Sunday, November 23, 2008

Teff Pancakes

These were an effort one, to change up the Sunday morning routine of making (delicious) oatmeal pancakes, and two to make something I might be able to feed a non-gluten eating Marenka!
I'm not jumping up and down about the recipe as I made it, but it has definite possibilities. Normally, when I'm approaching an as yet untested recipe with an ingredient that's fairly new to me I take the time to find a number of similar recipes, picking and choosing elements of several to come up with something that might best suit our tastes. This time I just opened up a cookbook and made the recipe inside, for better or worse.
The flavor was really nice, but they were a little on the dense side. The batter thickened considerably as it sat and even though the recipe said to add more water if this happened, I didn't. Changes I'll make next time are whizzing the milk/water, teff, and a couple eggs in a blender first. I also found several recipes that called for adding 2 Tbs of flaxmeal too, so I might throw that in. One recipe I found added a banana to the blender, another just folded in banana slices to the batter. All in all, a lot of little tweaks.

I tried using teff flour before to make a passable injera a few weeks back. I think it just hadn't sat on the counter long enough. I went almost 2 days, but that really wasn't enough to get a good sourdough going. It was edible, but not really worth posting. Attempting an all-teff recipe did open my eyes to the reason most injera recipes often add a glutenous wheat flour to the teff, as our injera had a tendency to crack like a seared desert floor when they cooked. I might try again sometime, but in the meantime we'll continue to appreciate the ones we get at Aster's, our favorite Ethiopian joint. :-)

The below recipe comes out of Bob's Red Mill Baking Book, and I've altered it by adding cinnamon, vanilla, and using soymilk in lieu of regular milk. There aren't any eggs in it, and you could easily veganize this by swapping out the butter for oil. I'll type as written, but I only made 3/4 of the recipe.

I ate mine topped with Fage Greek yogurt, agave nectar, bananas and walnuts.

Teff Pancakes:
(Bob's Redmill Baking Book)

2 cups teff flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
(1/2 tsp cinnamon)
2 Tbs sugar (I used Sucanat)
2 cups of water, or 1 cup water and 1 cup milk (I used half soy milk and half water...add more liquid if it thickens too much when sitting.)
2 Tbs cooled melted butter, or canola oil
1 tsp vanilla

Whisk or sift together dry ingredients.
Whisk melted butter or oil into water/milk (and vanilla if you like).
Continue to mix in the dry ingredients into the wet.
The batter may thicken upon sitting at which point you can add a bit more water.
Laddle 1/4-1/3 cup of batter for each cake and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until bubbles appear.
Flip and cook on other side til done.

For of the Meyer Special lemons from one of Monster's co-workers tree. Who knew you could grow this kind of goodness right here in Austin?? It's sitting next to what was billed as a large Naval for size comp. Believe it or not, it's all lemon, not taken up by 1/2 pith on the inside. :-)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Lemon-Herb Tofu

I've been all gimped up with a wracked lower shouldn't be sitting here too long. But, I'm getting tired of this messy desktop full of icons. Pictures of recipes to be posted. So here goes. Getting rid of two at least! We ate this a few nights ago after I found the recipe on one of the vegan blogs I read. Very good and definitely falls into the easy peasy category.
Serve it over whatever you like. I was out of brown rice, so we made do with some buckwheat noodles. I'll publish as I found the recipe, but I went lighter on the herbs than she did. Also used a Greek oregano, which I find to be much more palatable.

Lemon-Herb Tofu:
(from Dreena's Vegan Recipes)

31⁄2 - 4 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (I used more...just because I had a monster meyer lemon that in no way was going to waste)
2 tbsp tamari (I used soy)
2 - 21⁄2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
11⁄2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1⁄2 tsp dried basil
1⁄2 tsp honey alternative (I used agave nectar)
few pinches freshly ground black pepper
1 350-g pkg (12-oz) extra-firm tofu, cut into squares about 1⁄4" - 1⁄2" thick,
and patted gently to remove excess moisture

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). In an 8"x12" baking dish, combine the lemon juice, tamari, olive oil, oregano, thyme, basil, honey alternative, and pepper, and stir through until well incorporated. Add the tofu and coat each side. Bake covered for 15 minutes. Turn the tofu over, and continue to bake uncovered for another 13-15 minutes, turning again when there are just a few minutes of cooking time remaining. At this time, the tofu should have soaked up most of the marinade. Remove from oven and let cool a little before serving; pour any remaining herbs and oil over the tofu.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Heidi's Cornmeal Crunch

