Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sweet Potato Muffins...

I've been rediscovering sweet potatoes as an adult, and this recipe was AMAZING!!! These muffins are definitely in the category of "best ever!" Enjoy!

Adapted from D. Madison's "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone:"

1/2 cup chopped dried fruit (I used a combination of dates and dried cherries (highly recommended), but candied ginger or raisins would also be really good)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup molasses
1/2 cup or less light brown sugar
1 cup mashed cooked sweet potato
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk (or soymilk)
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Mix eggs, oil, molasses, milk, and sweet potato until smooth. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, salt, and cinnamon until uniform. Stir in the fruit and nuts. Add the wet mixture all at once, and stir just until everything is moistened. Spoon into a greased muffin tin (I filled the cups all the way to the top and made big muffins), and bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Marinated Tofu Appetizers

This recipe is incredibly easy and so delicious!

1 block of extra-firm tofu
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1/2 tsp powdered garlic
olive oil for sautéing

Cut tofu into 3/4 inch cubes. In a tupperware container or ziplock bag, mix the soy sauce, ginger, and garlic. Add the tofu, close the container, and then shake to coat the tofu. Let the mixture marinate for 2 hours or more, shaking every 15 minutes or so.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat with a little olive oil. Add the tofu with the marinade to the skillet, and sauté until the tofu is lightly browned. The soy sauce will evaporate in the heat, and will leave a dark and a little bit crispy coating on the tofu. Insert toothpicks, and serve immediately for a tasty appetizer, maybe with a little fresh mint or basil as garnish.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Applesauce Bread

Perfect for a chilly autumn evening...

2 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 heaping tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 (or a little less) cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup applesauce
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp milk
1 1/2 tbsp molasses
1/2 chopped nuts
1 cup raisins

Combine the first 7 ingredients in a bowl, stirring well. In a seperate bowl, beat the eggs, and then add the applesauce, oil, vanilla, milk, and molasses, whisking to mix well. Fold the liquid mixture into the dry mixture, and stir until just mixed. Fold in the nuts and raisins.

Pour into a greased breadpan and bake for 50 minutes or 1 hour, or until knife inserted comes out clean. Serve warm with a little butter.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Red Lentil and Tofu Curry

1 cup red lentils, rinsed
3 cups water
1 small onion, diced
3 or 4 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil for sauteing
1 lb extra firm tofu, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 tsp powdered ginger (or minced fresh ginger)
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
salt to taste
juice from 1 lemon

Combine lentils and water in saucepan, bring to boil, and then let simmer for 20 minutes or until thick.

Meanwhile, saute onion and garlic together with olive oil for 5 minutes. Add the red pepper, and saute 3 minutes more. Add the tofu and stir well. Sprinkle ginger, curry, garam masala, and turmeric over tofu mixture, and stir until well coated with spices. Add a little more oil if necessary. Continue cooking over low heat until lentils have finished cooking.

Pour the tofu mixture into the lentils and stir well. Add lemon juice and salt to taste. Serve over rice.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

I made some wonderful stuffed mushrooms for our dinner guests a week ago, and then in Berkeley Bowl this week I spied some beautiful portobello mushrooms for a great price. I was inspired! My imagination got to work, and created the following...

2 portobello mushrooms
1 veggie sausage link (optional)
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 slice whole wheat bread
4 oz (1/2 package) cream cheese
1/4 cup fresh ricotta cheese or cottage cheese
onion salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

The key here is to chop all ingredients as small as possible. Wash mushrooms, and remove stems. Place mushroom caps to the side. Slice off the bottom portion of each stem and discard. Chop each stem into very small pieces. Chop the sausage and garlic into very small pieces as well. Saute the mushroom stems, sausage, and garlic together in olive oil for 5-7 minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic. Remove from heat and cool.

Chop the bread into very small pieces. In a medium bowl, combine the cooled saute ingredients and the bread with the cream cheese and ricotta cheese and salt and pepper. Stir until well mixed.

Divide, and spoon the cream cheese mixture over the 2 portobello mushroom caps. Bake at 400F on a greased cookie sheet until the juices are released (20-25 minutes). Serve warm.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tamale Pie

1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red pepper, diced
1 tomato, diced
1.5 cups black beans (or one can, partially drained)
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup frozen corn
1.5 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
3/4 cup water (or enough to make a thick soup)
salt to taste

Cornbread Crust:
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
2.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 cup soymilk or milk
1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3-1/2 cup cheese (I used white cheddar)

Saute onion in oil for 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper and saute for 3-5 minutes more. Add tomato, and saute until juices are released (about 5 minutes). Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to boil, and let simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat.

While soup is simmering, make the cornbread crust. In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt. In a small bowl, beat the egg, then add the agave, milk, and oil, and beat together. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and stir until everything is evenly moist.

