Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer = More Posts including Banana Cinnamon Muffins

So my first new cooking post was inspired by my brother who was baking banana bread. Being the older sister, I wanted to make sure that I stepped up my game and made something better. Well, it sounded good in theory, but it practice something went way wrong and these babies were more difficult then the lady in the cookbook said they would be.

  I picked up this new cookbook from the library and gave the banana and cinnamon muffins on page 77 a whirl. The cookbook overall is okay. Her idea of everyday cooking and recipes that will make you a skinny bitch do not agree with everything that I know about cooking. But, I don't have a cookbook, so she wins. 

In the end, they used way too many dishes for my liking, they were undercooked and gummy inside and they were super sweet.
    Oh, well. Next time I'll just ask my brother for his banana bread recipe!

Sunday, March 27, 2011


One of my favorite vegan chefs is Jo Stepaniak. I know you know her. She's the vegan cheeze whiz! She has a whole cookbook on uncheeses which is great! She is also a strong voice in vegan advocacy. Check out her website here. This morning I was craving some pancakes, so I selected Flaxjacks from her book Vegan Vittles.

The recipe from page 66 is as follows!

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (Since I don't keep this fancy flour in the house, I used regular unbleached flour)
2 tsps baking powder
pinch of salt
1 tbsp whole flaxseeds
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup soy, rice or almond milk
1 tbsp veg oil, plus more for cooking
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Combine flour, bkg powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Place the flaxseeds in a dry blender and grind them into a very fine powder. Add the water and blend until a gummy mixture is achieved, about 30 seconds. Add the soymilk, oil, sugar, and vanilla extract to the flaxseed mixture in the blender, and process until frothy and well blended. Pour into the flour mixture and stir until everything is evenly moistened.

Heat your pan with oil and proceed with pancakes! Top with fresh fruit, nuts and honey like I did, or do them up with your favorite toppings. (Just please don't drown them in maple syrup unless you're planning to run a 5 miler that day. Think about how much sugar you're consuming.. Do you really need that??) Enjoy!

Where Have I Been?

I have a job as a teacher as many of you know. The months during the school year are busy for me. I become overwhelmed and stress and minimize myself to doing things that directly effect my to-do list and my own personal health. Which means blogging about food goes out the window. I was reminded of this just yesterday.

Over the past few months, I've run my first 5k, decided not to replace my wrecked car opting for the biking lifestyle and have rekindled my love for the outdoors by visiting Smith Rock.

Yesterday my friend and I were talking about things that inspire us to take action. She told me that my blog inspired her to cook more and try new things. She's one of my 7 followers and someone I love. It was so wonderful and yet so disappointing to hear this. I thought, "Wow, when's the last time I posted? She hasn't cooked for a while then!" Haha. So I decided to get back to it and post at least once every two weeks.

My husband has also gotten into making homemade pasta after being inspired by Lydia. Below is a photo of raviolis that we made together; stuffed with Italian Tofurkey Sausages, spinach and tofu ricotta. Look for more pasta adventures and recipes on the simplicity of making your own pasta!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Lost Meals

Miso soup with the works; tofu, wakeme, mushrooms, onions, ginger, noodles

The other day I noticed that I have lots of photos of meals that I've made and never shared. So instead of trying to remember all the details of each meal and creating an individual post for each, I will just bombard you with deliciousness!
My goal is motivation and beauty. I can always appreciate a good plate/bowl/etc... of food, as I'm sure you can too.

Oatmeal by the warm embers of a morning campfire.

BBQ Tempeh and Roasted Potatoes all cooked on the campfire.

These little fingerling potatoes came from a friend's garden, I dug them myself. The rosemary came from my own yard. Together with some olive oil, salt and pepper then roasted on the fire for about an hour made for a delicious, 'feel-good' meal.

I've been trying more raw foods lately. This was lunch one day; I can't remember what the filling was, maybe hummus. So 80% raw.

What the heck was I doing in this one? Corona and pesto, gosh I hope not!

A delicious pasta salad made with Wacky Mac

Homemade burgers with salt and vinegar potatoes. This seems like deja-vu, I've probably already talked about those tasty little taters!

Lastly, grilled veggies. Oh how I love grilled veggies. My favorite is grilled zucchini!

Juicer Pulp Muffins

Two of my favorite cookbooks lately have been Ripe From Around Here and Get It Ripe by Jae Steele. She is wonderful! She creates healthy vegan recipes that emphasize eating locally and seasonally. I picked up these cookbooks from the local library and they're readily available on the internet. And here is her blog Domestic Affair where she talks food and other interesting things.

On Saturday I made a recipe that has become a staple in my limited baking repertoire, Juicer Pulp Muffins. The idea behind these babies is using the leftover pulp from juicing things like carrots, apples and beets (all together please!). Since I juice lots of carrots, I always put aside a bit of pulp for these muffins.
As I've made these muffins many times, I've started to tweak them to make them more to my preference. Here's the recipe straight from Jae and then I'll make some suggestions on additions or changes.