I made Heidi's (101 Cookbooks) recipe for cornmeal crunch the other night as a side/starch to I can't even remember what. We got a lot of mileage out of it as it was eaten over the next few days alongside salads, torn up into chicken soup, and just generally snacked upon. I'd planned on making it with some leftover caramelized onions (which would have made it a lot quicker to prepare), but I didn't trust that they were any good after 10 days in the fridge.
I didn't have any onions, but did have a whole slew of shallots which got used instead.
I went ahead and caramelized the shallots as I would onions in any of my other recipes. This means I added some balsamic vinegar and a little agave nectar to what would have otherwise been plain caramelized shallots. I also have a nice pot of lemon thyme, so I decided to add some to Heidi's recipe. This was a great side dish that would be made even better if I'd had some caramelized onions already in the fridge! Wouldn't hesitate to make it again, even having to make it from scratch. You might want to leave it in the oven for a bit longer than called for...just to get it a little crispier.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Pulled Pork Sammies!

I made these for book club last Friday and they were ok that night. But! The next night I jazzed 'em up with more vinegar and alder smoked salt (from Whole Foods bulk section), making them infinitely better. I think the initial problem might have been that I used a roast that was over 4 lbs., when the recipe had called for a 3 pounder. Less sauce to be had for more meat. I didn't cook this on the stove top as the original directions called for. I marinated the meat in the sauce overnight, then put everything in my crock pot, using less water than called for, and cooked for ~8-9 hours on low. I just added enough water to take the liquid level up to the rim of my pot. Next time I might add more than one pickled jalapeno in, and maybe even a little more vinegar? Cider vinegar next time instead of white vinegar.
When you boil the sauce down on the stove top, skim as much of the fat off as possible before mixing the shredded meat back in.
And with that, I'm going to link to the original recipe from Simply Recipes and you can tweak it however you'd like.
I served the sammies on hamburger buns with coleslaw (something like that recipe anyway!) and sweet-hot pickles. The pickles made the sandwich! I made up a pile of collards with black-eyed peas to go with when the Monster and I ate these on Sat.

Thanks for smiling Cheryl!! Every other picture I took of people on Friday featured a frowny-plllleeeease-don't-take-my-picture grimace. ;-)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Roasted Beets in Vinaigrette

I never would have thought to post about roasted beets until a conversation with Joelle at lunch the other day.
We split a salad with roasted beets that she'd been craving...said beets being a newfound favorite of hers. Says I, "You know, they're really easy to make." Says she, "You mean they don't have to come out of a jar?" 'Nuff's my easy- peasy recipe for roasted beets.

Roasted Beets in Vinaigrette:

However many beets ya gots (preferably with nice green tops)

Set oven to 350.
Trim tops about 1" from beets...saving greens for another use.
Wash then dry beets.
Lightly oil each beet then sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Wrap each beet individually in foil, place on a baking sheet and roast for ~1 hour or until softened somewhat.
Turn off the heat at this point and just leave them in the oven to cool. I usually forget about setting a timer for a couple hours could be in order! :-)
When cool enough to handle, unwrap and peel the skin off.
Slice beets in ~1/4" rounds and add to dressing.


canola oil
cider vinegar
whole grain mustard
salt and pepper
a smidge of agave nectar

Mix all ingredients together in whatever amounts make your mouth happy.
Marinate for a couple hours, or longer then eat. Either add to a salad, or eat alone as a great snack.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Creamy Chickpea Salad with Fresh Herbs

All I can say is WOW! This was so good! The perfect dinner to curl up on the sofa with to watch election results. I found the recipe on at Fatfree Vegan Kitchen's blog and knew upon seeing it, I had to make it. This salad did not disappoint. I have no idea why, but it kind of tastes like tuna salad?? Both the monster and I agreed that we'd take this any day over tuna salad. I served it up over a mix of shredded Romaine and green leaf lettuce (drizzled with a little olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper) and topped with sliced avo and tomatoes. Nom! Toasted up some whole wheat pita and dinner was complete. I'll definitely be doubling the recipe next time...

Creamy Chickpea Salad with Fresh Herbs:
(Susan from Fatfree Vegan Kitchen...check out her pic, it's much prettier. Plus there's a second chickpea salad recipe in the same entry!)

1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (I used one can, drained and rinsed)
1/2 cup medium-firm tofu, mashed well (I used a little extra, since the can is more than 1.5 cups)
2 tablespoons Nayonaise (or other mayo if you're not Vegan)
1/2 tablespoon Creole mustard (I used spicy brown mustard)
1/4 teaspoon Old Bay Seafood seasoning* (or to taste)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 rib celery, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1/4 tsp dried)
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon paprika
generous grating of black pepper

Mash the chickpeas well with a potato masher. Add all remaining ingredients and taste, adding more seasonings if necessary. Refrigerate until chilled. Susan suggests this as a dip or sandwich filling too. So that's where I'll be going next time I make it.

