Saturday, January 30, 2010

Yam Latkes

Those of you who regularly visit my blog have probably begun to notice that I am drawn to pancake recipes. I have discovered many different ways to name a pancake especially since my boyfriend rolls his eyes every time he sees me dropping balls of batter into a frying pan while explaining to him that a latke is nothing like a pancake! Unfortunately he is an information seeker and will actually drag me to a Wikipedia article to back up his case of the pancake. Anyways, they always turn out in the end and I know he secretly loves them! One of the things I like most about pancakes is how presentable they are.

If your going to attempt this recipe and I definitely recommend that you do, make sure to make a dip or sauce to accompany them as they are really dry otherwise. I made a yogurt tahini sauce to go with this batch of latkes.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse

If you like mousse and love hazelnuts then you absolutely have to try this recipe. It's very easy to whip up and so beautifully presentable! I tried this dessert out on some dinner guests and I think you should too!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sweet Potato Tofu Hash

I think this dish makes for a really good late lunch or Sunday brunch. Although I don't think that I will personally be making it again I know that Mike really enjoyed it. I didn't have Shiitake mushrooms so I used button mushrooms and I would recommend only adding 1/2 tsp of the liquid smoke as it is a very intense flavor.

You can make many different variations of this recipe by using different potatoes and substituting bell peppers for the mushrooms. If you don't like mashed food then think outside the box and make it a fried hash with chunky fried tofu with peas, corn, russet potatoes and a completely different combination of spices. So many different possibilities!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Parsnip Stuffed Peppers

I invented this recipe when trying to think up a unique way to stuff peppers. I really like the flavor of parsnips but don't particularly like to eat them by themselves. The pairing of parsnip with the sweet flavor of the peppers, coriander and curry make for a delicious dish. You can make this recipe vegan by omitting the cheese.

  • 2 large parsnips or 4 small parsnips, steamed and mashed
  • 4 bell peppers, assorted colors
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 2 cups spinach, roughly chopped 
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup Monterary Jack or Mozzarella cheese (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Cut the top off of each pepper and remove seeds. Set the peppers along with the pepper tops into a baking dish with about 1/4 cup water.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a medium saucepan and add onions. Cook for about 6 minutes, add garlic, coriander, curry powder, spinach and cook for another 2 minutes stirring constantly. Stir in mashed parsnip, salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
  4. Fill peppers with parsnip mixture and sprinkle with cheese if using. 
  5. Bake covered with tin foil for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake another 5-10 minutes until bell peppers begin to blister and cheese is golden brown.
Note: You could substitute the spinach for a 1/2 cup frozen peas and/or corn and stir in a 1/4 cup chopped cilantro.

      Wednesday, January 20, 2010

      Corn and Black Bean Quinoa Salad

      This week the healthy workplace branch is featuring quinoa as a super food. What makes quinoa a super food? Well what other grain is so high in protein, iron and dietary fiber? Above all of those it's also gluten-free, making it very easy to digest.

      I know that some of you are thinking about the slightly bitter after taste or cardboard like consistency that quinoa is known for, but these statements force me to think about all the other bland tasting grains like rice, millet and bulgar just to name a few. I think this is a really poor reason not to be eating quinoa as I fall upon a huge array of very tasty quinoa recipes on a daily basis. Here's just one that I urge all quinoa critics to at the very least try.

      I think I like the beautiful texture and colors of this salad just as much as the smoky chipotle chili flavor. If you don't have chipotle sauce you can always use chipotle chili powder.

      Tuesday, January 19, 2010

      Apple Pie Bars

      This recipe was my last attempt to finish up our box of homegrown Okanagan apples, and I must say that once you finish peeling and slicing about 12-15 apples you won't care to see another apple for awhile! These are however worth the effort and if you don't have a large crowd to share these with, I am happy to report that they also freeze well.

      Sunday, January 17, 2010

      Kohlrabi Fries

      Kohlrabi is my new favorite vegetable! I have to admit that I was very intimidated by this turnip like vegetable when first spotted at the market and was even further put off when I was unable to find a recipe that inspired me to cook these guys up. In turn, they ended up sitting in my fridge for about two weeks. Alas, I confronted this vegetable head on and decided to just simply work with it. I peeled and cut off a piece and was pleasantly surprised at the crisp full flavor that kohlrabi has to offer (think broccoli stem only sweeter) and was immediately inspired to bake them into fries. There is but one thing you need to know if you are going to attempt this recipe and that is, unlike potatoes kohlrabi will keep a crisp texture no matter how long you roast them.

      • 1 tbsp olive oil 
      • 2 large kohlrabi
      • 2 garlic cloves, minced
      • seat salt and fresh ground pepper
      1. Heat oven to 475°.
      2. Use a pairing knife to peel of outer skin of kohlrabi and cut into sticks about 1/4 inch thick.
      3. Toss with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and pour into a roasting pan.
      4. Roast in oven for 25-30 minutes.
      Note: These fries have such a sweet flavor, they don't require the assistance of ketchup or dip of any kind.

