Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Oven Roasted Cauliflower with Rosemary and Garlic

I love my cruciferous vegetables. If I had a choice between mashed potatoes or a big pile of broccoli, cauliflower, rutabaga, kohlrabi and brussels sprouts, I would always pick the cruciferous vegetables. Unless I was extremely hungry, then I'd probably mix them together.

I usually roast or steam my cauliflower, and I'm currently in love with this delicious mixture that's used for roasted cauliflower. It sounds simple - rosemary, sugar, balsamic vinegar, pepper, salt, garlic. And it is. But it's also really flavourful, and easy of course. Plus it's so yummy when you roast cauliflower and the edges get a bit browned.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Herbed Cauliflower with Capers & Lemon
Pan-Roasted Cauliflower
Cauliflower Gratin
Cauliflower and Parmesan Cake

Oven Roasted Cauliflower with Rosemary and Garlic
Adapted from The Two-Week Wellness Solution

Serves 2 as a side dish (though I could totally eat the whole thing myself)

1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tbsp olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sucanat (or sugar)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
4 cups chopped cauliflower (bite size pieces)

Preheat oven to 400F.

In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients except the cauliflower. Add the cauliflower and mix until everything is evenly distributed. Spread the cauliflower mixture onto a baking sheet, making sure to get all the little bits of herbs and garlic with a spatula.

Bake for 30 minutes, turning once after 15 minutes. It's done when the cauliflower is browned and very tender.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Hummingbird Cake

It's been so long since I've posted a cake recipe!! And I forgot to take a picture of the whole cake, oops.

I made this for a family dinner and everyone seemed to enjoy it. The cake has banana, pineapple and pecans, and then it's covered in a cream cheese frosting. It is my firm belief that you can never go wrong with cream cheese frosting. The cake mostly tasted like banana and I was disappointed to not taste the pineapple. But I suppose the cake can be forgiven for that as it was really moist and soft.

I'm glad I tried it and would recommend it if you like banana cakes, but for me I'd rather try a different cake next time.

If this sounds good you might also like:
Rustic Chocolate Chip Banana Oat Cake
Apple Walnut Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
Toasted Pecan Eggnog Ring
Maple-Walnut Cake

Hummingbird Cake
Adapted from The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook

3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups canola oil
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups mashed, very ripe bananas
1 eight-ounce can crushed pineapple in unsweetened juice, drained
1/2 cup chopped pecans

2 eight ounce packages cream cheese, softened slightly, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened slightly, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 325F. Prepare two 9"x2" round cake pans by lining the bottom with parchment paper and greasing the sides with butter.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In the work bowl of an electric mixer (fitted with the paddle attachment), add the oil and sugar. Beat on medium until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until light, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the vanilla, bananas and pineapple. Then add the dry ingredients in thirds, beating after each addition until smooth. Fold in the pecans.

Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cakes cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.

To make the frosting: In the work bowl of an electric mixer (fitted with the paddle attachment), add the cream cheese and butter. Beat until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla extract. Gradually add the sugar and beat until well incorporated.

When cake has cooled, spread some of the frosting between the layers, then frost the top and sides of the cake with the cream cheese frosting.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Vegan Broccoli & Onion Frittata

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love tofu! Tofu tofu tofu. I'm not a vegan but I don't like eating eggs on their own very often (ie. scrambled, in a frittata). So this tofu frittata (actually it was supposed to be a quiche but why not simplify it, do without the crust and have it with a side of brown rice instead?) sounded great to me.

Broccoli, onion and herbs are sauteed, then some of the mixture is pureed with tofu and cashews, then baked in the oven. I really enjoyed it and would definitely make it or a variation of it again. E thought it wasn't flavourful enough (I disagree) and could only taste the tofu - but he's sensitive to the flavour of soy, as in he can always tell that it's there and it stands out to him.

What are you guys up to today? I finished a book this morning then went to the gym. I feel like just staying in the rest of the day and catching up on TV. Sometimes you just need those days to stay home and relax.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Broccoli Slaw
Maple Miso Glazed Tofu with Broccoli and Butternut Squash
Savoury Vegetable Cheesecake
Curried Scrambled Tofu with Wilted Greens

Vegan Broccoli & Onion Frittata
Adapted from Vegan Brunch

Serves 4 as a main (with rice)

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 1/2 cups finely chopped broccoli
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried tarragon
1/2 tsp turmeric
3/4 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup raw unsalted cashews
1 pound extra-firm tofu
1 tbsp Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a 9 inch pie plate by greasing it with 1/2 tbsp oil.

