Monday, September 4, 2017

Red Lentil Hash (Original Recipe)

1 cup basmati rice
2 Tbs avocado oil
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 potatoes, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
2 cups dried red lentils, rinsed and drained
4 cups vegetable broth
salt to taste

1) Cook rice according to package directions. Set aside.
2) In a large pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add carrots and potatoes, sautéing until carrots begin to soften (about five minutes).
3) Add garlic, cilantro and lentils. Toss for 30 seconds, until blended well.
4) Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer for 12-15 minutes, or until broth is fully absorbed.
5) Serve lentil mixture over a bed of basmati rice. Salt to taste.

Review: I've been buying food on whims, and coupling this with the weekly CSA, I've got too much food on my hands. I've been trying to clear out the stockpile. This cleared out a bag of lentils, an older carton of vegetable broth, and the fresh carrots and potatoes from last week's CSA. I wasn't 100% sure what seasons I should use, but many online recipes combined lentils with garlic and cilantro. I figured it was worth a shot, but it wasn't quite enough. I think some turmeric, cumin or coriander would have been great. I really loved the carrots combined with the red lentils, which just felt so hearty on a chilly evening!!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Roasted Quinoa Salad

1 cup quinoa
2 zucchinis, sliced into half-moons
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 avocado, diced
2 cups frozen roasted corn
1 pkg chipotle baked tofu, diced
15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/8 cup chopped cilantro
1/8 cup lime juice
1/2 bottle smoked tomato dressing

1) Preheat the oven to 450F. On a greased baking sheet, place the zucchini and bell pepper. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes.
2) Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the quinoa with two cups of water (and maybe a dash of oil to keep the foam down). Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed.
3) In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Chill and serve cold.

Review: We ate out on a whim last night. B.Good is chain restaurant that prides itself on healthy food made with local ingredients. My dish was incredibly tasty, though I wasn't a fan of the kale as it didn't seem to match the rest of the ingredients. And, though it used a red pepper vinaigrette, I thought I could easily make a fair knock-off with some leftover smoked tomato dressing. This had the perfect blend of roasted, spicy, smoky flavors that I love, while still being light enough to call a salad. It's certainly a winner that I'll make again.
Adapted from:
b.good's Spicy Avocado & Lime Quinoa Bowl

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Monkey Cakes

1 cup gluten free flour
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup almond milk
2 Tbs canola oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 ripe banana
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1) Mix the flour, xanthan gum, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
2) In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond milk, canola oil, vanilla extract and egg, until the egg is well blended.
3) Pour the bowl of liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix well and set aside. Gluten free flour dough needs to 'rest' for a bit in order to hold onto heavier ingredients such as banana and walnuts.
4) In a small bowl, mash the banana with a fork. You'll want it to be mostly mashed, but with some small chunks for extra flavor. Mix in the walnuts.
5) Carefully stir the banana/walnut mixture into the pancake dough. Do not stir too much, as you don't want to overwork the dough.
6) Pour palm-sized bits of dough onto a heated (medium-high heat) griddle and cook 2-3 minutes on each side, until browned evenly.
7) Top with your topping of choice - maple syrup, sliced bananas, more walnuts?

Review: Last weekend, Mike really wanted pancakes. I told him we didn't have all the ingredients and he didn't believe me. He searched through the kitchen and proudly declared that we did indeed have what was needed. I directed him to find the maple syrup, which didn't exist. So, I won the argument but he seemed so heart-broken. So, we bought more maple syrup and I promised pancakes this morning. As I started preparing myself, I remembered there was an overripe banana on the counter and walnuts leftover from the scones I made earlier this week. So, I needed to make monkey cakes! These were pretty tasty and filling, making 12 palm-sized pancakes.
Adapted from:
http://dadwithapan.com/recipe/banana-walnut-pancakes/

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

CSA

We joined a community supported agriculture (CSA) earlier this summer. It's been an interesting adventure as we get a different selection of produce each week. I certainly appreciate that they have a swap table, as there are things I really don't want (peaches, eggplant). It's challenged us to eat more fresh vegetables. It's also introduced us to new varieties of things, though I'm never given the name of the varieties. As I pick up white cucumbers, long & spiny cucumbers, different colored cherry tomatoes and interesting looking squash, I'd love to know what they are! It's a great way to add variety to our diets and not rely on standard varieties. Here's some pics from this week's selection.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

NH Maple Walnut Scones

3 1/2 cups gluten-free flour
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup vegan butter
1 cup almond milk
1/3 cup maple syrup, the darker the better
1 cup powdered sugar
pinch of salt
1/4 cup maple syrup

1) Preheat the oven to 425F.
2) In a large bowl, combine the flour, xanthan gum, walnuts, baking powder and 1 tsp salt. Mix and set aside.
3) Work in the vegan butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
4) In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk and 1/3 cup maple syrup. Add this mixture to the bowl of mixed dry ingredients.
5) Add the dough to a greased, divided scone pan.
6) Bake the scone for 25 to 30 minutes, depending on type of pan used (start checking after 15 minutes). Some browning will occur, but bake until internal scone temperature is 210F.
7) Remove scones from pan and place on cooling rack.
8) Once scones are cooled, whisk together the powdered sugar, pinch of salt and 1/4 cup maple syrup. Drizzle over scones.

Review: I made this for a work breakfast potluck. I didn't tell anyone they were gluten free, nor vegan. They were loved and a few had seconds! They were certainly dry as scones are supposed to be. I used a fancier maple syrup, so it had a lighter maple flavor. Definitely go with a darker, bolder syrup to get a better flavor.
Adapted from:
http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/new-hampshire-maple-walnut-scones-recipe

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Not a Dead Blog - PROMISE!!

Yeah, yeah, I know it's been awhile. I've been super lazy about what I eat, and the times that I cook it tends to be a repeated favorite or something thrown together that isn't blog worthy. However, this summer we subscribed to a CSA, so we're getting some interesting vegetables. It's sparked my interest in creating foods again and I'm hoping to return to healthier eating. So, there's more to come, promise.

Blackberry Wine Pops

12oz blackberries
1 cup red wine
1/3 cup sugar

1)  Combine blackberries, wine and sugar in a medium pot.
2)  Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring and crushing the berries, until sugar dissolves (about 5 minutes).
3)  Use a slotted spoon to fish blackberries out of the syrup mixture. Divide the berries among 10 3oz popsicle molds. Pour the syrup mixture over the berries, filling each mold.
4)  Insert the sticks/bottoms of the molds. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

Review:  I let these freeze 24 hours, but due to the chunks of berries and the alcohol content, these were a bit crumbly. The original recipe called for a 1/2 cup of water also, but I only have 7 molds (Mike broke one awhile back). I think the addition of water would likely make for a firmer popsicle. The blackberry and red wine combo makes for a DELICIOUS popsicle. I used a non-fancy red blend wine, which was a particularly strong wine. It worked well for this purpose. I wouldn't recommend using a nuanced wine for this - go bold!


Adapted from:
https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/blackberry-wine-pops