Sunday, February 7, 2010

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

Totally veganizable. I happened not to have any sweetened condensed milk due to the snow so I used this recipe which you can substitute out the powered milk for powdered soy milk. I used this recipe for the frozen yogurt, however I used 1/2 cup skim milk and 1/2 cup coconut milk (instead of the 1 cup skim milk), the texture is like premium commercial frozen yogurt and so sweet strawberry flavor coming through in every bite.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Deep Vegan Cake/Moosewood Chocolate Cake

Chocolate and Peanut Butter combine in this cake to make a match made in heaven. I have been making this cake since I became a vegetarian. Also called "wacky cake" as it has no eggs, butter or milk, this cake was believed to be made up due to rationing during WWII. It can be served without icing and it is almost as delicious. Make sure to use the cake pan(s) lined with parchment, this makes the cake moister and easier to remove from the pan(s). This makes a very rich, chocolate-y cake, perfect for a get together and especially birthday parties. Double the recipe for a double layer cake that will rock your world ;) Make sure you whip the peanut butter chocolate frosting with a hand beater to make it smooth, fluffy and spreadable.

Deep Vegan Cake/Moosewood Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil ( I always use 1/4 cup applesauce and 1/4 cup oil here)
  • 1 cup cold water or chilled brewed coffee
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbs. cider vinegar
Chocolate-Peanut Butter Frosting

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter 
  • 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate 
  • 3 to 4 Tbs. water (or soy milk)
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Generously oil 8-inch square or round baking pan. Dust with sifted cocoa, or line bottom of baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. To make Chocolate Cake: Sift flour, cocoa, soda, salt and sugar. In another bowl, combine oil, water or coffee and vanilla. Pour liquid into dry, and mix until smooth.
  3. Add vinegar and stir briefly; baking soda will begin to react with vinegar, leaving pale swirls in batter. Without wasting time, pour batter into prepared pan.
  4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Serve cake from pan, or, when cool, transfer to plate.
  5. To make Chocolate-Peanut Butter Frosting: In heavy saucepan, melt chocolate over medium heat. Beat together peanut butter, water and vanilla until smooth. Beat in confectioners’ sugar, and add melted chocolate, mixing until blended. Spread frosting on cooled cake.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Whole Wheat Panckes with Blueberry Sauce

I can't believe that I haven't posted these recipes yet since Chris and I have these almost every weekend. The pancakes are delicious and fluffy and not dense like most whole wheat pancakes that I have tried. I usually add some pecans or walnuts to the 'cakes, and sometimes sliced bananas. The recipes are so simple to prepare, I have subbed out the eggs for applesauce (1/2 cup) or 2 Ener-G egg replacers, prepared and it always comes out delicious and fluffy, as as always use whatever milk that you prefer. I usually replace the honey with King Syrup. Today I made the blueberry sauce with a mixed berry blend. I want to mention that I usually use 1/4 cup or more of sugar to my sauce because I prefer it to be sweeter, and the OJ in the blueberry sauce can be subbed for Triple Sec or Grand Mariner or just plain water.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Chili and Cornbread

BRR! 12" of snow fell on the ground here, and the temperatures are under freezing.  With all of this cold weather, I decided to make a pot of chili, based loosely on this recipe as I will be making it with what we have on hand. I love this recipe for cornbread. It is sweet and delicious. It is unlike any cornbread I have ever had and it is the only recipe I use now. Again, I love to use shortening in this cornbread recipe and cookie recipes but if you like to use butter or margarine, feel free to substitute. I usually use applesauce as the egg replacer in the cornbread but alas I am out  of applesauce so I am using homemade Ener-G egg replacer, which worked awesome in this recipe. I even used some whole wheat flour in the cornbread recipe and it was still tender and so yummy. If you want to make your own Ener-G, click here for that, and a list of other egg replacers from Chef Deb and applications for them. Here is the recipe that I made for the chili, with cheap-o stuff I happened to have and the measurements on the herbs/spices are approximates. This chili is delicious, cheap and filling. I will definitely be making it again and again.