Heat a large pan over medium heat with 1/2 tbsp oil. Saute the onion and garlic for about 3 minutes. Add the thyme, tarragon, turmeric, salt and pepper and stir, then add in the broccoli. Cook for 10 minutes, until broccoli is soft.

In a food processor, pulse the cashews into fine crumbs. Crumble the tofu into the food processor and add the mustard. Process until relatively smooth. When the broccoli mixture is done cooking, add one cup of it to the food processor and pulse a few times to combine.

Transfer the cashews mixture to a big bowl, add the rest of the broccoli mixture and stir together. Dump it into the prepared pie plate, pressing it down and smoothing the top. Bake for 40 minutes, and let cool for 5 minutes (to set) before serving.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

African Yam & Peanut Soup with Ginger and Pineapple

Everybody Likes Sandwiches was one of the first blogs I read. And I remember from years ago that this soup was one of Jeannette's favourites from my favourite cookbook. It's taken me a million years to make though - I think because I was scared of the full can of pineapple that you add. I do not enjoy fruit in my meals usually. But not surprisingly, I really enjoyed this soup! Loved it even. It's very well balanced, and you can taste the ginger, peanut butter and a bit of pineapple.

Sweet potatoes and peanut butter are definitely one of my favourite combinations in a soup. I've made this pureed sweet potato & peanut stew with chickpeas, which is sort of similar to this one. But this soup has pineapple, tomatoes, red bell pepper, cilantro and no chickpeas. They both have coriander, cumin, onion, and ginger. Both are delicious and I can't choose between them!

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Curried Sweet Potato, Carrot and Red Lentil Soup
Curried Chickpea Soup
Thai Coconut Corn Stew
Curried Sweet Potato Soup

African Yam & Peanut Soup with Ginger and Pineapple
Adapted from Rebar: Modern Food Cookbook

Serves 8

8 cups vegetable stock
1 tbsp canola oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 tsp salt
6 tbsp minced ginger
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp chili pepper flakes
1 tsp paprika
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
14 oz (398 mL) can water packed pineapple, drained with juice reserved
3 ripe tomatoes, chopped
5 tbsp natural smooth peanut butter
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
juice of 2 limes, or more to taste

In a soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, ginger and spices, and saute until soft and golden. Stir in red pepper, sweet potatoes and salt and cook until they start to stick to the bottom of th epan. Add the vegetable stock, bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer. Cover partially and simmer until sweet potatoes are tender.

Add pineapple (with or without the reserved juice - I didn't add the juice), tomatoes, and peanut butter, and simmer for 30 minutes. Puree the soup.

Return the soup to the pot and simmer for 10 minutes. Season to taste with more salt and/or pineapple juice. Just before serving, add cilantro and fresh lime juice.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cashew Korma

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was starting a running program. Well we're halfway through week 3! And I love it. I love running and my knee has been okay so far. I really really hope it continues this way. I've also recently realized that while I did enjoy doing yoga when I wasn't working and had lots of time, now that I have much more limited time for exercising, I'd rather run.

Entertaining for a Veggie Planet is one of the first vegetarian cookbooks I bought, though I haven't used it much in the last few years. I started to go through it again recently and found lots of recipes that caught my eye like this cashew korma.

I LOVE cashews in meals (though not as snacks), and the cashews here are combined with my new favourite vegetable kohlrabi - as well as eggplant, tomatoes and yogurt. Some of the cashews are ground and used to thicken the dish and make it creamy. It was such an intriguing sounding meal and it did not disappoint. I really enjoyed the combination of vegetables and creamy cashew sauce.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Dal Makhni
Quick Vegan Tomato Basil Craem Pasta
Zucchini and Chickpea Pancakes
Sweet and Spicy Cashew Tofu

Cashew Korma
Adapted from Entertaining for a Veggie Planet

Serves 4

3/4 cup dry brown rice, cooked in 1 3/4 cups water
3/4 cup cashew halves
1 tbsp canola oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 Asian eggplant, cut into half moons
2 cups kohlrabi, 1/2" cubes
3 roma tomatoes, 1/2" cubes
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp garam masala
1 1/2 cups plain 2% yogurt
1/2 tsp salt

Cook the rice in a rice cooker or on the stove.

