Monday, September 14, 2015

Easy Granola

Easy Granola is quick, delicious, and a great addition to breakfast!

Today, I was in a granola mood. I've been meaning to make a batch for approximately 1 billion days or something like that. :) This morning as I was doing dishes, putting dinner in the crockpot, and making breakfast, I thought...why not? And so I did. And it was easy and delicious. I adapted a recipe from Alton Brown - the biggest change is that I cut the brown sugar out all together. My goal was to make something healthy for us to put on our plain greek yogurt for breakfast parfaits. I think granola is ridiculously flexible in the flavor department and I'm looking forward to experimenting more! This would also be a cinch to make gluten free with gluten free oats and it's naturally dairy free.

Easy Granola


3 cups old-fashioned oat
1 c. pecans, chopped
1 c. almonds, chopped or slivered
3/4 c. plus a little more coconut
2 tsp. cinnamon (I actually used cinnamon plus which has a mix of spices)
1/4 oil
1/4 plus 2 TB. maple syrup
3/4 tsp of salt

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Combine the oats, nuts, coconut, and cinnamon in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the oil, syrup, and salt. Pour the liquids over the dry and stir until thoroughly combined. Evenly spread the mixture on a large bar pan. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes until golden brown - stirring every 15 minutes. Let cool and store in an airtight container

That's it! Super easy, super delicious and totally adaptable. Next time I will add a couple of teaspoons of vanilla extract to the wet ingredients. You can add raisins after it comes out if you like that. I'm dreaming of all the variations - orange almond, apple cinnamon, vanilla coconut, cranberry spice...

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Ribbon Vegetable Salad

Ribbon Vegetable Salad

This easy and very fresh salad is gorgeous and delicious! You can quite easily substitute your favorite vegetables or herbs. I think dill, chives, or parsley would be especially excellent. My family loved this dish. The platter was completely devoured. I think it is a wonderful salad for welcoming spring!

Ribbon Vegetable Salad

1 medium seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
3 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
6 radishes, thinly sliced
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp. dried basil or 1/4 c. chopped fresh basil 

3 Tb. apple cider vinegar (or your favorite vinegar)
1 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. Dijon mustard (I used a Basil Dijon)
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt 
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 Tb. canola or olive oil

Use a mandoline or spiral slicer to thinly slice the vegetables. Arrange on the platter and
sprinkle basil on top.

Combine the dressing ingredients and drizzle over the vegetables. Enjoy!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Crab Rangoon

Crab Rangoon

My kids love crab rangoon...who am I kidding, so do I?! ;) The crunchy outside and creamy inside dipped in a sweet and sour sauce is just delicious. I have a little allergy thing going on with some shellfish, so I limit my consumption and, of course, avoid the ones that I have had a reaction to all together. Anyway, all that to say that we made these using imitation crab and they were delicious. You can use whatever you prefer, though!

Crab Rangoon fresh from the fryer. 


1 pouch (usually 6-8 ounces) crab or imitation crab
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2-3 cloves, minced garlic
1/2 tsp. worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
dash of white pepper
1 package wonton skins (usually available in the produce section of your store)
1 egg, beaten with just a little water

Thoroughly combine first 6 ingredients. Lay wonton wrapper out on a cutting board (I do about 6 at a time). Place 1/2-1 tsp filling in the center of the wonton. Use a pastry brush and brush all of the sides with the egg wash and then bring all of the edges together to make a pouch. Seal well and push air out (I did not do a good job at pushing the air out and these were a little puffy - delicious nonetheless). Fry at 350 degrees F until golden brown and crisp. Let drain on a paper towel lined plate. Serve hot with Sweet & Sour Sauce.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Vegan Kung Pao Tofu

Vegan Kung Pao Tofu

I will admit that I've been a tofu skeptic over the years, but I'm slowly becoming a convert. When we traveled to China, I absolutely loved a couple of the tofu dishes that we ordered. It has made me more adventurous and more determined to nail the preparation of tofu.