Black Bean and Kidney Bean Chili

1 tbsp. oil 
2 large garlic cloves, pressed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (14 ounce) can of dark red kidney beans, undrained
1 (14 ounce) can of black beans, undrained
1/2-1 tsp. cumin
1/2-1 tsp. onion powder
1/2-1 tsp. oregano
1/2-1 tsp. paprika
1/2-1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. sage
1 (14 ounce) chopped tomatoes with chilies, undrained

Place the oil in a large stock pot, cook garlic over medium for about 1 minute, add the onions and cook until translucent. Maybe about 3-5 minutes.  Add all other ingredients, along with 2 cans water. Cook about 30-45 minutes over a low simmer. Enjoy.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Chocolate Banana Bread

I love this banana bread, it is the best banana bread ever and it is so forgiving. The first time I made it, I forgot the vanilla and the eggs. This time I made it, I purposely left out the eggs, and used soy milk instead of the sour cream, as I didn't have any on hand. I even used 1/4 cup applesauce and 1/4 cup butter the first time I made this, and this time I used 1/2 cup Smart Balance Light. I used regular cocoa (store brand even) as that is what I had but as she says I know it would be even better with dutch cocoa. There is a slight banana flavor and Chris says that this tastes more like chocolate cake than anything.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies (Vegan)

Decided to make up a batch of cookies, just because. I was craving some chocolate chip cookies but decided to make some chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, it called for less fat (the chocolate chip recipe that I use calls for 1 cup butter/margarine and this recipe uses 1/2 cup) and somehow eating an oatmeal cookie seems healthier LOL ;) I made my cookies with this recipe, however I used vegetable shortening instead of the margarine/butter and in place of the egg 1 tbsp. ground flax seed mixed with 3 tbsp. water. These are so delicious, soft, cinnamon-y and chocolate-y. I love making cookies because they are so easy to make and were perfect on a wintry night. Chris and I loved these and it made about 18 cookies total, it says it makes 2 dozen but I tend to make larger cookies. The website has a lot of the "in a jar" recipes that would be perfect for gift giving and they are easily veganized. I used walnuts, what I happened to have on hand. I love pecans but I just used the last of them up in the whole wheat pancakes Chris and I had for breakfast. Feel free to use your favorite nuts in this recipe if you make it, and I always use vegetable shortening in cookies because it tends to have the best baked result, again use butter or margarine if that is what you prefer.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Granola three ways

I saw this recipe from Not Derby Pie for Tahini flavored granola and I knew that I wanted to try it out imediately. I have been on a granola kick lately. Chris and I like to eat it right from the container as snacks, as cereal with milk and I love mixing it with vanilla yogurt. MMM, granola. 

I also decided to make some Granola Muffins, from
this recipe . I replaced the egg with "flax seed goop" (1 tbsp. ground flax seeds blended with 3 tbsp. water) and these were so amazing that I have made them twice now ;) I also threw in about 1 tsp. vanilla. I also used the same recipe to make the pancakes, although I used 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder instead of soda. I recommend making these (pancakes or muffins) with the same measurement of baking powder instead of soda, made with the soda the muffins have a slightly bitter aftertaste. In the future I will use less sugar, maybe 1/4 cup for the pancakes. I used homemade Ener-G and I am very pleased with the results in these muffins (in photo) with it. Definitely a money saver, Ener-G can be costly and the ingredients can be purchased for very cheap at an Asian Grocer.

Ener-G Type Egg Replacer 
Chef Deborah Wolfe of Vegsource

1 cup potato starch
3/4 cup tapioca flour
2 tsp. baking powder

Mix all well.
Store in airtight container.

To use:
1 & 1/2 tsp powder + 2 Tbs water = 1 egg.
1 & 1/2 tsp powder + 1 Tbs water = 1 egg yolk.

When measuring, press powder firmly into measuring

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Lentil Loaf

After seeing a picture of this loaf that Danaskully64 of Veggieboards made, I knew I had to try it out. I made mine from  this recipe (this is the same one she posted) and I decided to make some mushroom gravy to go with it from this recipe and I added some one onion, chopped and sauteed in oil (along with the 'shrooms) to my gravy. I also made Roasted Rosemary Potatoes and Roasted Brussels Sprouts.