Preheat oven to 350F. Spread the cashews on a baking sheet and toast for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool then grind 1/2 cup of the cashews in a food processor. Keep the ground cashew and whole cashews separate.

In a large pan, heat the oil over medium. Add the onion and saute, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 7 minutes. Add the cardamom and stir for 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the ground cashews, eggplant, kohlrabi, tomatoes and garlic, and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1/2 cup water, cover, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and stir in the garam masala, salt and yogurt, stirring until heated through. Don't let the mixture boil or the yogurt will curdle.

Serve the korma over hot rice, garnished the cashew halves.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Dishes that Didn't Make the Cut Part 2

As I have a huge backlog of recipes to post and like to share most of what I make, this post will be another unbloggable/dishes that didn't make the cut.

Easy Maple-Soy Seared Tofu (from Healthy. Happy. Life on The Family Kitchen)
I LOVE tofu and this seared tofu looked too delicious. In reality it resulted in oil splattering everywhere (not the recipe's fault, I need a splatter screen) and more importantly the tofu didn't have a strong flavour. Admittedly I didn't press my tofu, but still if I'm going to have some sort of seared maple soy tofu, I much prefer Matthew's Delicious Tofu.

Creamy Broccoli Dal (from Vegan Yum Yum)
I love the Vegan Yum Yum cookbook (if you couldn't already tell) and I know many other bloggers love this recipe but it was just okay to me. I didn't find it very flavourful.

Vegan Pumpkin Mac n Cheeze (from Oh She Glows)
I feel like I've tried my fair share of vegan cheeze sauces and as much as I want to love them, I've never found one that I liked. So for me this was just okay, but for someone who likes vegan cheeze sauces, it may be amazing.

Moroccan Vegetable Pie with Chickpea Crust (from Canadian Living: The Vegetarian Collection)
As you can see, I had some trouble with the chickpea crust. I'm no crust wizard but I've never had such an unsuccessful crust before. The dough was so dry and crumbly and I couldn't really roll it out so I just pressed it into place. I should've added more liquid to the dough to begin with. The filling was okay but nothing special. A neat idea but unfortunately something that didn't work out too well.

I was in Stroybrooke yesterday! (That's where my dentist is. And for those of you that don't know, Storybrooke is the town in the TV show Once Upon a Time.)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Black Russian Rye Bread

Usually I buy Silver Hills Squirrelly bread but occasionally I'll buy black Russian bread from the grocery store which I love. And when I do buy the black Russian bread I usually use it for one of my favourite meals - autumn panzanella. I want to bake bread more often so thought this was a good one to try making at home. The ingredient list is crazy including unsweetened chocolate, caraway seeds, fennel seeds, espresso powder, shallot, cornmeal, molasses, apple cider vinegar, wheat bran and various flours.

I was really happy with how it turned out - very soft but with a slight chew. Not surprisingly very flavourful. Definitely a success. It's not the kind of bread that I like eating on its own everyday (ex. toasted with butter or cheese) as it does have a strong flavour, but to use it occasionally to make a sandwich is a nice change. Years ago I remember making this vegetarian reuben (with avocado instead of corned beef). This bread would be perfect for a reuben.

One thing I did not like was that it has you set the dough on a mixture of cornmeal, flour and caraway seeds. The caraway seeds were too strong for me so I'd recommend omitting them (not from the dough just from this extra step).

I'm submitting this bread to YeastSpotting.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Yeasted Garlic Zucchini Bread
Freshly Fruited Yeast Bread
Carob Pumpernickel Bread
Buttermilk Honey Bread

Black Russian Rye Bread
Adapted from The Bread Bible

Makes 2 medium round loaves

1/2 cup warm water (105 to 115F)
2 tbsp active dry yeast
Pinch of sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
4 tbsp Earth Balance vegan butter (or regular unsalted butter)
1 oz unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3 cups dark rye flour
3 cups bread flour
1 cup wheat bran
2 tbsp caraway seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp instant espresso powder
1 tbsp minced shallot
1/4 cup medium-grind yellow cornmeal
1 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour

1. Put the warm water in a bowl or measuring cup. Add the yeast and sugar, stirring to dissolve. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes, or until foamy.

