of the stove. Heat a splash of sesame oil in a large pan, or well-seasoned wok over medium high heat. Alternately, you can do this in a dry non-stick pan - one of the few occasions I still use non-stick. When it is hot, add the tofu, and cook until golden - a few minutes. Remove the tofu from the pan and set aside.

Add another (generous) splash of oil to the pan and, as soon as it is hot, add the onions, ginger, red pepper flakes, asparagus, and salt. Stir fry for about a minute, then add the garlic, cashews, and spinach and stir-fry for another minute, or until the spinach wilts. Return the tofu to the pan. Stir in the lime zest and juice and the hoisin sauce. Cook for another 10-20 seconds, stirring all the while.

Remove from heat and stir in the mint and basil.

Source: 101 Cookbooks

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Thai Cashew Chicken

The one bad thing about Chinese food is that it involves a lot of prep work. At least it is easy enough to get that ready ahead of time or get some grocery store short-cuts. This recipe doesn't have too many vegetables to chop, so it's really easy to make. I love how fast stir fry cooks. The hubby loves nuts, especially cashews, so cashew chicken is a popular recipe.

Thai Cashew Chicken

1 bunch scallions

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 red bell pepper, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 ½ tbsp. finely chopped peeled fresh ginger (or 1 ½ tsp. dried)
¼ tsp. roasted red pepper flakes
¾ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 ½ tbsp. soy sauce
1 ½ tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. sugar
½ cup salted roasted whole cashews
cooked white or brown rice for serving

Chop scallions, separating white and green parts. Pat chicken dry, then cut into ¾ -inch pieces and toss with salt and pepper. Heat a wok or 12-inch heavy skillet (not nonstick) over moderately high heat until a drop of water evaporates immediately. Add oil, swirling to coat, then stir-fry chicken until golden in places and just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon. Add bell pepper, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes and scallion whites to wok and stir-fry until peppers are just tender, 5 to 6 minutes.

Stir together broth, soy sauce, cornstarch and sugar, then stir the mixture into the vegetables in the wok. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in cashews, scallion greens and chicken along with any juices accumulated on plate. Serve with rice.

Source: Annie's Eats

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Rum Glazed Pork Tenderloin With Pineapple Relish

Coming home from a long day of work to your husband slaving away at a beautiful dinner is wonderful. I am a very lucky woman. This pork was excellent. The basic tenderloin was soft and flavorful. Add a little sweet and spicy glaze and top with the slightly tart pineapple relish . . . yummmmmm. Made me forget all about the grilled vegtables that literally tasted like a campfire. Love you honey :)

Rum Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Pineapple Relish

1 small pineapple, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch rounds, cored

Canola oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 serrano chile, finely diced
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon freshly chopped cilantro leaves
Honey, to taste

4 tablespoons canola oil
1 small red onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup dark brown muscovado sugar
1 cup dark rum
4 cups chicken stock
1 habanero chile, left whole with 3 slits cut into chile
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed of excess fat

For the relish:

Heat the grill over high heat.
Brush the pineapple with a few tablespoons of oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until golden brown on all sides. Remove the pineapple from the grill, cut into small dice and transfer to a bowl. Add the onion, chile, vinegar, a few tablespoons of oil, cilantro and honey, to taste. Season with salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving.

For the glaze:

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the onions and cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the sugar, add the rum and cook until reduced by half. Add the stock, habanero, cinnamon stick and star anise, bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.

Strain the mixture into a bowl then return it to the saucepan and continue cooking until reduced by half and thickened to a glaze, season with salt and pepper. Pour the mixture into a bowl and let cool to room temperature.

Heat the grill over high heat.
Brush the tenderloin with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until crusty and charred on both sides and the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, brushing with the glaze during the last few minutes of grilling. Remove from the grill, brush with more of the glaze and let rest 5 minutes before slicing into 1/2-inch thick slices.

Serve the pork with the relish.

Peanut Butter Krispy Treats

I have made regular vegan rice krispy treats before. I had to special order some vegan marshmallows. They were good, but who wants to special order vegan marshmallows? So instead, you can try these treats. Okay, the agar agar is a slightly odd ingredient. Sprouts carries it. It's really easy to make. It tastes pretty good. And it's vegan.

Peanut Butter Krispy Treats

3/4 cup unsalted peanut butter
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
(my sister said they were a little salty, so you can cut back on this)
2 1/2 teaspoons agar agar flakes (available at a health foods store)

4 cups unsweetened (or lightly sweetened) crisp brown rice cereal

3/4 cup pistachios, toasted and chopped

Line two muffin tins with about 18 muffin/cupcake wrappers, and set aside. Combine the peanut butter, maple syrup, salt, and agar flakes in a large saucepan over low heat and stir constantly until smooth, hot, melted, and bubbling just a bit. Add the cereal and 1/2 cup of the pistachios and stir until well coated. Spoon two heaping tablespoons of the mixture into each muffin wrapper and press into place with the back of a spoon. Alternately, if you want krispy squares, you can transfer it to an 8 by 8-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining pistachios and refrigerate until completely cool (this also helps the agar set).

Source: 101 cookbooks

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Chocolate-Cherry Heart Smart Cookies

I have been trying to be more healthy with the things I make these days. That means avoiding white sugar and white flour, using less of sugar, etc. The trouble with being more healthy is making it still taste good. These are from Cooking Light magazine and are really good. My husband has been devouring them. I think that is a good sign. Next time, I may try to use more whole wheat flour and see if they are still good. They are like a a cross between oatmeal raisin and chocolate chip. Yum.

Chocolate-Cherry Heart Smart Cookies

1.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/3 cup)
1.5 ounces whole-wheat flour (about 1/3 cup)
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup dried cherries
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350°. Weigh or lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours and next 3 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl; stir with a whisk.

Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat; add brown sugar, stirring until smooth. Add sugar mixture to flour mixture; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add cherries, vanilla, and egg; beat until combined. Fold in chocolate. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes. Cool on pans 3 minutes or until almost firm. Remove cookies from pans; cool on wire racks.