The loaf is relatively easy to get out of the pan. I forgot to add basil to mine, and as recommended by Tofu and Sprouts, I cooked my lentils in vegetable broth. I think it is a good, inexpensive recipe that is very easy to make, even during the week. Christopher loved this loaf. I want to make it again with BBQ sauce instead of the tomato sauce, as recommended by Danaskully64 and a lot of the reviewers. I did saute my onion and added a shredded carrot, sauteed to the mix. Definitely try out the mushroom gravy, I think it went well with the Lentil Loaf, and it would be good also on mashed potatoes.

Here is a close up of the Lentil Loaf and Mushroom-Onion Gravy

Here is the plated food

Here is the loaf

Flax Seed Sandwich Bread

I decided to make this for sandwiches instead of getting some sandwich bread from the grocery store. I love PB and J's and I wanted a good, sturdy yet soft bread that I could cut thin and would stay soft. I based this recipe off of  this one , just subbing the tomato sauce for applesauce, and omitting the herbs. I added some milled flax seed in place of some of the flour. You can find this in the baking aisle near the wheat gluten flour, or if you cannot find it and you have whole flax seeds you can grind your own in a spice/coffee grinder. Make sure that you have a separate grinder for spices and coffee. Keep the box of ground flax seed in the fridge once opened so it doesn't go rancid. Ground flax seed plus water blended in the blender can be used as an egg replacement.

  Flax Seed Sandwich Bread 
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons powdered milk
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup OR sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed (if you cannot find this, you can just use another 1/2 cup AP flour)
  • 1 package active dry yeast
Mix the warm water, powdered mix, yeast and sugar OR corn syrup in a large bowl, set aside to proof for about 5 minutes.

Add oil, salt and applesauce, stir to incorporate.

Add flax seed powder and 2 cups flour, stir well to incorporate, and turn onto floured board.

Knead in the last 1/2 cup flour, adding additional flour as necessary.

Knead about 5 minutes, dough should be soft but not sticky. Cover until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.

Punch dough down.

Oil a bread loaf pan, place your dough into it. Cover with a clean tea towel and let rise for about 1 1/2 more hours, or until doubled in bulk.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place bread in oven, cook 30-45 minutes or until lightly browned on top and bread sounds hollow when tapped.

Cool and enjoy.

Bread rising

 Baked bread, and that is my Tinkerbell Oven Glove ;)

    Monday, January 18, 2010

    Udon Noodles with Spicy Peanut Ginger Sauce

    I was looking online for udon noodle recipes that were spicy and I came upon this recipe , I am making it however without meat and using tofu instead, I also had no bean sprouts so I also left them out, along with the chili oil, which I subbed out with some garlic pepper sauce. I subbed out the almond butter for peanut butter and left out the vinegar. It is spicy, with a hint of ginger. I really enjoyed it. Here is the recipe that I made....

     Udon Noodles with Spicy Peanut Ginger Sauce

    • 2 sleeves prepared udon noodles
    • 1 tbsp. garlic pepper sauce
    • 4 tbsp. teriyaki sauce
    • 1 lime, juiced (one tbsp.)
    • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
    • 1 tsp. sesame seed oil
    • 2 tsp. dry ginger
    • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
    • 1/2 tbsp. oil
    • 1 tsp. sesame seed oil
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 carrots, shredded
    • 2 cups Napa cabbage, shredded
    • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
    • 1 Tbs sesame seeds
    Combine ingredients from Teriyaki Sauce to crushed red pepper in a small bowl.
    Cook 2 sleeves udon in boiling water for 8 minutes, drain and rinse with cold water.
    Combine sesame seed oil and vegetable oil.
     If you happen to have some tofu, cut into triangles and cook on medium until browned on both sides.

    Saute garlic cloves in oil mixture

    Add your carrots and the Napa cabbage, stir fry on medium high until lightly wilted.
    Add your noodles.

    Mix in sauce and half of the chopped cilantro.
    Serve with tofu and garnish with remaining cilantro and sesame seeds.

    Sunday, January 17, 2010

    Cheap-o Night: Homemade Tomato Basil Sauce with Penne and Tomato Basil Bread

    Chris loves this bread but I have only made it once for him. The time we had it before we loved it so much we vowed to not make it again, it is that good. We kept nibbling on it all night. As a surprise and because we happen to have the ingredients on hand I made it again. I did not have dried onion flakes so I made mine with onion powder, and I used fresh basil as I did not have dried on hand. To make vegan, use powdered soy milk or go with 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp warm soy milk (leave out the water if you go with this option). I used a whole package of yeast in this recipe and hand kneaded it. That means I let it rise the first time 1 1/2 hours and 1-1 1/2 hours once it is in the bread pan. Bake at 350 degrees F until loaf is golden and sounds hollowed when tapped.