2. In a small pot, add 2 cups water, molasses, vinegar, butter, and chocolate. Heat to 105F to 115F. Ensure the butter and chocolate has melted. Set aside. In a separate large bowl, combine the whole wheat, rye bread flours. Set aside.

3. In the work bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add 2 cups of the mixed flours, bran, caraway seeds, fennel seeds, salt, espresso, shallot, yeast mixture and chocolate mixture. Beat vigorously until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining mixed flours 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough clears the sides of the bowl. You might not use all of the flour. The dough will be very sticky but firm.

4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in any remaining flour mixture to make a springy yet dense dough, about 3 minutes. You might not need to use all of the flour. Form the dough into a ball.

5. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turning it to ensure all sides have been oiled. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

6. In a small bowl, combine the cornmeal and flour. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment or a Silpat. Sprinkle the cornmeal/flour mixture on the baking sheet.

7. Gently deflate the dough. Divide into 2 equal portions and shape each into a tight round loaf. Place the loaves, seam side down, on the baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until puffy and almost doubled in bulk, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

8. Twenty minutes prior to baking, preheat the oven to 350F.

9. Using a serrated knife, slash the top of the loaves with an X no more than 1/4 inch deep. Place the baking sheet on the center rack of the oven and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the loaves are crusty and sound hollow when tapped with your finger. Transfer the loaves to a cooling rack and cool completely before slicing.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Butternut Squash with Sunflower Seeds & Cranberries

I really wish this photo looked better! But it did taste good, and it's a great simple way to do something a bit different with butternut squash. After roasting the squash, it's mixed with sunflower seeds (or pumpkin seeds), dried cranberries and a Dijon balsamic apple dressing.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Maple-Miso Glazed Tofu with Broccoli and Butternut Squash
Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Tomatoes
Spiced Squash, Lentil and Goat Cheese Salad
Warm Roasted Pumpkin & Shallot Salad

Butternut Squash with Sunflower Seeds & Cranberries
Adapted from Nutrition Action Healthletter, November 2011

Serves 4 as a side

750 g butternut squash, 1/2" dice
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp apple juice
1/8 tsp salt
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
3 tbsp dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350F. Spread the squash out on a sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until tender.

Whisk together the Dijon, vinegar, juice, salt and olive oil. Toss the squash with the dressing, sunflower seeds, and cranberries.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Best Roasted Potatoes

Yes I'm saying it, BEST roasted potatoes. I am completely in love with the herb mixture and even if you try it and it's not the absolute best for you, I'm positive it will at least be really good.

E found this recipe one day when looking for a good potato seasoning mix and it's the one we've been using ever since. It's good on other vegetables too, but it's best on potatoes. Also really good on sweet potatoes, where it sticks really well because the sweet potatoes are a bit more "wet".

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Healthy Baked Zucchini Fries
Pan Roasted Cauliflower
Ginger Roasted Winter Vegetables
Maple Mustard Glazed Potatoes and String Beans
Caribbean Roasted Vegetables

Best Roasted Potatoes
Adapted from JMRYGH at allrecipes

I'm not sure if this is the ratio of potato to herb mixture we usually use, so just add to taste. Sometimes we have some spice mixture leftover

1 tablespoon minced garlic (usually we use dehydrated garlic)
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tbsp olive oil
4 large potatoes, cubed (or an equivalent amount of baby potatoes cut into 4)

Preheat oven to 450F. Prepare a baking sheet or roasting pan with parchment paper.

In a bowl, combine garlic, basil, marjoram, dill weed, thyme, oregano, parsley, red pepper flakes, and salt. On the baking sheet, mix together the potatoes, oil and spice mix. Stir around until evenly coated and then spread the potatoes out to a single layer.