This was SO GOOD! It was bright and colorful and the texture was perfect. We served it over white rice. I think there are things that make tofu really good like pressing the moisture out and frying or baking it. I also prefer firm or even better, extra firm tofu. I adapted this recipe from China Sichuan Food.

Vegan Kung Pao Tofu

(adapted from China Sichuan Food)

1 lb. extra firm tofu (drain it from the package, wrap it in a clean towel, and put a heavy skillet on top for at least 15 minutes to further remove the moisture)
3 Tb. canola oil
1 green pepper, cut in chunks
1 red pepper, cut in chunks
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 inch fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
5 green onions (use 2-3 inches in the stir fry and chop the remaining green part for garnish)
1/2 c. peanuts
Stir-fry sauce (see recipe below)

Heat oil in wok. Add the tofu and cook until golden brown. Remove from wok and set aside. Keep 2 tsp. of oil in the wok and pour out any extra. Add garlic, ginger, and onions and stir fry until you can smell them. Add the tofu and peppers and continue to stir fry until peppers are starting to soften. Pour in all of the stir fry sauce and the peanuts (you can reserve some peanut for garnish if you like). Mix well and then transfer to a serving dish and garnish with green onion and peanuts.  

Stir-fry Sauce

2 Tb. soy sauce
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. corn starch
2 tsp. vinegar (you can use rice, apple cider, or a sherry wine)
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 Tb. water

Combine all ingredients in a liquid measuring cup and set aside. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Vegan Sesame Noodles

Vegan Sesame Noodles

We celebrate the wonderful birth heritages of our children and so that means we celebrated the Chinese New Year a couple of weeks ago! It's the year of the sheep/goat/ram and is actually my Chinese birth symbol.

Since my vegan parents were joining us, I wanted to make sure and  have a few dishes that fit that category. These were AMAZING. I could have eaten the entire bowl by myself. You can eat them warm (my favorite), room temperature (recommended), or cold (leftover). Any way you choose, they are fabulous! I found the original recipe that I based my noodles on at RasaMalaysia

You can use this for a quick dinner, easy make-ahead lunch, or side dish. Our family loved it!

Vegan Sesame Noodles

16 oz. spaghetti
1/4 c. oil
sesame seeds for garnish (I only had white, but black would be great, too!)
green onions, sliced for garnish
sesame sauce (see recipe below)

Cook the noodles according to the package. Rinse in cold running water and drain. Set aside.
Heat up a skillet or wok on medium heat and with the oil. Add the pasta and give a few turns. Add the sesame sauce to the noodles and toss to combine well and heat through. Remove from the heat and garnish with sesame seeds and green onions. Serves 6-8.

Sesame Sauce:
1/4 c. plus 1 Tb. tahini paste, slightly warmed
2 Tb. natural peanut butter
3 Tb. soy sauce
1-2 tsp. sugar
1 Tb. rice vinegar (you can use apple cider if you don't have rice)
2 Tb. sesame oil
pinch of chili flakes
salt to taste

Combine all sauce ingredients in a pourable measuring cup and set aside. (Be sure and taste the sauce and adjust for your palate.)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Biscuits & Gravy

Biscuits & Gravy

Here's the deal - biscuits and gravy = awesome!

A family favorite - biscuits & gravy.

It is a popular (often associated with the South) breakfast that is super easy to make, but I think it would also make a wonderful brunch or a quick breakfast for dinner recipe (with a side of vegetables, of course ;)). It's a rare treat around here, but highly anticipated.

You can use the pop biscuits from the can...but really, just make them from worth it! I have spent years trying to make the perfect biscuits that have light layers and finally my search has ended. There are two recipes that I have found worthy of ending the search - Alton Brown's Biscuits and Smitten Kitchen's Biscuits. They are slightly different and for the sake of not using shortening, I chose the latter today, but I have tried both and they are both wonderful.

Light, Fluffy, Golden, and Tall - biscuit perfection!

(slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

2 1/4 c. flour

1 1/2 tsp. sugar (if you want a sweeter biscuit sometime, just increase this)
1 Tb. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
9 Tb. chilled unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
3/4 c. buttermilk or soured milk

Heat oven to 400 °F. Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in large, wide bowl. Using pastry blender, cut butter into dry ingredients until the mixture resembles a coarse meal, Add milk and stir until large clumps form. Reach hands into bowl and knead mixture briefly until it just holds together (add a little more milk if needed).

Transfer dough to floured counter and pat out until 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick. Using a round cutter (2 inches for regular sized biscuits), press straight down and transfer rounds to baking stone* (or metal pan if you prefer).

Bake until biscuits are golden brown on top - 12 to 15 minutes. Serve hot!

This will make about 12-14 2-inch biscuits

*I bake on stones. I am a firm believer in their awesomeness and find that my baked goods are simply better when I use them.

**You can add in cheese or herbs with the dry ingredients, if you want to make these fancy.

Cast Iron Skillet = one of my favorite kitchen items.

Here's the deal on the gravy - you can use however much sausage you like. I love the flavor that it gives, but I like to stretch my meat and don't like a really meaty gravy. This is how I do it and it is perfect for us - great gravy to meat ratio. I do think the two things that make this simple gravy awesome is the iron skillet and the amount of pepper. Oh and you can halve this recipe for 2-4 people. My people eat a lot and this was scraped clean by our family of 6. :)


1/2 lb. bulk sausage
1/2 c. flour
4 c. milk
fresh ground pepper

In a large cast iron skillet (If you don't own one, go buy one because you will use it for everything...but in the mean time, you can use a regular skillet.), brown your sausage, breaking it up into small pieces. Once browned, stir in flour and continue cooking for a minute or two. Slowly stir in the milk. Add salt & pepper to taste (I did about 1/2 tsp of each, but taste as you go to adjust for your palate and for the seasoning of your sausage). Continue to stir and loosen any bits from the bottom of the skillet until the gravy is just starting to bubble and gravy is thick. Serves over hot biscuits. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Donut Muffins

Donut Muffins

So this is not exactly the recipes asked for...but bear with me and you will be glad! My kids were begging for a trip to the bakery for donuts (which I declined). Rather than be a complete stick in the mud, I suggested we make muffins instead. This idea was met with great joy. We searched for a suitable recipe that would feel like a trip to our favorite donut shop. I stumbled upon one that I modified for a delicious result. The kids were THRILLED and declared them better than donuts.

We enjoyed them hot from the oven, but I'm certain they will also be delicious later. We worked together to make the muffins and then to dip them in melted butter and cinnamon sugar - they were so proud of their efforts.

These could very easily be changed to various flavors using different extracts, zests, fruits, nuts, and spices. So many possibilities! You could also make them almost like donut holes by using a mini muffin pan. (I doubled this recipe since I feel like I'm feeding an army most days, so this will be our Valentine's Day breakfast in addition to our Valentine's Eve treat.)

Donut Muffins


  • 1/4 c. butter, softened
  • 1/4 c. oil
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/3 c. packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon plus** 
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 2/3 c. unbleached flour
  • 1 c. milk

  • 3 Tb. melted butter
  • 3 Tb. sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • Mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a bowl. Have another bowl with the melted butter in it. 
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease muffin pan or line with muffin papers. 

Cream the butter, oil, and sugars with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth. Using a wooden spoon, mix in the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon plus, and salt. Alternate flour and milk additions and continue mixing with spoon until fully incorporated. Fill each muffin slot almost full. Bake 15-17 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean and muffins are light brown.

While still hot from the oven (but cool enough to handle), dip the tops in melted butter and then in the cinnamon sugar blend. ENJOY.

Makes 12 muffins

**This is a spice blend I purchase and love through Pampered Chef  which has a variety of spices and some orange zest, but plain cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, apple pie spice or your own mix of spices will be perfect.

Friday, January 30, 2015

It's Your Turn!

In the interest of keeping our blog relevant and offering recipes that interest our readers, we would like to ask you a couple of questions!

1) What type of recipes do you most want to see?

2) Do you personally have a particular recipe that you would like us to develop?

