Sunday, June 30, 2013

Vegetable Lasagna Pie

How many ways can two gals eat edamame and carrots?  I'm not coming up with much but I did make this up today!  Thin, horizontally sliced potaotes will layer with whipped edamame topped with a carrot purée.

One 14 ounce, no salt added, can of carrots, drained but reserve the liquid
1 teaspoon Bragg's Liquid Aminos
One 12 ounce bag frozen edamame, boiled until plump and tender, drain and reserve this liquid too
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 jumbo steakhouse russet potatoes, washed and peeled
Ziptop gallon sized bag with some vegetable oil in it and a pinch of salt to put potato slices in until they are ready to layer.  You can also use a bowl of cold water instead.

With your immersion blender, in a medium bowl, purée the carrots.  Add a little of the reserved liquid at a time until you get a smooth purée.  Stir in the Bragg's.  Set aside.

In a food processor or blender, whip the edamame adding the oil and reserved liquid until you have a nice mousse. Set aside.

You can keep whatever carrot and edamame liquid you have in the fridge to make soup another time.

With a Y peeler, madoline, or a knife if you're more talented than I, slice the potatoes thin lengthwise. Place them in the baggie with oil while you keep slicing. 

Preheat oven to 350 and grease your baking dish.

Spread about 2 tablespoons of carrot purée in a well greased, round baking dish.  Begin layering the potaotes, then half the edamame and carrots.  Repeat the same... potatoes, the rest of the edamame,  then more carrot.   Keep 2 tablespoons of the carrot purée for the end.  

Use the remainder of the potaotes and carrot purée.  Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 50 minutes. 

Let me tell you, that edamame mousse is really good! Feels like Sunday dinner to me.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Muchos Gracias Nachos

Bid D and Bub installed the new cabinets under the kitchen sink today!!!!!  I'm so excited to have the crappy stuff out of there.  The counter is level.  It doesn't try to fall off when leaned on.  I have more storage.  And it looks so much better!

I threw this together for my Bub!

Beanito's Black Bean chips
Vegan refried beans (we use Bearito's)
Daiya Cheese
Haas avocado purée

Dump a load of chips on a large plate or platter safe for microwave.  Spoon the beans evenly over the tops. Add the cheese next.  Top with spices if you like.  I used cayenne, cumin, and chili powder.  Microwave on 30% power for 3 minutes then 25 seconds on full power.

Add the olives and avocado.

Cafe de Cajeta

The cinnamon flavor is so intense.  When I went out to buy the jars to store the cajeta in, that cinnamon was the first thing I smelled when I came home.  It is a deep spice on another level yet smooth and mellow.  What a damn delicious treat!

Great coffee... Hot shower... Try to get past level 14 on Candy Crush.  That's my day.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Good Things Come In Small Boxes (Cajeta)

We have been fans of Rick Bayless for a lot of years.  We've been to Frontera Grill, watch his shows, buy his books, buy his products...

I became intrigued by a Twitter post the other day.  Rick posted a link to cajeta made in a slow cooker.  I'm not interested in a slow cooker method but I sure am interested in caramel sauce!

I learned that cajeta translates to "small box".  Small boxes often hold surprises... of the good variety!

I'm posting this in the vegan section as well as non-vegan since you may choose to make it using the traditional goats milk.

Rick's standard recipe is in our Mexico One Plate At A Time cookbook.  I'm making it. I'm buying glass jars to keep it in. I'm eating it on ice cream. I'm putting it in my coffee. I'm going to enjoy the hell out of it!

8 cups (2 quarts) Very Vanilla Soymilk (or whole goats or cows milk or any combo of)
2 cups sugar
2" cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 1 tablespoon water

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the milk of your choice, sugar, and cinnamon until it is boiling.  Slide off the heat and stir in baking soda mixture.  Allow the mixture to stop foaming after baking soda addition and return to heat.  You want your heat to allow a good simmer but not hot enough to boil over.  For me, this was medium-high.  Simmer until golden stirring on and off. This will take about an hour.

