Carrot Cake Tea Bread

Carrot Cake Tea Bread

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and mix. Add all remaining ingredients and mix until incorporated. Scrape bowl and mix. Add to greased and floured pan. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until wooden toothpick is clean. 

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup packed grated carrots (from about 2 carrots)

Spicy Sesame-Peanut Noodles

Spicy Sesame-Peanut Noodles

Cook udon noodles to package directions. Sauté vegetables in canola oil. Cooking till tender, and set aside. Combine the sauce ingredients in a pan and cook on medium heat until well incorporated

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil 
  • 2 cloves of garlic 
  • 1/4 cup minced onion 
  • 1 portobello mushroom, dices
  • 12 green beans, slices

 

  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon granulated ginger
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha

 

  • 8 ounces Udon noodles
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped cashews 

Cold Buckwheat Soba Noodle Salad

Cold Buckwheat Soba Noodle Salad

...so this just happened:

I was poking around the cabinets and refrigerator for something to make for dinner tonight. I just came up with this recipe for a cold buckwheat soba noodle salad. If I were to make this recipe from scratch I probably would choose some different ingredients but I've made this with what was available. ...and for all my chef friends out there, you can relax this one is NOT vegan. I've gone full-blown pescatarian!

For the sauce, combine the following ingredients in a Vitamix and blend until smooth:

Cook noodles according to package directions. I boil 1 quart of water per bundle of noodles. Add the noodles to the water and cook for five minutes. Drain and cool.

These are the vegetables I added to my dish, but feel free to add whatever you enjoy!

  • 1 ounce dried wakame (rehydrated)
  • 1 carrot , julienned
  • 2 radishes, julienned
  • 1/2 can straw mushrooms, julienned 

...and because I couldn't resist, I garnished with:

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Vegan Burgers & 'Air' Fries

Vegan Burgers & 'Air' Fries

There was a recent sale on Amazon for an Air Fryer. I had heard about this alternative to deep frying many years ago, but have never experimented. We have been doing a lot of work this year on the Plant-Based diet, so for Earth Day this year, I decided to try this new Vegan Burger Recipe and make home-made Air-Fried French Fries. Here's the recipe:

Peel & slice 12oz of potatoes. Soak in cold water for 30minutes to release extra starch. 

Open one 15oz can of Cannelloni beans and rinse. Soak in water dry thoroughly. 

Add 1 cup of Farro to a sauce pan and cook in salted water until tender. 

Now let's work on the veggies:

1 1/8oz fresh minced garlic
5oz minced onion
3oz shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and diced
4oz fresh spinach trimmed

Use 2 tbsp of Canola oil to sautee the vegetables. Heat oil, add onions. Cook until translucent. Add mushrooms & garlic. Cook until tender. Lastly, add spinach and sautee until well combined. 

Ensure that the beans are dried thoroughly. Extra water will make the burgers fall apart or require lots of extra filler to firm up. Puree the beans until a smooth paste. 

Add the cooked farro and pulse together again with the blender until you reach the desired texture. I prefer more texture rather than a smooth puree. Mine looks like this:

Now, add the cooked vegetables and mix together

Now, for the seasoning. You can change it up here based on the flavor profiles you enjoy. Here is the seasoning mix I use:

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup umami powder
2 tbsp texas smokehouse seasoning
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1/4 tsp kosher salt -as needed

Combine all seasoning and portion mix into patties. Form into patties. I recommend 4-5oz portions. You'll notice I gave them an extra dredge into some panko bread crumbs because I enjoy the extra texture and it gives the burgers a nice crust. You'll need approximately 1/4 cup
 

I also use a ring-mold or cookie cutter to make all the patties uniform in shape

Now you're ready to sear the burgers in a cast-iron pan or put on the grill. They also keep very well in the freezer. Put them on a baking sheet in the freezer until firm, then transfer to a tightly-wrapped ziplock bag or food saver. 

While the burgers cook, put the fries in the air fryer. Drain the water thoroughly. Add 2 tbsp canola oil and season. I used Lawry's Seasoned Salt. The burgers and fries take about the same time to cook. I cooked in a cast-iron pan and put it in the oven at 350 while the fries cook. It takes about 15 minutes for both. ENJOY!

Here is the nutritional panel for the burger patty itself:

Vegan Macaroni & Cheese

Vegan Macaroni & Cheese

Creamy Vegan Macaroni and Miso-Cauliflower 'Cheese'

This was my latest attempt to recreate a traditional recipe in a plant-based format. Cauliflower is a very trendy ingredient right now, and if cooked and pureed correctly, can mimick a white cheddar cheese sauce. White miso paste adds umami. 

Start with the following:

1 standard head of cauliflower (20oz by weight) chopped
1 each vegetable boullion cube
2 cups almond milk, original
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 Tablespoon white miso paste
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Combine all ingredients into a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until cauliflower is tender. 

Cook 1 pound of your favorite Mac & Cheese pasta in standard salted water.

Meanwhile the cauliflower cooks, prepare the seasoned crumb topping.

1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
4 Tablespoons Smart Balance Buttery Spread Original (vegan) melted
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and toss to thoroughly incorporate. 

When cauliflower is tender, puree with immersion blender. Combine with cooked, drained pasta and toss thoroughly. Add pasta and sauce combination to standard sized cast-iron skillet and sprinkle crumb topping evenly on the top of the casserole. Season with six turns of cracked black pepper from a fresh pepper mill. 

IMG_0477.JPG

Bake in a convection oven at 375° for 10-12 minutes or until golden-brown. 

ENJOY!!

Vegan Italian Farro Meatballs

Vegan Italian Farro Meatballs

While on this food journey, I have been doing a lot of plant-based menu development lately. Here's my latest experiment:

1 cup farro
2 vegetable bouillon cubes (optional)

Cook until tender. This will add the texture to the meatballs. Cook longer if you prefer a softer texture. 

15.5oz (1 can) cannellini beans

Combine cooked Farro and beans and blend. Ensure that both are drained. Reserve the cooking liquid to adjust the viscosity if necessary.

1/3 cup umami dust seasoning
1 T Italian Seasoning
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Lowry's Salt Free Seasoning
1 T balsamic vinegar 

Add above seasonings to Farro/Bean mixture & form into 1 tablespoon balls. Sautée in canola oil until browned. Set aside and toss into sauce. 

Yield: 16-1 tablespoon sized meatballs
Serving Size: 4 meatballs per serving

Whole Grain Pizza Dough

Whole Grain Pizza Dough

Friday nights at our house is pizza day. Here's the recipe we use, TGIF!

1 1/2 cup Water (Microwave 1:20, to 110°)
2 1/4 tsp Instant Dry Yeast
1 tsp sugar

Add 1/2 cup of the water, yeast and sugar to a bowl and allow to bloom, approx. 10-15 minutes. This will allow the yeast to bloom. 

3 1/2 cups Whole Gain Flour
2 tsp Kosher salt
2 Tbsp Canola oil

Add flour, salt, oil, and bloomed yeast to cuisinart with dough hook. Turn on to medium high and add the remaining water. Allow to mix adjusting flour and water as necessary. Water and flour may need to be added based on humidity and climate. Water will soften a dough, flour will counteract sticky dough.