You can comment below with your thoughts! Thanks so much!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Soup

This hearty and delicious soup is easy enough for a lunch and filling enough for a dinner. It is rustic, simple, and has a wonderful depth of flavor. This adaptation of a recipe I found was very popular with my whole family. I love that it is healthy and quick. It can easily be adapted to fit with vegetarian and vegan diets. Serve it with bread and a green salad for a complete meal. 


2 Tb. olive oil
1 med-lg onion, diced
3 c. peeled and diced sweet potato
2 Tb. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
4 c. chicken or vegetable stock
1  28 oz. can diced tomato (petite diced would be very nice)
1 15 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed**

Heat oil in the bottom of a large pot. Add onion and sauté until slightly translucent. Add sweet potato and continue to cook for 5 minutes or so. Add chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and salt and cook another minute. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes until sweet potatoes are tender. Serves 4-6 

**If you like more beans, add another can - it will be more stew like.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Chicken Fried Rice

The past couple of years have put me on the quest for easy meals. Life is full and the academic demands and activities for the kids have only gotten more intense which leaves me with less time in the kitchen. Freezer meals, quick dinners, slow cooker recipes and planning ahead has been important for me (and I've struggled with all of those at times). I'm working on shortcuts and cooking extra food for other meals later in the week - this post is one of those later-in-the-week recipes.

I've gotten in the habit of cooking a large amount of rice, so we have leftovers for a few days. It makes great salads, can be added to soups or casseroles, and makes the best fried rice! This week I also baked several chicken breasts - I used 2 for dinner and saved the other 3 to use in various dishes. One of the dishes I made for a lunch was chicken fried rice - it is very popular with my bunch!

The secret to good fried rice is the sesame oil (in my opinion). You can find it at the regular grocery store in the International aisle or at a speciality International food store. The recipe below serves 4-5 lunch size portions.


3 Tb. Sesame Oil
1/2 onion or 1/2 bunch green onions, finely chopped
1 1/2 c. frozen or fresh mixed vegetables (cooking time will be a little longer for fresh)
1 c. cooked chicken, chopped
3 eggs, lightly beaten
4 c. cooked rice (we prefer white)
4 Tb. Soy sauce (or to taste)

Heat sesame oil in a skillet (or wok). Add the onion and vegetables and sauté until tender. Add chicken and sauté a few minutes longer to heat the chicken. Push this to the side. Pour eggs into the bottom of the skillet and scramble. When cooked through, combine with the veggie/chicken mixture. Add the rice and soy sauce - fry together until heated through. Serve and enjoy!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Cilantro Chicken Enchiladas

These are really easy and really delicious. My husband said he would marry me all over for these enchiladas. :) Obviously, that means we will be adding them in to the rotation from time to time despite them not being quite as healthy as I prefer.

The cilantro makes these enchiladas have such a wonderful and distinctive flavor. Cilantro is one of those things that has grown on me over the years and now I really enjoy it. However, it's been my husband's favorite for a very long time and he is drawn to any menu item or recipe that includes it.

The first time I made these, I used some smoked turkey breast I had on hand (I do not mean deli meat) and they were a hit - think Thanksgiving leftovers! Chicken or turkey...whatever you choose will be great. You can also make these ahead and freeze them before baking.

Cilantro Chicken Enchiladas
Cilantro Chicken Enchiladas


2 1/2 c. cooked chicken or turkey
(I roasted chicken breast in the oven at 350 degrees with a Southwest Seasoning on them)
1 c. sour cream
2 c. Mexican cheese blend (or cheddar or whatever you like), divided
1 bunch chopped green onions (I've used chives when I did not have them)
1 bunch cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
12-14 small flour tortillas
1 can green enchilada sauce (you can use as much as you like - I used most of a large can OR you can make your own)

Combine chicken, sour cream, 1 c. cheese, onion, cilantro, salt, cumin, and oregano in a bowl. Warm tortillas until pliable and easy to roll (you can do this by frying them in a skillet or microwaving them. Place meat mixture in tortillas (1/4-1/3 c or so) and roll tightly. Place in a lightly greased 9x13 pan with the seam side down. Pour the enchilada sauce over all - making sure to spread with a spatula if needed. Top with 1 c. cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Birthday Dinners & Peach Tart