      Thursday, January 14, 2010

      Rustic Bread & Eggplant Lasagna

      For those of you Vegans looking for a lasagna that doesn't include tofu, this is a really great alternative. The richness of the tomato sauce paired with the crusty sourdough and complex flavor of cooked eggplant make for a sensational dish. Serve with mixed salad greens with balsamic dressing.

      Sunday, January 10, 2010

      Spaghetti and Beanballs

      Growing up my family used to eat spaghetti about once every two weeks. If we were lucky we would get to visit Grandma's house for spaghetti and meatballs made from her very own homegrown and canned tomatoes. I am yet to discover anyone who can make spaghetti and meatballs better then my Grandma.

      This was a hard dish to give up when I decided to become vegetarian and although I do cheat once in awhile I have found other methods to making spaghetti and meatballs. This is one of them and after making this recipe once I find myself craving the comfort of this meal whenever I am too hungry to think of a new dish to try!

      As this is yet another Veganomicon recipe I am unable to provide you with the details of this recipe but again urge you to borrow this cookbook from the library or put it on your birthday wish list.

      Wednesday, January 6, 2010

      Roasted Carrots and Mushrooms

      You guessed it! Local carrots were on sale at the market last weekend. Toss with some mushrooms, thyme and sherry and serve as a side with any dish in need of some veggies.

      • 4 medium-sized carrots peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thickness
      • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
      • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
      • 1 tsp cooking sherry
      • 1/2 tsp dried thyme or 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
      • salt/pepper to taste
      • 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
      1. Preheat oven to 400°.
      2. Toss carrots with 1 tablespoon olive oil, thyme, sherry, salt and pepper. Spread on large roasting pan and place in oven for 15 minutes.
      3. While carrots are roasting, wash mushrooms and spin dry or dry with paper towels. Slice mushrooms into even slices, slightly thicker than carrots. Using the same bowl as you tossed the carrots in, toss mushrooms with remaining olive oil.
      4. Remove carrots from oven add mushrooms, stir and roast 10-15 minutes more. Serve hot, sprinkled with fresh parsley.

      Sunday, January 3, 2010

      Vegan Dosas

      This recipe was apparently part of the daring cooks September 2009 challenge and was adapted from the reFresh cookbook by Ruth Tal. I decided that since I am beginning to tire of the same curries all the time I would take on this challenge in my own time.

      There is no need to be intimidated by this three step recipe, which in my opinion is no different then making a three dish meal or a lasagna. You can make the curry sauce and filling a few nights in advance if you need to. I ended up with leftover sauce and filling which I combined and served over rice a few days later. I will for sure be making this dish again in the future, including the dosa pancakes which complete this meal.

      Coconut Curry Sauce
      • 1 large onion, diced
      • 2 cloves garlic, minced
      • 1 tsp cumin
      • 3 tbsp curry powder
      • 2 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
      • 1/2 cup vegetable stock (low sodium)
      • 1 can (400ml) coconut milk
      • 3 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
      • 3/4 tsp salt
      1. Heat 1 tablespoon of peanut or coconut oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute for 5 minutes or until soft.
      2. Add cumin, sea salt, and curry powder, cook for another minute. Add the flour and cook for 1 additional minute.
      3. Gradually whisk in the vegetable broth to prevent lumps. Once the flour has been incorporated, add the coconut milk and tomatoes, stirring occasionally.
      4. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 30 minutes.
      Curried Chickpea Filling
      • 5 cloves garlic, minced
      • 1 onion, peeled and finely diced
      • 1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
      • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
      • 2 medium hot banana chilies, minced (optional)
      • 2 tbsp cumin
      • 1 tbsp oregano
      • 1 tbsp sea salt
      • 1 tbsp turmeric
      • 2 cans of chickpeas
      • 4 tbsp tomato paste
      • 1/4 cup chopped, fresh cilantro
      1. Heat 1 tablespoon of peanut or coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium to low heat. Add garlic, veggies, and spices, cooking until soft, stirring occasionally.
      2. Mash chickpeas by hand or in a food processor and add to saucepan along with tomato paste, stirring until heated through
      3. Stir in cilantro before serving.
      • 2 cups all-purpose or chapati flour
      • 1 tsp salt
      • 1 tsp baking powder
      • 1 tsp curry powder
      • 1 cup almond milk (or soy, or rice, etc.)
      • 1 1/2 cups water
      1. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and curry powder in a medium bowl. Slowly add the almond milk and water, whisking until smooth.
      2. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spray your pan with a thin layer of cooking spray, if needed.
      3. Ladle 2 tablespoons of batter into the center of your pan in a circular motion until it is a thin, round pancake. When bubbles appear on the surface and it no longer looks wet, flip it over and cook for a few seconds. Remove from heat and repeat with remaining batter.