    I think that I have mentioned this recipe for Tomato Basil Pizza Sauce and I liked it so much I decided to make it again for pasta. I used 16 ounces of tomato sauce instead of the diced tomatoes, also I added oregano and sugar to my recipe. I doubled the recipe to use later in the week for more pasta and pizza ;)


    Totally cheap and homemade, with fresh ingredients....Italian Night. From scratch and you probably have all of these ingredients laying around your home and it doesn't taste "cheap". Enjoy!

    Saturday, January 16, 2010

    Gorgonzola, Mushroom and Carmelized Onion Pizza

    I based the pizza sauce off of this recipe being that I had no canned tomatoes, I used some tomato sauce (16 ounces) instead and I threw in maybe a teaspoon of sugar and about 1/2 tsp. dried oregano.

    I used my regular pizza dough that I always use when making a pizza

    3 cups all purpose white flour OR 1 cup whole wheat flour and 2 cups AP white flour
    1 Pkg. yeast either fast rise or regular
    1 cup warm water (110 degrees or warm to touch)
    1 tbsp. applesauce OR 1 tbsp. olive oil (I always use the oil, it works just as well with the applesauce though)
    1 tsp. sugar OR 1 tbsp. corn syrup OR 1 tbsp. golden syrup
    1 tsp. salt

    Place water, salt, sweetener of choice and yeast in large bowl. It will proof in about 5 minutes.
    Add oil.
    Add 2 cups flour and mix.
    Add the rest of the flour, mix and turn onto floured board, adding additional flour if necessary.
    Knead 5-10 minutes.
    Cover with bowl, let rise at least 30 minutes to one hour or until doubled in bulk. It will hold an indention of your thumb if doubled in bulk.
    Punch dough down, and roll out in oiled pizza pan.
    Cover for about 30 minutes with clean tea towel or you can skip this step however the crust will be very thin.

    Cut up 2 medium onions into very thin slices. Saute in a pot over medium heat about 15-20 minutes in about 2 tbsp. oil until fragrant and slightly brown. Set aside.

    Place tomato sauce (however much you like) on rolled out pizza that has risen covered, for 30 minutes. Top with 1 pkg. (or 2 cups) shredded mozzarella cheese (I used 2%), your caramelized onions, about 1/4-1/3 cup Gorgonzola cheese, and maybe 4 ounces sliced mushrooms. Bake at 425 degrees F for about 10-15 minutes until cheese is slightly brown and bubbly and bottom crust is golden brown. Enjoy. I think this is the best pizza I have ever had.

    Pre-baked Pizza

     Baked Pizza, if you can wait 5-10 minutes it will cut better.

    Wednesday, January 13, 2010

    Avocado Spring Rolls and Green (Tea) Bubble Tea

    I bought two avocados from Tan-A-Supermarket ( the local Asian grocer) thinking that I would use them up in TLAT'S but the boy says that he is tired of them (I know, GASP!) so what to do...We came up with this recipe and I realize that this is not a new idea, so here is our version of it.

    Avocado Spring Rolls

    1/2-1 avocado cut in half, then into thin strips
    6-12 rice paper wrappers (however many you want to make)
    one mango, cored and peeled, cut into thin strips or pineapple chunks or mandarin oranges
    1 "flat" rice vermicelli, cooked for 3 minutes in boiling water (don't cook any longer than this or they will be overdone)
    spring onion tops
    bean sprouts
    shredded Napa cabbage (I forgot to use this)
    cilantro or mint
    sesame seeds
    honey or agave nectar
    ground ginger

    Mix the honey, ginger and Sriracha to make a sauce to your tastes. Soak the rice paper one or two at a time and place on cutting board. Start with avocado, adding fruit of choice, spring onion, mint or cilantro, bean sprouts, Napa cabbage then rice vermicelli. Roll up bean burrito style. Repeat. I get my husband to do this ;) When the rolls have all been "packaged" drizzle with the honey mixture and sprinkle with seeds.