Birthday are kind of a big deal at our house...especially the meal. Throughout the year, different meals are deemed worthy of the "Birthday Dinner." I find it fascinating to see what each person chooses. My 3rd born is a complete foodie and ordered a 3-layer lemon cake with berries, grilled shrimp, and various other seldom-made foods. Burgers and homemade fries are frequently requested as well as spaghetti and meatballs. Sometimes we have cake, sometimes pie, and sometime ice cream only. Whatever the case, the honored family member can choose whatever they like for dinner and dessert and they nearly always want homemade.

This week my husband celebrates a rather significant birthday and the start of a new decade. We have many small celebrations planned with tonight being our family dinner. His request? Cilantro Chicken Enchiladas (insanely easy and delicious, but not the healthiest - I'll post the recipe another day soon), guacamole & chips, black beans, and a peach tart. (Do you think I can sneak a vegetable in there somewhere? :))

The latter can be made with peaches or pears - our favorite is peaches. I've been making it since we were first married, but it's been awhile since it has graced our table.  Peach (or pear) Tart is a simple but memorable dessert. Enjoy!

Peach Tart
Peach Tart

3 Tb. butter, melted
3/4 c. plus 1 Tb. sugar, divided
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. finely chopped pecans
1 package (8 oz.) regular cheese (you can use reduced fat)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided
1-2 large peaches, peeled and thinly sliced (I have also used canned when peaches are not in season)
Peach TartPreheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a tart pan with removable bottom (about an 8-9 inch tart pan). In a small mixing bowl, use a fork to combine melted butter, 1/2 c. of sugar, flour and nuts until crumbly. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of the fluted tart pan.
In another mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in 1/4 c. sugar, egg, vanilla, and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon; spread over the crust. Arrange peaches over cream cheese mixture. Combine the remaining 1 tsp. cinnamon and 1 Tb. of sugar; sprinkle over peaches.
Bake at 425 degrees for 10 min. Reduce heat to 350 degrees; bake 15-20 min. longer or until filling is set. Cool for 1 hr. on a wire rack. Refrigerate for at least 2 hrs. before serving. Remove sides of pan and slice. Yield: 8-10 servings.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Curried Red Lentils

Curried Red Lentils are a healthy and easy dish for weeknight dinners!

What?! A post?! You probably thought we had forgotten what those were... :) In truth, we have been working on re-launch and are a couple of months behind where we hoped to be. Our lives have taken unexpected turns and have not allowed as much time as we would like for blogging. We do plan to be back on a semi-regular basis. We are excited to have a new look (still in progress). We have changed blog platforms, so please make sure to clear your past history (media cache) to make our site function for you (i.e. searching). Please know that we are still a work in progress and bear with us. We hope it will be worth it. On to the post for today...

These days, I need quick, healthy, and easy meals. Life with four kids - all with varying needs - leaves less time for meal planning and execution. These curried red lentils are always a hit, can be ready in 45 minutes or less, can be easily adapted, and are nutritionally great. This can also be made gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, and dairy-free. While I have changed this recipe a fair bit and generally double it for my family, the original inspiration came from one of my favorite cookbooks, More With Less. I serve this over brown rice - just put it in your rice cooker with plenty of time to fully cook.

Curried Red Lentils
Red Curried Lentils


1 c. red lentils (you can use brown or french, but texture will be different & cooking time maybe longer)
2 1/2 c. chicken, beef, or vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. salt

Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

In a separate pan sauté together for 5-10 minutes:

1/4 c. butter, olive oil, or coconut oil
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, peeled & diced
2 cloves garlic, minced


1 1/2 - 2 Tb. curry powder

Combine the veggie mixture and the lentils.

2 Tb. fresh lemon juice
2-3 Tb. fresh cilantro (plus more for serving)

Cook on low for just a few minutes stirring frequently to allow flavors to combine. Remove bay leaf before serving. Top with fresh cilantro and serve over rice, quinoa, or couscous.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Blog Business

Let's take care of some blog business!

