Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

According to the notes I wrote on this recipe, these cookies are "super perfect awesome"! They have a soft and chewy middle and crisp outside. I loved the texture, and coconut and oats are one of my favourite cookie combinations. However I did find the cookies really dry after 3 days, so these are best eaten on day 1 and 2. You can see in the picture that I flattened some of the cookies and left some as little balls. I preferred them flattened but both ways are good!

If these sound good, you might also like:
Cowboy Cookies
Coconut Shortbread
Chocolate Oatmeal Coconut Cookies
Matcha Coconut Madeleines
Coconut Madeleines

Coconut Oatmeal Cookies
Adapted from The Best of The Best and More

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut

Cream butter and sugars. Add egg and beat well. Mix in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until just blended. Stir in oats and coconut. Roll into 1" balls and flatten a bit with your hands. (If your dough is wet enough, you can flatten the balls with a fork - my dough was dry so I couldn't.) Bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes. (If you make the cookies smaller, check at 8-9 minutes).

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sunflower-Lentil Pie

This sunflower pie is one of my new favourite things to eat on a weeknight. It comes together really easily - you just cook the lentils & onions together, blend them with some other ingredients, add the rest of the ingredients, then bake. You can serve it with a salad, roasted vegetables, steamed broccoli, whatever you want. This is basically a nut roast, with sunflower seeds instead of nuts. It may not be the most beautiful thing, but it's healthy and delicious!

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Vegetarian Nut Loaf
Vegan Pot Roast & Gravy
Cauliflower and Parmesan Cake
Tracy's Lentil Loaf

Sunflower Lentil Pie
Adapted from Vive le Vegan!

Serves 5-6

3/4 cup brown lentils
1 3/4 cups water
1 1/2 cups red onion, roughly chopped
1 medium-large clove garlic, roughly chopped
2 tbsp ketchup
3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 cup quick oats
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine the lentils and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and let cook for 15-20 minutes. Add the onions, stir through, and let cook for another 10-15 minutes, covered, until the lentils are soft and have absorbed all the water. In a blender or food processor, puree the lentil-onion mixture with the garlic, ketchup, soy sauce, and vinegar, until just smooth, but retaining some texture. Add in the remaining ingredients and mix well. Transfer mixture to a lightly oiled pie plate, and distribute evenly. Bake at 375F for 27-30 minutes, until lightly browned and just firm. Let stand for a few minutes (it will firm more as it cools), then slice into wedges.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Tomatoes

So you know how I said I was going through baking withdrawal? Well I am definitely making up for it this weekend! So far I've made really crunchy granola, double chocolate avocado muffins (cupcakes masquerading as muffins!), no bake chocolate peanut butter chews (not a baked good but it still counts to me), and carrot cake power scuffins. This morning I started the sponge for a yeasted fruit bread, and will also be making the Elvis fluffernutter cake. AND I'd also like to make a couple more things - I'm thinking espresso chip oatmeal cookies, lazy samoas, and/or kitchen sink chocolate biscotti (all from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar). I'll be giving a lot of this stuff away, though I also need to restock my freezer with healthy snacks for the week!

Now to balance out all those baked goods with something healthier - this spaghetti squash with roasted tomatoes. I'd say this is a great accompaniment to a meal, but I wouldn't want to eat it for a main course. It's something a bit different with a nice presentation and decent flavour (and healthy!), but not so super amazing that I want to eat a lot of it. E liked it though. One of my friends really loves roasted tomatoes, so I was interested to see how the roasted grape tomatoes would turn out. I definitely prefer them raw. Cooked tomatoes are just not my thing! I do think this dish is a great way to eat beans though.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Garlicky Broccoli, Corn and Bean Burritos
Black Bean and Zucchini Chilaquiles
Pan-Roasted Cauliflower
Carrot Slices in Dill Sauce

Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Tomatoes
Adapted from Canadian Living: The Vegetarian Collection

1 spaghetti squash (2 1/2 lb/1.25 kg), halved and seeded
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
4 cups grape tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp chile pepper flakes
1 can (19 oz/540 mL) white kidney beans or navy beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 400F. Bake the squash cut side down on greased baking sheet or parchment paper until flesh is tender when pierced, about 1 hour. Using fork, scrape strands into bowl; stir in half each of the salt and pepper. Keep warm.

Meanwhile, in a 9x13 (3L) glass baking dish, toss together tomatoes, garlic, oil, vinegar, hot pepper flakes and remaining salt and pepper. Roast in 400F oven for 30 minutes. Stir in beans and parsley; roast until beans are heated through and tomatoes are shriveled, about 10 minutes. Mound squash on platter; spoon tomato mixture over top.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Apple Cinnamon Bread

It has been way too long since I've baked! Probably about a month, or more. I'm going through some serious baking withdrawal. Usually I bake at least once a week and sometimes more. And usually it's something simple like this apple cinnamon bread, but sometimes something a little fancier like the birthday cake I'll be making this weekend for my mom. (The first time I made that cake, she thought she'd hate it but now she loves it and keeps requesting it for her birthday.) I'm hoping to bake a few other things this weekend too! So about this apple cinnamon bread, it's a great quick bread which you probably have all the ingredients for already. It has both a bit of applesauce, and 2 cups of chopped apples. I liked the cinnamon sugar topping, but it definitely doesn't need it and it tends to mostly fall off anyway.