    I think that I remember saying in a previous post that I had happened upon some Green Tea Boba Milk Powder (Greenmax brand) and Green Tea Pearls at Tan-A. I boiled up the pearls and made some sugar syrup today. BTW, watch what links you click when (or if) you look up Greenmax, I got a terrible spyware attack on this computer because of a link I clicked in connection to that search.

    Here is the recipe that I used for the sugar syrup

    Sugar Syrup
    1 cup EACH brown sugar and white sugar
    2 cups water
    Mix sugars and the water in a medium saucepan. Cook at medium to high heat. Once the sugar water boils remove from heat immediately. Let cool and refrigerate leftovers.

    How to cook green tea
    4 regular bags per quart of tea
    Place tea bags in water, bring to the point that small bubbles are coming to the surface over medium to medium high heat. Let cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat immediately. Place a layer of ice at the bottom of a heat proof storage container, pour tea over this. Rinse out tea bags with additional cold water. Chill.

    How to cook the Pearls
    I thought that I would mention this because my bag of pearls actually says that it cooks in 5 minutes. Well that is and isn't true at the same time. What I did was place 8 cups water and 1 cup pearls in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil. Once the pearls float to the top (and this may take a bit of time) turn heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes. Then take the pearls off the heat. They are not done yet. Cover your pot with the lid for about 20 minutes. They should be chewy but not hard. Cover with sugar syrup or sweetener of choice.

    Green Tea Bubble Tea
    2 tbsp. Green Tea Boba Milk Tea Mix
    2 tbsp. cooked pearls
    sugar syrup to taste
    2 tbsp. Non-Dairy Creamer
    1&1/2 cups chilled green tea

    Blend the creamer and milk powder together in a small bowl to combine. Place all into your blender (except pearls, add those to  your finished drink). Blend until smooth. I tried to make an icy version but my dying blender BROKE. Sadness..... :*( 
    I made mine with a stick blender. In any case, the above drink is awesome. Highly recommended. If you can find the Green Tea Pearls, get them. You can really taste a faint green tea taste and I like them better than the plain ones. Chris actually thought that they were peas, LOL.

    Monday, January 11, 2010

    Thai Tea and BBQ Tofu Vermicelli

    I love Vietnamese food. Heart healthy, cheap and so very easy to make. Hit up the local Asian Grocer for the very best deals on fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh herbs, tofu, soy milk, sauces, spices, noodles, bamboo steamers, kitchen items, rice, candy, snacks (ooh Wasabi Peas) meat (if you are a meat eater), mock meat, tea, etc. All kinds of goodies there. I even got some Boba Milk Tea powder (green tea, and they also had black tea) there (more about that in upcoming posts) and Green Tea flavored Boba Pearls. But I digress, back to the foods at hand.

    The BBQ tofu vermicelli bowl is what I get when I go to Pho. It is exactly what it sounds like, noodles and BBQ'd tofu. It has shredded romaine lettuce, bean sprouts and thinly sliced cucumber matchsticks as a salad in the middle of the noodle bowl (I threw in some carrots for extra crunch and color, maybe that is why I forgot the cucumber, oops). To serve it comes with Peanut Sauce. To me this recipe tastes better than the sauce that I get from Pho. Please do not overcook your rice vermicelli. It only needs to cook 3 minutes once it hits the boiling water. That's all, and if you cook it longer it will get chewy and not taste good. For that beautiful tofu, all I did was brush it with hoisin sauce on both sides and grill on my George Foreman grill. Here is the recipe that I used to make the Thai Tea it is the cold Thai Tea,Cha Yen. It is subtle and delicious. I made mine with skim milk and fat free sweetened condensed milk. I may add additional spices such as cinnamon to the next batch. You won't believe the beautiful color of this tea. I actually got a huge packet of Thai Tea from the Asian grocer ( Tan-A-Supermarket for those of you that live here in Richmond, VA and yes that is an old Rite-Aid building) for about $3.00. I will have a picture of that for you soon. I would love to go to Thailand and drink it right out of the bag...yes they really serve it to you like that....