Hello everyone! We are working on re-launching the blog! Please bear with us as we work hard to bring you new content. We are thrilled to be working on streamlining our look, sharing awesome new recipes, and planning great features. Thanks for all of your support through the years. Our kitchens are ready to roll!

From our kitchens to yours,
Alaina & Stephanie

Monday, October 21, 2013

Sushi Cake

Our youngest son turned 5 in August and he requested a "sushi cake." The child LOVES sushi and frequently requests it for special events. I share his love for sushi and was only too happy to oblige! I searched for ideas and then created my own version of a sushi cake using cake, candy, fruit roll-ups, rice krispies, marshmallows, chocolate, Swedish fish, and coconut. It was so fun and turned out better than I could have imagined! The only inedible part was the chopsticks. The base cake was mint chocolate as requested by the birthday boy and the sushi rolls were vanilla cake. Hope you enjoy!

Sushi Cake




Friday, October 18, 2013

Sauteed Spaghetti Squash

I will readily admit that Spaghetti Squash has never been a favorite. That's probably an understatement - I couldn't stand it. So, I wasn't very excited to get two from our CSA - they hung out in my pantry for a few weeks as I pondered whether to try them or to give them away. Yes, yes, I know...shameful. In the end, I consulted with a few great cooks and decided to keep them and give them another try. I'm happy to report that this preparation changed my mind. This was a total hit with the family! I served it as a side dish alongside pork chops. You can change the herbs and the amounts for what you prefer but the sage was absolutely amazing.

Sautéed Spaghetti Squash

Print this Recipe

2 sm-med. Spaghetti Squash
4 Tb. butter (you could sub olive oil if you are vegan)
1 large clove garlic, minced
2-3 Tb. Fresh Sage
1-2 Tb. Fresh Parsley
1-2 tsp. Fresh Oregano
Salt & Pepper to taste

Cut Spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Place cut side down on a shallow baking sheet (like a bar pan or jelly roll pan). Add water to 1/2 inch. Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 45 minutes, uncover and bake for another 10-15 minutes (I actually turned mine over). Scrape out seeds. In a separate bowl, scrape out the squash.

In a skillet, melt butter. Add garlic and herbs. Cook for a few minutes until garlic is softened and the herbs are aromatic. Add the squash and sauté for 5 minutes until heated through and combined with butter and herbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Chocolate Teff Brownies

My husband and I were invited to a cook-out recently. He knew the couple hosting the event; I didn't know anyone. I volunteered to bring a dessert so that there would be something gluten-free available for my husband. A look through my pantry and through my favorite cookbook (as you likely know by now!), Nourishing Meals, and I settled on some Chocolate Chip Teff Brownies with an added dairy-free ganache. They were absolutely delicious and received rave reviews from the party goers.

Chocolate Teff Brownies

(from Nourishing Meals by Alissa Segersten)
Print This Recipe

Dry Ingredients
1 c. teff flour
1/4 c. tapioca flour
1/3 c. cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt

Wet Ingredients
1/2 c. dates, pitted
1/4 c. ground flaxseeds
1 1/4 c. boiling water
1/2 c. coconut oil
1/2 c. coconut sugar
2 tsp vanilla

1/2 c. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 7 x 11 baking dish.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Set aside.

Place the dates and ground flaxseeds into a blender; pour the boiling water over them. Let sit for 10 minutes. Then add the rest of the wet ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and quickly whisk together. Add the chocolate chips and continue to whisk until thoroughly combined.

Pour better into pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Chocolate Ganache Frosting

3 oz chocolate chips
1/4 c. coconut milk
2 Tbsp maple syrup

Place all ingredients into a small pan and heat over low. Stir continuously until melted and thickened, just about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for about 5 minutes. Do not chill. Drizzle over brownies.