*Susan notes: "The main ingredient of Old Bay is celery salt, so you can replace it with celery salt and a pinch or two of red pepper"...which is what I did.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Healthy Picadillo

I served this with a big salad of romaine topped with a black-eyed pea and roasted corn salsa. We've been eating less and less beef around here, but this was good. We had leftover rice from Sunday's meal and served the picadillo over that. Thanks Beth!! Will try it with ground turkey sometime too...and maybe add some chili powder next time to spice it up a bit. I only made half the recipe for just us 2 and there were plenty of leftovers for lunches.

Healthy Picadillo:
(a favored Cooking Light recipe of Beth's submitted in answer to my plea for help :-)

8 servings (serving size: 1 cup)
  • 2 pounds ground round
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups (1/4-inch-thick) slices yellow bell pepper, each slice cut in half
  • 1 1/2 cups (1/4-inch-thick) slices red bell pepper, each slice cut in half
  • 1 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins (we're not huge fans of raisins, but I'll deal with the golden ones...the Monster, not so much. I'll have to use craisins next time)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup sliced pimento-stuffed manzanilla or green olives (about 15 olives)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (I used more)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added stewed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce

Cook beef in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until browned; stir to crumble. Remove from pan; drain well.

Add oil to pan. Add onion and garlic; sauté 3 minutes. Add bell peppers and carrot; sauté 3 minutes. Return beef to pan. Stir in raisins and remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaves.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


I posted before about Saag with Tofu , but it just isn't the same as real honest to goodness Saag Paneer. Here's the easier than you'd think method. Fun to try at least once. Although, this is at least my third! :-)

Paneer, or Homemade Cheese:

1 Gallon of whole milk
1/4 cup white vinegar
canola oil for frying

extra needs:
cheese cloth
oil thermometer

Line a strainer with several layers of cheese cloth and place over a bowl.
In a large stock pot, heat milk to boiling, stirring often to prevent scalding.

After milk boils, remove from heat and stir in vinegar. The curds should form immediately, separating from the whey.
Pour curds into strainer lined with cheese cloth and pour out whey (although I've heard your plants will like this, I've never tried it since I wasn't sure if the vinegar would be a problem).

Draw up the cheese cloth around the curds pressing more of the whey out.
Weight the cloth wrapped curds down with a pot full of heavy ramekins, etc. and leave to compress/drain for about 5-6 hours.

Remove from cloth, and cut into cubes.

Heat ~1-2" of oil in a pot or wok to 300 degrees.
Fry in several batches for 4-5 minutes each.

Drain on paper toweling then store in the fridge in a tightly covered container until ready to use.

Continue on and make a killer saag paneer with the recipe I posted earlier and this is what it will look like.

Quesadillas with Sweet Potato, Caramelized Onions and Gruyere

Recipe for making someone swoon:
Get out a skillet. Cut up a mass of onions. Melt butter and olive oil in said skillet. Add onions to buttery goodness. Cook for an hour on low heat, until caramelly and delicious.
I've caramelized onions twice in as many weeks now and both times people have come to the door and said..."Oooooh, it smells so good in there".
Our Halloween meal led to just one such comment from the parent of a trick or treater who was standing halfway across our yard! That said, you really should have this no-brainer in your repertoire.

We're still trying to work on using up our 1/2 box of sweet taters, so they made another appearance in last night's repast. These quesadillas were mighty tasty served with a quick green salad.

Quesadillas with Sweet Potato, Caramelized Onions and Gruyere:

sweet potato oven fries
caramelized onions (recipe follows)
grated cave-aged Gruyere
fresh (lemon) thyme
multi-grain tortillas

Optional sauce:
Fage Greek yogurt
balsamic vinegar
agave nectar

Heat skillet on med-low. Add a tortilla to the skillet. Sprinkle a little cheese on the tortilla, then build a layer of sweets, then onions, then more cheese and a shower of fresh thyme.

Cover with second tortilla and continue cooking until crisp on one side. Flip and continue cooking til done.
Cut into fourths and serve with a sauce of Greek yogurt mixed with a little balsamic vinegar, salt and agave nectar.

Caramelized Onions:

2 large red onions, sliced (bi-sected top to bottom, then sliced in ~1/4" slices in the other you'd cut onion rings)
1 Tbs butter
2 Tbs olive oil
salt to taste
a couple splashes of balsamic vinegar
a squirt of agave nectar

Melt butter and olive oil in a non-stick skillet on medium heat.
Add onion slices and a good pinch of kosher salt and toss to coat.

Cook for ~10 minutes on medium, until onions are translucent.
Turn heat down to low and continue cooking for ~40 minutes, stirring about every 10 minutes.
Add balsamic, and agave nectar and continue cooking about 10 minutes more.
Adjust seasonings and set aside.