Roast for 20 to 30 minutes (or until a bit crisp on the outside and tender on the inside), flipping the potatoes at least once.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Coconut Macaroon Granola

I rarely buy it or make it but granola is one of my favourite things to eat, especially the clumpy crunchy kind. This one isn't the clumpy kind but it is crunchy and also full of coconut (another serious love of mine). I ate it with pineapple and yogurt once, but I preferred eating it with some almond milk because then I can really taste the coconut mmm.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Perfectly Crunchy Granola
Coconut Raspberry Walnut Power Bars
Caramel Walnut Chocolate Chunk Granola
Low-Fat Winter Fruit Granola

Coconut Macaroon Granola
Adapted from Healthy Food For Living

Makes about 8 cups

3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pure almond extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 325F. Prepare a baking sheet with a silicon baking mat or parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the applesauce, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and salt.

Add oats and coconut to the large bowl and stir until evenly coated. Spread mixture on the prepared baking sheet in an even layer.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges of the granola are beginning to turn golden brown. Remove sheet from the oven, stir, and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the granola is golden brown and crisp (for a chewier granola, shave off 3-5 minutes from each baking time). Remove from the oven and cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Most Delicious Sandwich

I am currently ridiculously obsessed with this smoky maple marinated tempeh bacon (made by Turtle Island Foods). Specifically eating the tempeh bacon as my mom used to make it in a toasted sandwich with mayonnaise, lots of fresh sliced tomato, and freshly ground black pepper. (Pan frying the bacon first of course and no lettuce!)

I'm not usually one to buy pre-marinated tofu or tempeh, and try not to buy too many fake meat products, but this is one that I will be buying all the time.

I've tried other fake bacons before (the storebought ones, not homemade) and wasn't impressed and found them nothing like bacon. Okay obviously tempeh bacon does not = real bacon, but it's seriously pretty darn close!! This is some GOOD fake bacon. And I must admit that I did used to love bacon. So this isn't really a recipe, it's more of a I-can't-get-enough-of-eating-this-so-I-have-to-share-it-with-you post.

PS - For those of you that live in Canada, you should check out Silver Hills Squirrelly bread. It's the best whole grain bread! (And it's sprouted too.)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Soy-Mirin Tofu with Snow Peas and Peanut Sauce

I haven't had any peanut butter in the house for the past couple of weeks and I knew I always loved peanut butter, but now I know I feel incomplete without it. What am I supposed to dip my apples in? What am I supposed to spread on a freshly toasted bagel? How am I supposed to make peanut sauce??

So it's no surprise that I really enjoyed this meal smothered in peanut sauce. The tofu is glazed with a soy-mirin mixture, which I didn't really taste. The peanut sauce was delicious (hard not to be though) and I loved the crushed peanuts sprinkled on top. We ate it with other roasted vegetables and stretched it out to make 4 meals (or 2 meals for 2 people).

A blog reader commented and asked about how I do my meal planning. I wish I had some fancy system to describe, but all I do is find 3-4 recipes (usually 3) that I know will make enough for lunches and dinners for 2 people for at least 5 days (work days). I don't plan when we'll eat them though, and now that I get home from work so late we make everything on Sunday (which is working out really well!)

A glimpse into my kitchen during our Sunday cookfests. I guess I should move my Kitchenaid and blender off the counter (where they usually live). Actually there's a lot on the counter that shouldn't be there like a box of shortbread from my grandma and tea from E's parents. I love my rice cooker that cooks brown rice!

I usually go for 1 pot/dish type meals (ie. stir fry, casserole, soup) but sometimes I'll put a couple of recipes together. I try to get a variety of protein, choosing a maximum of 1 tofu recipe, and then 2 bean/lentil recipes or sometimes (rarely) something with cheese like lasagna. I often try to pick 1 soup recipe because I know it will last for at least 3 meals. How do you guys do your weekly meal planning?

The stove often looks much messier than this in the middle of cooking 3 meals! I'm actually impressed with how clean it looks.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Maple-Miso Glazed Tofu with Broccoli and Butternut Squash
Lettuce Wraps with Hoisin-Mustard Tofu
Orange Sesame Tofu & Coconut-Lime Basmati Rice
Broccoli Cashew Teriyaki Tofu Stir-Fry

Soy-Mirin Tofu with Snow Peas and Peanut Sauce
Adapted from Vegan Yum Yum

Makes 4 servings (with a side of vegetables like roasted beets and carrots)

1 cup brown rice
2 cups water

1/4 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 tsp powdered ginger

1 block extra firm tofu, cut into small squares
2 cups snow peas, trimmed, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp mirin
Crushed peanuts

Cook the rice in the 2 cups of water (I used a rice cooker).