    Took a picture for you before I drizzled it with Sriracha,  Hoisin Sauce and Peanut Sauce and I forgot my cucumbers and my Pho bowl is currently holding watercress. I am pleased, although I would have liked the tofu to be a bit crispier.

    Little Wieners to love.....

    Smokey Little Wieners and the people who love them on the next Geraldo....LOL, just kidding. Seriously though, these cocktail wienies rock. When I found this recipe for Little Wieners, I knew I had to try it. It is a recipe for "cocktail wieners" or "Lil' Smokies". I finally made it today, and it was fairly simple to make. I also made the BBQ sauce to go with the little wienies which was very hot and spicy, Chris loved these recipes and he kept saying how hot the sauce was but he kept coming back for more ;P I think that I will cut back on some of the heat of this BBQ sauce the next time that I make it. The most tedious part of the recipe is actually rolling the little wieners up, candy style, in aluminum foil. I love that the seitan is steamed in this recipe and the texture is better than most homemade seitans that I have made. I know that I will make this recipe again, and make the other seitan goodies listed on the website, including the brats. I don't think that I will be buying any pre-made wienies anymore. While I worked on these recipes, I helped Chris make some spring rolls and I made some Vietnamese Peanut Dipping Sauce which IMO is so much better tasting than the sauce you get at Pho. We used bean sprouts, napa cabbage, shredded carrots, green onion, rice vermicelli, mint and cilantro in our spring rolls however use what you like. More on those in posts later on this week including photos.

    Saucy spicy goodness.

    Friday, January 8, 2010

    Black Bean Brownies

    Black Bean Brownies? Brownies with beans in them? Are you serious? Why yes, yes I am. I have been meaning to make these for a long time and what made me think of them was Chris telling me about Jessica Seinfeld's book with all low-fat recipes, including sweets. While looking around on the internet, I found  this recipe which had a lot of positive feedback. I noticed that it had some flour added to it, which ultimately made me choose this one, since most of the others did not have flour and a lot of feedback was of "pudding" brownies. However, it does seem to be half of the people either hating or loving the recipe (and some of them say they can taste the beans). Kind of like durian, I suppose...I tried that once and I couldn't get past the smell.....If you have tried it you will understand why there is a $500.00 fine for having one in a hotel in Asia. Here is an interesting read about durian on  Wiki ....look at all the different things said about it's taste.....LOL. Like I said, either you love or hate it.

    Andrew Zimmern hates it, and Anthony Bourdain loves it. So is this the "durian" of brownies, maybe. And will you be an Zimmern or a Bourdain...Who knows? Just like your mother always said "You never know until you try".Can be vegan-ized with some applesauce or other egg replacer. I am thinking about making a pan and sending it to my MIL, but making it as the original recipe was written, without the flour in it since she is diabetic and with Splenda instead of sugar. But I digress....Here is the recipe.

    Black Bean Brownies

    1 15 ounce can black beans, drained, rinsed and patted dry
    3 large eggs
    3 tbsp. oil
    3/4 cup sugar
    1/2 cup cocoa
    1 tsp. vanilla extract (I used 2 tsp.)
    1/2 tsp. baking powder ( I used 1 tsp.)
    1/2 cup AP flour
    pinch salt
    1/2 tsp. peppermint extract (optional, but I think it tastes best with the peppermint extract)
    1/2 cup chocolate chips, divided (I just sprinkled some on top of the cake/brownies)
    I added 1 tbsp. instant coffee dissolved in 1 tbsp. hot water

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8"x8" baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Place the black beans into a food processor, and process until smooth and creamy. Add eggs, oil, sugar, cocoa, vanilla, baking powder, flour, salt and peppermint (if using). Add 1/4 cup of the chocolate chips, pulse to chop up and distribute evenly. Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle top with the remaining chocolate chips. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until the edges start to pull away from the sides and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan before slicing. Slice into 16 brownies.

    Each brownie contains 120 calories, 5g fat (1.5g saturated, 0.3g omega-3), 95mg sodium, 18g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 3g protein.

    Made the way I made this, it turned out more like a cake. A good cake. A cake that I would make again. Chris and I both enjoyed it, and we ate it slightly warm. However, I will try it again without the flour, and again with 1/2 tsp. baking powder and flour as written. Chris had another piece this morning, and the verdict is it tastes a bit better warm but still delicious cold.