2 cups spelt flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1 1/3 cup lightly packed juicer pulp
3/4 cup fruit juice or non-dairy milk
1/4 cup oil (she recommends non hydrogenated coconut oil or sunflower oil)
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar

Oven 350 degrees.
Whisk together the dry ingredients.
Add the wet (except the lemon/vinegar save that until everything is mixed).
Stir until mixed well.
Add the Lemon or Vinegar, stir.
Pour into muffin tin and cook for 22-24 minutes.

Some suggestions!
Substitute ginger power for pumpkin pie spice!
Add cinnamon!
Substitute cane sugar for maple syrup then add a bit of applesauce for moisture!
Add walnuts!
Add raisins!
Lately, when I've made these my goal is to get them to taste like healthy carrot cake!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Our Thanksgiving

This is late, but I promised my husband that I would post photos of our wonderful dinner on the blog, so here you go!

My husband can saute at high speeds!

We opted for a Field Roast Celebration Roast this year instead of the usual Tofurkey Roast. It was a wonderful change. The Field Roast products are seasoned very well and have more of a 'gourmet' feel to them when compared to the Tofurkey.

We also had....
-Wild Rice (Lundberg's brand made in the rice cooker. We added mushrooms while it was cooking)
-Herbed Biscuits (From a Jae Steele cookbook)
-Pecan Pie (From by jakem0545)
-Cranberry Sauce (This was the first time I've ever made this. It was created using all the best ideas I read from various websites)
-Salad (Simple and delicious!)
-Stuffing (This part is disappointing. It was from a bag from the grocery store and had high fructose corn syrup in it. :( But I added celery, onion and brussel spouts to make it a little better)
-Green Beans (Yes from a can. I have a weakness for canned green beans)
-Chantrelle Mushroom Gravy (This was Will's creation. Typical mushroom gravy only made with button and chantrelle mushrooms)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Feasting From the Market!

I think that if you are a lover of food, you are a lover of farmer's markets. Those neighborhood, seasonal bastions of local produce and compassion towards a communities health. I am lucky enough to have one at the end of my block. It's a small little market with just a few larger farms and many smaller farms. But there tend to be more than one in a town/city now with the movement created by Slow Food, Michael Pollan and Barbara Kingsolver books and ideas like the 100-mile diet. (I highly recommend the book Plenty from those authors!)

Going to the market, usually on Saturdays, is as much as you make it to be. Whether it's trudging down there in your 'cleaning-the-house' clothes and spending 10 minutes getting what you need and getting out of there or it's an event of pursuing the foods, sampling the seasonal items, watching the band play and getting a bit to eat of the tamales, crepes or giant 'sinnamon' rolls. Regardless, visiting the market connects you with those people who grow and harvest your food. They care about the whole cycle; from plant to table, they can tell you about the growing struggles for the year to the best way to cook the given vegetable. I love seeing the children of the farmer's there. Counting pennies, weighing onions and pears, and learning about the legacy of their family.

This past Saturday, I joined my awesome friend Stacia at her Hollywood Market. She volunteers here every weekend and has dove into the community and it's food. We decided to get together and make a meal that came straight from the market. It was fun selecting and discussing what we wanted and the best way to cook it.

Since Stacia is a friend that I adore, but don't hang out with too much, it was a great way for us to connect. You should try it! Share the preparation of a meal with a friend or friends. I recently read about someone conducting Perogie parties that included lots of flour, Russian traditional songs and vodka. That's quite a party, I'm sure you can make it fit your situation and availability for people who speak Russian and know traditional songs. But there's something wonderfully different from just serving friends food to creating a feast with them. Remember carving pumpkins with family? It's that same warm feeling only more sophisticated and you get to hold the knife.

Our meal was the following:

Whipped Cauliflower (of the purple variety; that is not a photoshop trick!)
-Chop the flower into manageable pieces
-Boil until soft
-Drain and put into a food processor or good blender.
-Add a tablespoon or so of margarine and blend.
(I've seen this recipe with *mylk and margarine, simulating mashed potatoes. Your preference!)

Sauteed Greens over Quinoa
-In a giant pot, sautee onions, garlic, and ginger in some olive oil
-When translucent, add the mountains of greens. (We used Russian Kale, Rainbow Chard and Beet Tops. Cut into strips) If the greens are wet, you don't need to add any water because the small amount of water helps steam the greens.
-Last, add any other spices and ingredients that might tickle your fancy. Stacia used basil, red pepper flakes salt and hazelnuts.
-Cook on a medium setting until the greens cook down and are tender.

Steamed Beets
-Cut those beets into circles, trimming off any 'hairy' parts.
-Steam them in a stove top steamer basket until soft.
-Serve on top of the greens

Enjoy with your friend, on a porch preferably. :)