Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Peanut stirfry with broccoli, tofu, leeks, orange peppers and caraway seeds

This is something I just made up on the spot. I looked in my fridge and just grabbed what I had. It took less than 10 minutes to make. So quick and easy on a warm spring day. The buttery leeks are complimented by the earthy, almost licorice taste of the caraway seeds. And the peanut sauce really brings all the ingredients together quite well. 


1 package of tofu (drained and patted dry)
1 orange pepper (small diced)
1 trimmed leek (washed and thinly sliced)
1 head of broccoli (cut into little florets)
1/2 cup peanut butter ( I used a natural, no chunk kind)
3 T soy sauce
2 T butter or oil (peanut would be great)

Heat a large saute pan. Add butter. When hot, add leeks. Let soften for about 10 minutes. In the meantime, whisk the soy sauce in a small bowl with the peanut butter. Taste and adjust salt, if you like. Add broccoli and tofu to saute pan, as well as the peanut sauce. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes or until the tofu and broccoli have absorbed some of the sauce. Serve atop brown rice or any kind of grain really. Quinoa would be good too. Or eat it as is. Top with diced orange pepper. 

Serves 4

Thursday, May 20, 2010

blueberry smooooothie

Blueberries are an insanely high nutritional powerhouse. Vitamin A, C and loads of anti-cancer properties. I'm a fan of mixing my blueberries with soymilk and a bit of honey for a lovely beat-the-heat drink on this 80 degree day. You could even add some yogurt (or soy yogurt) to make it more substantial. 

Blueberry Smoothie: 
1 cup washed blueberries (make sure there's no little irksome stems)
2 cups soymilk
2T honey 

Mix together in a blender with a couple cubes of ice and serve. 

Yields about 2 servings

Monday, May 10, 2010

lavender shortbread

Butter. How I love thee. I try to limit my butter intake, but sometimes you just gotta make a recipe that is basically all butter. And sugar. And lavender. This recipe is a fancy take on shortbread. But it's super easy to make. It's kinda like making a pie crust. You just press the dough into a cake pan, fork it, bake it and eat it! It's just so good. 

Lavender Shortbread 
1 1/2 cups butter (room temperature)
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons very finely chopped lavender florets (fresh or dried)
2 1/3 cups flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 325°F.
Butter two cake tins that have the removable bottoms and fluted edges. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and lavender with an electric mixer. Mix until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes.) Add flour, cornstarch, and salt and beat until well incorporated. Divide dough in half. Flatten into a disc and wrap in plastic. Chill for about 20 minutes.

On a floured surface, roll out each disc to a thickness of  about 1/2 inch. Press into cake tins (including up the sides). Prick the dough a couple times with a fork. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until pale golden (do not brown). Cool slightly, then transfer to a rack. Cut into triangles. If you're feeling high class, serve with tea. 

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Red Quinoa with Swiss Chard and Seitan

Okay, back to the healthy stuff. While I was in PA, I made this super easy red quinoa dish for my mom. This particular quinoa has a more earthy flavor than it's white counterpart, but is just as insanely high in proteins, which is great if you don't eat meat. I pair it a lot with coconut milk and curry dishes, but I wanted something a bit lighter this time of year. I sauteed it with some swiss chard (I find that if you finely chop greens like kale, swiss chard and collard greens, they are easier to eat even if they're barely cooked, AND people who don't normally like eating greens will especially like this because you can barely taste it!) I added a yellow pepper for some color and vitamin C, sliced up a package of seitan and added a bit of lemon juice to perk it up. 

Red Quinoa with Swiss Chard and Seitan

1 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
1 pepper (any will do, I had yellow)
1 bunch of swiss chard (finely chopped leaves; save stalks for another recipe)
1 package of seitan
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Put quinoa in a medium sized pot and add the water. Cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a saute pan, let it heat up and then add the swiss chard with a pinch of salt. Saute for a couple of minutes and then add the yellow pepper and quinoa. Cook for a couple more minutes to meld the flavors and then sprinkle with a tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice and ground pepper. 

In the picture below, I added the quinoa dish to a split pea soup I had made as well. The flavors went really well together and I'll post the recipe for the soup next time. 

Monday, May 3, 2010

vegan peanut butter blondies

I'm back. No more wisdom teeth woes. It's time to get down to business and do some cooking. Well, baking to be exact. Last week, I went home to see my mom in Pennsylvania. Along with the obligatory healthy soups and stews, I knew I had to make her something sweet. She's always had a sweet tooth and although you're really not suppose to eat too many sugary foods when you're battling cancer, really, sugar in moderation is awesome. If I was going to do something sweet, I figured it might as well be rich and have some good fats in it. Hence, peanut butter blondies! It's basically the same recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, but with dark chocolate chips added. I used all natural peanut butter that literally has nothing in it but peanuts and salt. They're so rich and fudgey, it's hard to believe they're vegan. This particular blondie is topped off with some soy delicious mocha fudge ice cream and a bit of soy whipped cream. 

Peanut Butter Blondies: 

3/4 cup all natural peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
1/3 cup canola oil 
1 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Non-dairy Milk
1/2 tsp Salt 
1/2 tsp Baking Powder 
1 cup flour (I used whole wheat)
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
1/3 cup chopped peanuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease an 8X8 metal baking pan. Whisk peanut butter, oil & sugar in mixing bowl. Add vanilla & non-dairy milk (I used rice, unsweetened). Now, add flour, salt and baking powder and knead it with your hands until well-mixed. It will hold together and not spread. 

Place in pan and pat to fit evenly. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts if you so desire, and press lightly into surface. Bake for 22-25 minutes, only until edges begin to brown slightly. Set on rack and cool thoroughly. Cut into squares or wedges and serve.