Pour the soup into a 2 quart casserole dish (or a 9 x 13 cake pan). Sprinkle cheese on top of the soup. Place large spoonfuls of the batter over the soup, and after all the batter has been placed, spread it out, trying to connect all the spoonfuls together, spreading the batter as evenly as possible over the soup (it doesn't have to reach all the way to the edges). Bake at 400F for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the "crust" clean.

Serve hot, with the soup spooned over large scoops of the bread.

Apple Banana Muffins

Really moist, really good...

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup wheat bran
1 Tbsp baking powder
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup agave nectar
2 bananas, mashed
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 cup soymilk
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 medium apple, diced

In a large bowl, combine flours, bran, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. In another bowl, mash the bananas, then beat in the eggs, agave, oil, and milk. Fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture until just mixed. Then stir in the nuts and apple chunks. Bake at 350F for 18 minutes.

Aunty's Healthy cookies

--This recipe post was written by my sister-in-law, Audrey. After sending us an Easter package with these amazing cookies, I asked her if I could post the cookie recipe on this blog. Cookies are more delicious when they are made with so much love, as you can read below...

My Aunt Ty is an amazing woman. I admire her so much. I look up to her as a role model of what a great woman is. When I became an Aunt on March 30, 2009, it was one of the proudest moments of my life. Evan is my dear nephew and I cherish him. Now I have another nephew, Soleil Butler, born April 1, 2010. It has been such an honor to know these amazing boys. I love watching their development and feel pride in each of their accomplishments.

In Hawaii it is a term of great respect and endearment to call your elders "Aunty" and "Uncle". I always felt proud when a child in Hawaii called me Aunty, so that is the name I chose for myself in relation to my nephews. I like to be "Aunty Audrey".

A few weeks ago I went to my Uncle Don and Aunt Luanne's house for a potluck family dinner. I brought a Banana Cream Pie. When we started on the dessert, Aunt Ty brought out the most amazing healthy cookies - everyone was in awe and wanted the recipe! Later, when we were exchanging emails about the details, I noticed she signed her name "AunTy", short for Aunt Ty. Since I am aunty, and she is AunTy, I like to call these "Aunty's healthy cookies".

There is no sugar, butter, or flour. We like to think of them as protein bars. They are great to take with you camping. This recipe is the result of some experimenting, and it is flexible so you can be creative. We have some chocolate protein powder we are planning to to try sometime. Thank you Kendra and thank you Aunt Ty for being such inspiring, amazing women who I can look up to and learn from.

Aunty's Healthy Cookies

1/2 cup organic soy milk
3/4 cup organic agave nectar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 cup organic peanut butter
1/3 cup (heaping) wheat germ
3 cups oatmeal
1/4 cup ground organic flax (optional)
1/2 cup chopped dates (optional)
2/3 cup sunflower seeds (optional)


1. Heat milk, sugar, and cocoa powder over high heat until boiling, stirring constantly.

2. Take off heat and stir in vanilla and peanut butter; stir until peanut butter has melted completely

3. Stir in wheat germ, oatmeal, and other optional ingredients.

4. Drop by large spoonfuls onto wax paper, form into cookies by hand, or eat immediately :)

5. This recipe is flexible - have fun with it! If you don't have wheat germ or flax seed, just use more oatmeal. The recipe above should work out just perfectly and does most of the time, but if your cookies come out crumbly, use less oatmeal next time. If they never set, use more oatmeal next time. [From Kendra: I used almond butter instead of peanut butter, and it was delicious.]

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Good 'n Green Soup

Like so many of our dinners, I spontaneously created this recipe because of the particular combination of vegetables available in our fridge today. They all happened to be green. So what did I do? I chopped, added water, boiled, then blended! The result was super good, especially when served with a thick slice of garlic bread.

1 medium onion, diced
1 lb asparagus, ends trimmed, then diced
1 head broccoli, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
3 large handfuls baby spinach
salt to taste
3 cloves garlic, minced
seasoning blend of choice
2 Tbsp flour
1/3 cup half-n-half or a little more, to taste
1/4 cup feta cheese
1/3 cup white cheddar cheese

Saute onion in olive oil until soft (3-5 minutes) in a large pot. Add asparagus, and saute for another 5 minutes. Add broccoli, zucchini, and spinach, and cook until spinach wilts. Pour in water until it comes to the same level as the vegetables. Add salt, garlic, and spices. Cover, bring to boil, and let simmer until all veggies are soft (about 10 minutes).

While veggies are simmering, put the flour in a small bowl. Add a little of the half-n-half to make a paste, then add the rest of the half-n-half and stir until smooth.

When veggies are soft, puree the mixture with a hand blender until it's slightly lumpy. Add the half-n-half mixture, and the feta and white cheddar cheese. Stir until well combined, and bring to a gentle boil to thicken. Remove from heat. Serve hot with crusty bread.