Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Filipino Torta

This is sort of like a meat and potato pancake...but way better. I use Morningstar veggie crumbles to vegetarianize it. You will need Jufran to add the final touch of awesomeness, which you can get at any asian supermarket. Jufran is banana sauce, and tastes like sweet ketchup. Its made in the Philippines and very delicious. You can get a regular or spicy variety, but warning, the spicy one is pretty spicy.

From Food pics


3 cups thawed Morningstar veggie crumbles
4 eggs, beaten
1 potato, diced very fine
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
salt, pepper

1. Cook the potatoes so they are slightly soft, but not too long because they will fall apart. I submerged mine in boiling water for less than 10 minutes (but I also cut mine larger than I would have liked).

2. Add all ingredients (except eggs) to a large bowl and stir. Let them cool (so that when you pour the eggs in, the eggs don't cook).

3. Add the eggs and combine all ingredients. The contents should be relatively smooth. Like I said, my potatoes were larger than I would have liked, so I smashed them with the back of a spoon.

4. Spray a nonstick skillet with oil, and when the oil is hot, drop a large dollop of meat/potato mixture onto pan. Cook it like a large pancake. If you use a large spatula, you should have no trouble flipping them.

Serve hot with rice and Jufran. Yum!

From Food pics

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Banana Gelato

The rumors are true...there IS such a thing as 1 ingredient banana gelato. And, yes, the single ingredient is bananas. Here's what you do:

1. Cut the bananas into a few pieces and freeze them. (How many? its up to you. I used 3 large bananas).

2. Once they're frozen, toss 'em in a food processor and blend away. At first they will get kind of grainy looking, and just about a minute more of processing and they will become soft and smooth and heavenly.

A few side notes:

Those of you, like myself, who do not own a food processor should not worry because you can still make this delicious treat. I used a blender to first blend the bananas, but when they became too difficult to blend, i transferred the mixture to a bowl and used a hand mixer.

You can add anything you want to the bananas to change the texture, flavors, etc. I chose some peanut butter (which i am currently obsessed with) and 2 scoops of vanilla protein powder. Yes, it was amazing. (If you use peanut butter, it helps to pop it in the microwave to melt it - it blends easier.)

I haven't tried this, but i would bet that you could add some milk, or (if i were going to do this) some fat free plain greek yogurt) and re-freeze the gelato, and you would have a milkier consistency, much more like ice cream.

From Food pics

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Tomato Basil Pizza

I LOVE to make dough. Pizza dough, bread dough, whatever...there is something so satisfying when I see the yeast bubble in the sugar, and when the dough rises and I get to punch it down, and as a runner, I take any excuse to have extra carbs. (Sometimes I think that the reason I run is so I can eat more carbs!)

I will say this about making a dough: If you don't have a pizza stone, GET ONE. I got one as a wedding gift and I absolutely love it. It makes the crust so perfect for pizza and bread...crispy on the outside and nice and soft on the inside.

From Food pics

For the dough:
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm (not hot) water
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil, plus a little extra
3 cups flour, plus extra for the counter top

For the toppings:
1 cup fresh basil (chopped pretty small)
1 package firm or extra firm tofu, drained very well
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt, pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced very small
1 tomato, sliced

1. Proof your yeast. Dissolve the sugar into the warm water and add the yeast. Stir the yeast until it is just wet, don't over stir. Let it hang out for 5-10 minutes; it should start getting frothy and foamy. If it doesn't, get a new package of yeast because the first one is dead.

2. Prepare a large bowl for the dough to rise in. Pour in about a tbsp of olive oil and set aside.

3. Assemble the dry ingredients in a large bowl. I only add about 1/2 the flour, because I have made the mistake before of adding way too much flour and that makes your dough very tough. So I add half the flour and add more as i need/knead it.

4. By now the yeast should have proven itself to you. Add the yeast mixture and the oil to the flour and salt and stir. Add flour until you can't stir any more (you won't get very far).

5. Sprinkle some flour onto a very clean and dry counter top. Dump your dough on top of it and any flour that might have gotten stuck in your bowl. Knead it around, it likes to be beaten up. Be rough. Add more flour if the dough gets sticky. You should be kneading for 5-10 minutes, until the dough is nice and stretchy.

6. Form the dough into a large ball and place in prepared bowl. Swirl it around in the oil a bit so it doesn't stick. Cover with a damp, clean kitchen towel and place in a warm dry place to rise. Go away for about an hour.