In other extremely exciting news, I have a new nephew!! E's brother and his wife just had a super adorable baby boy.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Morning Glory Muffins
Grandma Jennie's Date and Nut Bread
Garden Harvest Cake
Mom's Banana Apple Bread

Apple Cinnamon Bread
Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon all spice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups chopped apples, skin removed

2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8 by 4 loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, all spice, and cloves. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the eggs and beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Add in oil, applesauce, and vanilla and mix until smooth. Next, add the sugar and mix until well combined.

4. Slowly add in the flour mixture and mix until flour is barely combined. Gently fold in the apple chunks. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

5. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, sugar, and cinnamon. Sprinkle over the batter in the loaf pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until loaf is golden and a toothpick comes out clean.

6. Cool bread in pan for 10 minutes. Loosen sides and remove from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

Monday, May 16, 2011

One Wild Chick Soup

The flavour of this soup is really wonderful. It's a vegan version of chicken noodle soup (minus the noodles, though of course you can add those in). The recipe calls for wild rice but as wild rice is really expensive, I just used brown basmati and it was still delicious.

After a week of being home, I think I'm pretty much back to feeling normal. We didn't experience much jet lag on our trip to Turkey and Greece, but coming home was quite different. I finally took our photos off the camera this morning so if there are any good ones I'll share some here!

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Vegetarian Pho
Curried Chickpea Soup
Curried Split Pea Soup
White Bean and Roasted Garlic Soup

One Wild Chick Soup
Adapted from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan

Makes 6-7 servings

1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, diced
1 1/2 cups celery, diced
3/4 cup carrots, diced
5 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup brown basmati rice, rinsed
1/4 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp dried sage
3 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
4 cups vegetable stock
3 cups water
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp nutritional yeast

In a large pot on medium heat, add oil, onions, celery, carrots, garlic, rice, salt, pepper, dry mustard, dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, and sage, and stir to combine. Cover and let cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring once or twice. Add chickpeas, stock, water, and bay leaves and stir to combine. Increase heat to bring mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 45-55 minutes, until rice is fully cooked. Puree a portion of the soup (I did about 1/4 of it) and stir it back in. Stir in the nutritional yeast and cook for 2-3 minutes. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, and serve.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Lazy Girl’s Chocolate Chip Blondies

These blondies are super easy to make and also super addictive, an excellent combination. If you have a craving for chocolate chip cookies but don't want to expend too much effort, you can make these instead and be just as happy. I baked them for the recommended 30 minutes and found that the edges were crispy, and the middle was very chewy and caramelly. Next time I'll try baking them a few minutes less, though there's nothing wrong with chewy caramelly blondies!

I just got back from vacation last Sunday and am just now starting to feel sort of back to normal. E and I went to Turkey and Greece for 2.5 weeks! I have a friend who lives in Istanbul so we were with her and her boyfriend for a few days, then went to Greece on our own. We went to Santorini, Naxos, Mykonos and Athens. I loved seeing all the ancient ruins and exploring different cities. It was a great trip but we're also really happy to be back home. I was proud of myself for writing up a few posts before I left and setting them to update while I was gone!

If these sound good, you might also like:
Thick, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Dark and Dangerous Triple Chocolate Cookies
Sugar Cookie Bars
Chunky Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters

Lazy Girl’s Chocolate Chip Blondies
Adapted from Eat, Live, Run

Makes sixteen

8 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Prepare a 9"x9" pan with butter or parchment paper.

In a large bowl, stir together the butter and sugar until well combined. Add the egg, vanilla and salt and stir until combined.

Add the flour and gently mix, making sure not to overmix. Fold in the chocolate chips. Dump into the baking dish and smooth the top.

Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes, or until the blondies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and are a deep golden color.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Jalapeño Popper Dip

This dip is just completely phenomenal, and the best cheese dip I've ever had. It's amazing when it's hot out of the oven, and maybe even better when it's cooled down to room temperature. It tastes just like a jalapeño popper - though I like this dip better. And while it does have a distinct jalapeño flavour, it's not too spicy. My favourite things to dip were celery sticks and pita chips!

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Roasted Red Pepper & Almond Hummus
Cheddar Ale Dip
Pan-Fried Onion Dip
Grape Tomato Salsa

Jalapeño Popper Dip
Adapted from My Baking Addiction

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies, drained
4 ounces canned diced jalapeño peppers, drained
1 cup grated jalapeño Monterey Jack cheese

1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350F.

Using an electric mixer, blend the cream cheese and mayonnaise until smooth. Stir in green chilies, jalapeño peppers, and Monterey Jack cheese. Spoon this mixture into the prepared baking dish.

Mix together the Panko and Parmesan cheese and sprinkle it over the cream cheese mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the mixture is hot and the topping is lightly browned.