Or, if you would like a thick, creamy, spreadable frosting then let the ganache thicken at room temperature for about 3 hours.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Spinach Pesto Pasta

I love a good pesto during the summer. In the past I have not had particularly great success with making my own pesto. I just never felt like I got the flavor and texture correct. And now, since going dairy-free, I have to consider pesto without the Parmesan cheese. I decided to mesh a couple of recipes together to create this dairy-free pesto to go over a roasted tomato and white bean pasta dish. It was delicious! And the leftover pesto is great for topping homemade pizza or using for a pita bread dip.


Print This Recipe

2 1/2 c. baby spinach
1/2 c. fresh basil leaves
1/2 c. walnut pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
juice of one lemon
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 c. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Add the spinach, basil, walnuts, garlic, and lemon juice into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until everything is broken down into small pieces. Add the nutritional yeast, olive oil, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Whirl until the pesto is smooth.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Whole-Grain Freezer Waffles

I recently started a full-time job. With an hour of commute time each day, I knew my meal prep time was going to be disappearing. So, the week before work began I spent time making some muffins, granola bars, pita breads, and waffles for the freezer. I intended to get a lot more frozen than that, but it was a start.

The waffles are delicious and work from freezer to toaster. And this week when I didn't know what I was going to fix for supper, we enjoyed breakfast for dinner. These are gluten-free, whole-grain, and egg-free!

For the waffles, I used a recipe from my go-to cookbook, Nourishing Meals. First make a batch of dry mix (which keeps in the pantry for up to 4 months, so make as many batches you want!). Then make the waffles. I made a triple batch, which made 26 waffles in my rather small waffle maker.

Gluten-free Waffles

(from Nourishing Meals by Alissa Segersten)
Print This Recipe

1 1/2 c. brown rice flour
1 c. teff flour
1 c. millet flour
1 c. tapioca flour
1/2 c. quinoa flour
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon (opt.)
1 tsp sea salt

Place all ingredients into a large bowl. Using a wire whisk, mix well. Place into an airtight container. Makes 5 cups or 5 batches of waffles.

2 Tbsp waffles
2 Tbsp very hot water
2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
2 Tbsp melted coconut oil
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 c. milk (I used almond milk)
1 c. Waffle mix

Place the ground flax seeds and hot water into a medium-sized mixing bowl; quickly whisk together until the flax forms a thick gel. Sometimes this doesn't happen right away so keep whisking until the gel forms. Add the applesauce, coconut oil, maple syrup, and milk and whisk together well. Then add the waffle mix. Whisk together until the batter is smooth.

Heat waffle maker and cook according to waffle make directions.

If you plan to freeze them, cool completely and then layer between pieces of waxed paper and place in freezer bags.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Red Lentil Balls

I love the versatility of meatballs and in my quest to cook meals that don't rely on meat, I've had to use my imagination a bit. I recently picked up Vegetarian Everyday from the library and was pleased to discover a bean based "meatball" recipe, perfect for the gluten-free vegetarian. The couple that created this cookbook is from Sweden (they have a lovely blog I follow called Green Kitchen Stories) and they call these tasty legume-balls, polpette (which is a fancy word for meatballs, as far as my research can tell me). But anyway, the words flows off the tongue in such a beautiful way.

The photo does not do justice to the deliciousness of this meal, in fact it makes it look rather unappealing, but we loved these! I served them over a bed of zucchini and carrot noodles (long julienned veggie that I blanched in salted water) and we topped them with a little marinara sauce and a little arugula pesto.

Red Lentil Polpettes

(from Vegetarian Everyday by David Frenkiel & Luise Vindahl)
Print This Recipe

1 c. red lentils
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1/3 c. rolled oats (use gluten-free, if needed)
1 tsp paprika (I used smoked paprika)
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
sea salt to taste

Rinse the lentils and place in a saucepan with 2 1/4 cups cold water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain well and cool slightly.

Mash the lentils with a fork. The consistency you want is mashed but still with some lentils left whole. Place in a mixing bowl, add the remaining ingredients and stir with a spoon until everything is combined. Place int he fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375º F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Form balls and place them on the baking sheet. Bake for 17-22 minutes. If you want, turn balls halfway through to get a more even shape and color.

Prepare pasta or veggie noodles and whatever sauce you want.