7. When you come back, the dough should have doubled in size. Make a fist with your hand and punch that dough right in the face. Go ahead, just do it. You will feel the dough deflate a little; that's ok. Turn the dough out onto the floured counter top again and knead for a couple of minutes.

8. If you are not going to use all the dough, take a knife and cut the dough in half, wrapping one half in saran wrap and freezing. If you are going to use it all, skip that step. Take the dough that will be used and put it back in the rising bowl, cover, and go away for at least 15 minutes, but an hour is better. (you can prepare the topping now...scroll down).

9. Finally - time to make pizza! If you already halved the dough, don't half it again. If you haven't, cut the dough in half. This recipe can make 2 14" pizzas.

10. Preheat your oven to 500. Your pizza stone should preheat with the oven.

11. Take a large cookie sheet, the kind with no sides, and cover it with a generous amount of cornmeal (or flour). You will put your pizza on this and slide it onto the stone. Or bake it on this if you have no stone (but you should get one).

12. This is the hardest part for me...making a round pizza. People tell me I'll get it eventually, and they have gotten better. My method is to form the dough into a ball then flatten it. Pick it up by the middle and let gravity do the work...move it around in your hands so that it falls in a circular way, then work your way all around the dough. Once you have a pretty good circle, put it on your cookie sheet and use your fingetips to press the dough and perfect the circle.

13. Apply toppings, slide the pizza from the cookie sheet onto the stone (it might need some prodding) and bake for 7-10 minutes. If you have a stone it will take a little less time. As soon as I see the crust start to brown, I take it out by sliding it back onto the cookie sheet.

15. To make it really awesome, brush the crust with olive oil. Enjoy!!

Making the basil-ricotta topping:

This was adapted from Isa Chandra Moskowitz's Vegan with a Vengeance.

1. Place all ingredients in a large bowl, crush with your fingers until it is the consitency of ricotta cheese.

2. Spread tofu mixture all over pizza. Top with sliced tomatoes. Bake as directed.

From Food pics

Tempeh-Polenta casserole

And the blog is back! Sorry to have taken such a long hiatus, but you know, getting married and all takes time! Now that I'm back to my normal life, I can start blogging again.

I got the idea for this recipe from my friend (and awesome running buddy) April. Its very easy and super healthy, a perfect meal for those weeknights that you really don't feel like cooking, but have a hungry husband to feed.

From Food pics

I package tempeh, cut into cubes
about 1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp oregano
1 tube polenta (i got the tomato-basil one, but you could do whatever)
about 1 cup tomato sauce
1 package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1/2-1 cup cheese (optional) (I used mozzarella, which was great, but next time I would try a combo of mozz and feta)

1. Cook the tempeh. Saute the garlic in a little oil for about a minute, then add oregano, tempeh cubes and veg broth. Cover and steam, occaisionally moving the tempeh around so that all pieces are evenly steamed. Crush some pieced with the back of a wooden spoon. If the broth gets low and the tempeh isn't done yet (it takes 4-7 minutes), add a little more. You can tell the tempeh is done when it is nice and tender. Set aside.

2. Preheat the broiler.

3. Prepare a 13x9" casserole dish by coating the bottom lightly with oil.

4. Take the tube of polenta and slice it into thin rounds (about 1/4-1/2" thick). Line the polenta over the bottom of the casserole dish. You'll have to overlap a little.

5. Bake the polenta for 2-4 minutes in the broiler. Keep an eye on it, you want the top to be nicely brown, but not burned.

6. When the polenta comes out of the oven, top it with the cubed tempeh. Top that with the spinach, tomato sauce, and then the cheese.

7. Put the dish back in the broiler for a couple of minutes, just until the cheese melts.

From Food pics

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Turon with coconut ice cream

these are like filipino dessert spring rolls served with homemade coconut ice cream. top them with some hot chocolate and you have a little bit of heaven in your bowl. need i say more?

From Food pics
(this photo doesn't do it justice)

for the turon
lumpia wrappers (available at an asian grocery store)
a couple of bananas
canned jackfruit (also available at the asian market)
brown sugar

1. let the lumpia wrappers thaw according to package instructions (this could take up to 2 hours, so plan ahead).

2. carefully separate them. they are very, very thin so be careful not to tear them.

3. slice the bananas into quarters (slice it longways once, then cut each of those in half). Also prepare the jackfruit so you have the same size pieces. dip the bananas in the jackfruit syrup and place 1 piece of banana next to 1 piece of jackfruit on the top center of the lumpia wrapper (about 1/2 of the way down on the wrapper). sprinkle a little brown sugar on the fruit.