When it is a nice golden color, stir constantly so the thickening mixture does not stick to bottom of the pot.  When you think it is about maple syrup consistency, test a little on a cold plate.  Put a few drops on the plate. Swirl it around a little and run your finger through it.  If it looks like caramel sauce, you're done!  Continue cooking if it is not.  Rick's recipe says if it is too thick, you can remove from heat and add a tablespoon of water.

Pour through a fine mesh strainer into glass jars.  When cool, cover and store in the refrigerator for an endless amount of uses.

Cajeta is often used in candy making and eaten with crepes.  Yeah.  That sounds right.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Dress Up Your Fresh Veggies

I found some beautiful looking young green beans and snow peas today.  I'm roasting some chicken leg quarters for the boys.  I figured that a cool, snappy fresh veggie side dish would go nicely.  It's a little hot to be roasting anything but I gotta do what I gotta do!

As usual, I have several irons in the fire...  Reorganizing some kitchen cabinets since we are replacing some horrible ones...  Making a dressing for the veggies... Cooking vegan, carb free for me and Len... And working from home today since my office was infested with dozens of tiny, baby wasps coming out of the ceiling!  YIKES!!!!!!

Warm Ginger Soy Dressing

2 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons Coke
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon Bragg's Liquid Aminos
Cracked pepper
Ground ginger
Garlic powder
1 teaspoon peanut butter

Heat all the ingredients in small saucepan.  Whisk until smooth.  Pour over clean and dried vegetables while hot.

Sweet Smoothie For My Sweetie

Made Len a nice cool breakfast before she heads out to work.  It has got to be hard working at Culver's and not able to eat anything there.  The custards? All day?  Man!

1 large banana (ours was obscenely large)
3 tablespoons vegan vanilla yogurt, So Delicious
Frozen cherries
Silk Very Vanilla Soymilk

Smash your banana and cherries a bit in a large bowl, if using an immersion blender, or blender.  Add the vegan yogurt and purée until blended.  Add Soymilk a little at a time until you've reached desired consistency.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Hey Howdy Haystacks

I feel like I haven't been posting too much lately.  I'm sort of keeping tabs on my weight and limiting my carbs and desserts. I'm not depriving myself but not having multiple sweets to eat available at the same time is really helping.

Today's treat is for my Len!  I don't do coconut anymore but sure wish I did for these!

Line a cookie sheet with parchment.

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut

I know people say a double boiler is the best way to melt chocolate... but I think that was before microwaves!  I do own a very nice double boiler but rarely use it.  If you're careful not to rush things, the microwave is reliable.

Put the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl or container.  I used a low, rectangular Pyrex container.  Microwave 40 seconds on 30% power.  Start heating for 20 seconds at a time on full power, checking after each heat. Mine only needed 40 seconds.  The chocolate should not be totally melted.  Let it melt as you stir it.

Stir in the coconut.  Drop by teaspoons full onto prepared pan.  Freeze for 5 minutes.  Store in airtight container either in the fridge, if it's hot, or at room temperature.

I was sneaky and jacked a teaspoon of melted chocolate to mix with a tablespoon of peanut butter for myself!

And here's mine with peanut butter instead!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Supah Dupah Soup

I know... I make a lot of soup (and muffins).  Eat what you like, right?  That happens to be soup!

1-1/2 bags frozen carrots
5 tablespoons margarine
Bragg's Liquid Aminos
1 bag frozen edamame
4-5 cups vegetable broth or water or any combination of the two
I happened to save the water I boiled carrots and edamame for Happy Patties last week so I used that.

Melt the margarine in a Dutch oven.  Add 2 tablespoons Bragg's and the frozen carrots.  Stir until all the carrots are covered in Braggy margarine.  Add the stock and/or water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until tender.

While the carrots are cooking, cook the edamame.  Drain the edamame when done and set aside.

When the carrots are done, turn off the heat.  With your immersion blender, purée the soup until smooth and silky.  Add the edamame.  Some vegan sour cream would be lovely!  Additional Bragg's and some black pepper is what we did.

Once again, proving dinner doesn't have to be hard or expensive.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Defiantly Delicious Dammit!