    Pumpkin Gorgonzola and Mushroom Pasta

    If you have never had Gorgonzola, you should go get some now! Here is an interesting read on Wiki , basically a blue cheese made from goat's or cow's milk, from Italy. Can you hear me saying "I love-a da stinky cheese?"....anyways......

    I have used it in the watercress salad and now I am going to use it in a Pumpkin Gorgonzola Sauce. It is a blue cheese, but with a milder flavor, it is not "in your face" with its taste. Blue, but not shockingly blue cheese flavor, if that makes sense. I have made this recipe before, however that was when I was a vegan and made a mock Gorgonzola Cheese. Rich creamy pumpkin sauce with undertones of sage and thyme, caramelized onions, mushrooms and creamy Gorgonzola cheese. You cannot go wrong with this flavor combination. It is very flavorful, I used this recipe ....I think that I would have liked it a lot more if I had fresh herbs and I used a lot more milk in mine, and I used skim milk instead of cream, and I added some dried thyme. Good flavor combination made even better by some tempeh bacon on top. Not a healthy post here by any means.

    Pumpkin Spice Granola

    When I found this recipe , I knew I had to make it. Spicy Pumpkin Granola is one of my favorite cereals and I have not had it in so long and besides, I love pumpkin anything. I was not sure that it would work out for me because my previous attempts to make Pumpkin Granola at home ended in failure, but then I am a much better cook now. I made this recipe last night and added in some Craisins that I happened to have in the house. It is very easy to make and I highly recommend it. I love the fact that this granola has no added fat (like oil or butter) in the actual recipe. I don't think that it needs any nuts but feel free to add them if you make it. I had mine with some vanilla yogurt this morning and it was delicious. Crunchy, slightly sweet and just sweet enough at the same time, and heart healthy. I didn't place it on parchment paper and it didn't stick. I know that you are all envying my Hello Kitty bowl =^ ^= If you have no Pumpkin Pie Spice, make your own

    Pumpkin Pie Spice


    * 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    * 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
    * 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    * 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

    Combine all ingredients. If you make extra, store in an airtight container.

    Thursday, January 7, 2010

    Roasted Vegetable Night

    I love, love, love to make these....Crispy Potatoes with Rosemary, Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Maple Glazed Carrots and Onions...Simple comfort food on a cold winter night to warm me up. I recently discovered that I didn't hate Brussels Sprouts as much as I once thought, they are almost "nutty" tasting made this way and we always have Brussels Sprouts in the freezer. I think that I was scared away by these tiny cabbages because my mom used to just boil them up and expect me to eat them and they are disgusting like that.  I used to think they were  little stinky cabbages of doom.This is probably what I looked like :

    Surprisingly I loved "fried cabbage". Go figure. I guess that is the southern coming out in me. I guess I have a more adult palette now because instead of eating the roasted potatoes with Ketchup, I like to eat my roasted potatoes with Sriracha..

    LOL. I call it Asian Ketchup ;)

    Roasted Carrots and Onions with Maple Syrup

    1/2 medium-large onion cut into slivers
    1/2 pound-1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into very small chunks
    2-3 tbsp. maple syrup
    1/2-1 tsp. onion powder or to taste
    salt and pepper to taste
    1/4-1/2 tsp. garlic powder (or to taste)
    1/2-1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
    1/2-1 tbsp. olive oil

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
    Toss all ingredients to coat, cook in a square baking dish.
    Bake about 30-45 minutes or until tender and onions are starting to char, stirring frequently.

    Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

    2-4 large potatoes (I use Russet, but use your faves) scrubbed and chopped in large chunks
    rosemary (dried) to taste
    salt and pepper to taste
    2-3 tbsp. olive oil
    Toss all ingredients on a  large baking sheet to coat with your hands. Cook at 400-425 degrees F, for about 30-45 minutes. Flip once to brown on both sides.

    Roasted Brussels Sprouts

    1 frozen package (individually frozen) Brussels Sprouts (12-16 ounces) or 1 pound fresh cleaned
    1-2 tbsp. olive oil
    salt and pepper
    Toss all ingredients to coat, and cook at 400 degrees F until outside leaves are slightly charred (about 30-45 minutes). I usually cook mine in a square metal baking dish. Fresh is definitely better.