4. to roll, fold the top of the wrapper over the fruit, then fold either side towards the center. roll the fruit over a couple of times in the wrapper, so you are left with what looks like a spring roll. dip your fingertips in water to seal it.

5. in a pan, heat about 1/4 inch vegetable oil. fry each turon until they are golden brown on each side.

6. once you're finished, drain most of the leftover oil from the pan. place the turon in the pan (if you took them out) and sprinkle them with brown sugar. flip them over and sprinkle more sugar (so the sugar gets on all sides). saute for a few more minutes, until the sugar melts.

for the ice cream
4 eggs
1 cup white sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 cups coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp coconut extract

1. place the eggs and sugar in a blender and process 2 minutes. they should get kind of thick and almost fluffy.

2. pour this mixture in a double boiler (or put some water in a medium saucepan and put a smaller saucepan on top of that, and put the egg mixture in the smaller saucepan - just be careful not to get water in it). Heat, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes. it should thicken and start to look like custard.

3. put this in the fridge to chill.

4. once the egg mixture is chilled, take the whipping cream and whip it (whip it good). stiff peaks should form. fold in coconut milk, extracts, and finally the egg mixture.

5. place in freezer for at least 8 hours.

Serve the turon hot, drop on some chocolate sauce, and eat with ice cream.

From Food pics

Maffeo-Style Stromboli

These aren't really a stromboli and they aren't really a calzone, but they ARE delicious. When I make these, ej and I have to show some major self control not to eat them all at once. The one featured here was made with spinach, pesto, feta and cheddar cheese, but there are endless combinations of ingredients. Try the veggie pepperoni from Smart Deli with some cheddar cheese and marinara sauce - mm!

Stromzone? Calzoni?

1 pkg active dry yeast (not rapid rise)
1 cup warm, but not hot, water
1 tbsp sugar
3 cups (more or less) flour
1 tbsp salt
olive oil
about 3 cups fresh spinach
about 1/4 cup pesto
about 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
about 1/2 cup feta cheese

1. proof your yeast. dissolve your sugar in the warm water. add the yeast and give it a light stir. set aside 5-10 minutes.

2. meanwhile, prepare a bread pan for the dough to rise in. drizzle about 2 tsp olive oil in the pan and use a napkin to grease the inside it.

3. after a few minutes, check the yeast to see if it has proven itself. you'll know it has if it starts to get frothy. if it hasn't, give it more time, but if after 5 minutes there is no foam, start over with new yeast.

4. in a large bowl, combine your salt and 1 1/2 cup flour. Add the yeast mixture and oil. Combine and keep adding flour until it is really hard to stir with a wooden spoon. at this point, dump the whole thing out on a very clean and floured counter top.

5. Work on kneading in more of the flour with your hands. you should have to keep adding more. don't let the dough get too stiff though - knead for about 5 minutes once its no longer sticking to your fingers.

6. Roll the dough out roughly into the shape of a triangle. It should be about 1/2 an inch thick and even. Spread with pesto, cheese, and spinach (or whatever else you feel like!).

From Food pics

7. Roll it up carefully so you don't rip it, and so you keep all the insides, well, inside.

From Food pics

8. place the dough in the prepared bread pan. try to arrange it to its as even as possible.

From Food pics
(ok, so this one's not that neat)

9. Cover with a damp towel and let rise at least an hour, until it has noticeably increased in size.

10. preheat oven to 350. bake for about 25 minutes, until the top is golden brown. check the inside to make sure it has completely cooked as well. slice up and enjoy!

From Food pics

Quinoa-Stuffed Avocados

This salad actually makes a lot of food. I usually only buy a couple of avocados and stuff those, then eat the rest of that salad from the bowl. If you've never had quinoa (keen-wah), you should definitely make it a staple in your diet. It has super high protein for a grain, and is very low fat. Some people call it the super food. You can get it in any health food store, and most grocery stores carry it, possibly near they organic flour/grain section.

Quinoa-Stuffed Avocados

To make the quinoa:
Measure about 1 cup dry quinoa and add to about 2 cups boiling water. I actually don't measure this, but you should make sure the quinoa is completely submerged. Once the water is boiling, reduce heat to low and cover for 10-20 minutes. After 10 minutes, give it a stir. If its still liquidy, put the cover back on and give it some more time. If the water is gone and it has a cous-cous consistency, taste it to make sure its cooked. If it still tastes hard or chewy, stir in some more water and cover (keep on low heat).

for the salad:
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cups cooked quinoa
1/2 red onion, diced
1 cucumber, diced
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup fresh parsley, minced
1/3 cup fresh mint, minced

1. combine everything in a large bowl and toss.

for the dressing
4 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced very well. you could also grate them
2 tbsp dijon mustard (i like stone ground).