Ever since my quinoa bars lost in the mail and NEVER arrived to Stony Avenue, I've wanted to make quinoa cookies.  I've had a crap week and finally felt like baking today.  After some research, I think I've come up with something tasty!

While creating my Chocolate Cloud Frosting, I discovered that cocoa powder is an excellent binding ingredient.  For something chocolate, cocoa powder works better than any egg replacer.  I'm also a lover of dark chocolate and my taste buds thank me all. day. long.

Carrot haters?  Quinoa haters?  I defy you to tell me you taste either one in these cookies!

Preheat oven to 375 and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper (or just use your kick ass gold cookie sheets if you've got 'em).

7 ounces canned carrots, drained (half a can) puréed with 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
1/3 cup quinoa
2/3 cup Silk Very Vanilla Soymilk
3/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 cup GF baking mix
Dash of salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
5 tablespoons cocoa powder
2/3 cup chocolate chips

In a small saucepan, combine the Soymilk with the quinoa.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until all Soymilk is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except chocolate chips.  Mix by hand until well blended.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded teaspoon full onto cookie sheet.  Press down slightly.  Bake for 12:22.  Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes.  Remove onto foil and cool completely. 

Carrot Pasta Asian Style

Len and I are co-op cooking our dinner!   We are both trying to limit our grain intake this week.  I'm pretty much off of starchy side dishes anyway.  They just cause me grief.

2 lbs carrots, peeled

The larger the carrots, the easier they will be to Julianne.

1 cup water
2 tablespoons margarine
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons Bragg's Liquid Aminos

Julianne the carrots and simmer them in water in a skillet with a lid.  Cook until they are to your desired tenderness.  Mine need to be pretty tender.  They will cook further when sugaring them too.

Drain well.  Add the margarine, sugar, and Bragg's.  Cook until sugar caramelizes.

You can serve a variety of ways.  Top with a peanut sauce.  Serve with rice or rice noodles.  Cashews, almonds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds all sound super yummy to me too!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Welcome Home Muffins

I cannot believe we pack up and pickup Len on Saturday!  How did this school year go so fast?  I am way too young to have a 20 year old and my other baby a senior in high school.  It is just too much.  Too damn much.

I needed some muffins for the freezer and figured I would bring some along on Saturday since all of Len's food will be gone and the things to cook them in packed away.  She chose cinnamon!

2 cups GF baking mix
1/2 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 rounded teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup vanilla Soymilk, warmed
1/3 cup melted margarine
1 teaspoon maple syrup

Preheat oven to 400 and grease muffin tin.  I made mini muffins...  again.

In large bowl combine all the dry ingredients.  Add the wet and mix until all is moist.  Spoon into prepared pan. Bake for 13-14 minutes.

While the muffins are baking, melt 2 tablespoons of margarine and set aside.  Prepare some cinnamon sugar in a separate bowl.

After removing muffins from the tin, brush with melted margarine and dip in cinnamon sugar.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Taco Pie Duo

Meatless Mondays has fallen off my radar lately.  I'm meatless 7 days a week but the men I live with are not.

I suppose this could have been meatless if I used black beans or lentils instead of ground beef... I'll catch you next time Monday!

1 lb ground beef
Chili powder
1/2 cup water with 1 tablespoon tapioca starch mixed in
1/2 bag frozen corn
1 can sliced carrots
Shredded cheese of your liking (dairy for hubby and Daiya vegan for son)
5 cups prepared mashed potatoes

Put the meat and all the spices except the paprika in a pot or skillet.  Brown until meat is cooked.  Remove from heat.  Stir in the water and starch mixture.  Stir until combined.  It should thicken a bit.

Get two similar sized casserole dishes.  In the bottom of one but the corn and in the other the carrots. Divide the meat evenly between the two dishes and blend.  Sprinkle the tops with cheese.

My son is allergic to corn and to milk so the corn dish here will be dairy cheese for Big D and the carrot with Daiya vegan shreds will be for Bub.

Divide the mashed potatoes evenly and spread over the top of the pies.  Sprinkle with paprika.

Bake at 350 until heated through.  Enjoy with tortilla chips for a little crunch!  Big D has some tostado shells and there are black bean chips for Bub.