2. Whisk ingredients together in a small bowl. Pour over quinoa salad and add salt and pepper to taste.

3. You probably have more salad than will fit in a couple of avocados, unless you are about to throw a dinner party. One rule of thumb about avocados is that once they're peeled, you pretty much have to eat them right away, so don't cut more than you will eat.

Once you have figured out which avocados you are going to use (they should be kind of squishy when you give them a light squeeze), you need to half them. I take a knife and cut from top to bottom all around the pit. Carefully take the two halves of the 'cado apart. One half will have the pit - take it out and toss it. Use a spoon to scoop out a little more of the meat so you have more room to add the salad.

4. Spoon the salad into the 'cado half. I added a little bit of greens to the side to eat with the pieces of the avocado that were scooped out, and i drizzled some balsamic vinegar over it.

From Food pics

Friday, April 23, 2010

Bento Bowl

Is it just me, or does food taste better when eaten with chop sticks? I don't know why that is, but making this dish over and over again forced me and ej to finally go out and get a set of our own...which we use all the time. This dish is super easy and healthy - it can be thrown together as a last minute dinner or can be dressed up to serve to guests. Don't forget the chop sticks!

Japanese Bento Bowl:

1 pkg firm or extra firm tofu, drained and then cut into long, thin strips
1 avocado, sliced
1 carrot, shredded
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 white onion, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 cup brown rice
**add any other veggies you might like - just saute them with the onions. Baby bok choy and spinach are my greens of choice.

about 1/4 cup sesame seeds

about 2 tbsp soy sauce
about 2 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 greek yogurt (or other plain yogurt)
**i'm writing this recipe from memory, so the amounts of ingredients are approximate. Add more or less of anything to give it a new flavor!

1. Cook rice according to package instructions. the ratio is usually about 2 water:1 rice, but brown rice always needs more water. Add salt and garlic powder to the water to give the rice a little more of its own flavor.

2. In one pan, saute garlic in water for 1 minute. Add onion and saute until onion is translucent, but do not overcook. Add more water if needed.

3. In another pan, spray some cooking spray (or just drizzle some oil if that's what you have), turn heat to med-high, and add tofu. Toss with spatula every minute or so to allow all sides to brown. Once browned on all sides, remove from heat.

4. Prepare marinade: mix together all ingredients with a fork until combined. Combine tofu with onions and garlic, add marinade, sesame seeds and toss well.

5. In each serving bowl, put about 1/2-1 cup cooked rice. Sprinkle with soy sauce. Add several strips of tofu, making sure to get the onions too, and top with avocado and carrot. Toss some sesame seeds on top and you have yourself a meal.

From Food pics

From Food pics

Friday, January 15, 2010

Seitanic Sandwiches

Truly one of my favorite recipes.

These sandwiches are a must for any vegetarian - or for that matter, any non-vegetarian who wants a healthier alternative to steak and cheese. EJ and have them about once a week - sometimes more. They are very tasty and very easy to put together. Seitain is extremely versatile and uber healthy. This is super low fat and simply packed with protein. It is made from wheat gluten protein. Youo can buy seitain pre-packaged (I get mine at New Leaf), or you can make it. I've done both, and its just easier to buy it, but making your own does have advantages (you can flavor it yourself - packaged seitan has no flavor).

1 package seitain
1 green bell pepper (sliced or diced)
1/2 a white onion (sliced or diced)
2 sub rolls (some weird people call them hoagie buns)
2 tbsp vegan worchestershire sauce (or any steak sauce)
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp soy sauce
a drop of two of liquid smoke
a couple of shakes of garlic and onion powder
shredded cheddar cheese (or whatever you like in your steak and cheese sandiwches!)

Have oven preheated to 350.

1. Saute the peppers and onions in a non stick pan with a little cooking oil for about 304 minutes, or until slightly tender.

2. Add sliced seitan.

3. Add all other ingredients. Saute until everything is hot and peppers and onions are tender.

4. Lay out sub rolls on a baking sheet. Top with desired amount of seitain mixture and add shredded cheese.

5. Put in oven for about 5 minutes, or until bread is lightly crispy and cheese is melted.

From Food pics