Make the peanut sauce by blending together the peanut butter, 1/4 cup water, sugar, 1 tbsp soy sauce, rice vinegar and ginger.

Mix together 1 tbsp soy sauce and the mirin and set aside (to be used to glaze the tofu).

Once the rice is almost finished cooking, heat a wok over high heat. Add the tofu and cook until browned on at least 2 sides of every cube. Turn the heat off, and add the snow peas. Pour the soy-mirin mixture over the tofu and snow peas, and mix.

To serve, plate the rice, tofu and snow peas. Top with peanut sauce and crushed peanuts.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Curried Pumpkin Hummus

I love a good hummus. And this is a really really good hummus. I kept seeing pumpkin hummus on blogs (mind you this was back in the fall) so one day when I had an open can of pumpkin, I knew what I had to do with the leftovers.

I didn't taste the pumpkin, but I loved how creamy the hummus was and it had a really great flavour from the curry powder, cumin, garlic, almonds and tahini. The original recipe doesn't have any oil, and I tried to make it that way but it just wasn't coming together in the nice smooth way that I like. So I added a tablespoon of oil and it was perfect.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Roasted Red Pepper & Almond Hummus
Spinach Artichoke Heart Dip
Sweet Potato Black Bean Salsa

Curried Pumpkin Hummus
Adapted from Diet, Dessert and Dogs

Makes about 3 cups

Scant 1 cup dry chickpeas, soaked 8 hours, cooked and drained (or 2 1/2 cups cooked, rinsed and drained)
3/4 cup canned pumpkin purée
1/4 cup raw almonds
3 tbsp tahini
1/3 cup water
1 tbsp olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste

In a food processor, add all the ingredients. Process until smooth.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Hearty Pumpkin and Bean Stew (Porotos Granados)

Yesterday I was super excited about 2 things (well I'm still excited today). One is that I started the Runners World 8 week beginning runner's training program! (E is going to do it with me too.) I used to run 3 times a week but then I overdid it and hurt my knee. I've tried to get back into running many times but my knee always ends up hurting so it's discouraging. I think I've just been trying to do too much too soon so I'm going to try and take it really slow and stick to this program. Right now I'm doing it on a treadmill - and for those of you who run on a treadmill, what do you think is a good beginner's jogging/running pace? I saw 4.5 mph as a suggestion but that feels so slow to me. Which is probably good.

The other thing I'm excited about is crocheting!! It's been too long since I crocheted. I want to crochet these hexagons and/or a turtle. And now to awkwardly segue into talking about this soup...

Doesn't hearing a recipe name in another language sound so much more exciting? I'd much rather eat porotos granados, than hearty pumpkin and bean stew.

This soup was good but I didn't love it, which doesn't mean you won't, because I'm picky about my soups and don't love super beany things usually. Which this was. It has navy beans, onion, tomatoes, pumpkin and corn - and I liked the idea of this combination. But to make it again, I'd add more herbs/spices (paprika, oregano, cumin, basil).

I look forward to trying the other soups and stews from this cookbook! If you've tried any please let me know your favourites and I'll try those first.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Pureed Sweet Potato & Peanut Stew with Chickpeas
Curried Chickpea Soup
White Bean and Roasted Garlic Soup
Hungarian Mushroom Soup

Hearty Pumpkin and Bean Stew (Porotos Granados)
Adapted from Viva Vegan!

There's basil in the photo, but I don't think it added enough to the soup to make it worth it so wouldn't bother adding it.

1 lb navy beans, soaked at least 8 hours, then drained
6 cups cold water, plus 2 cups water
2 bay leaves
Scant 1/8 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large (1/2 lb) yellow onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 1/2 tsp paprika
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried basil
3 roma tomatoes (about 1/2 lb), seeded and diced
1 lb pumpkin (or other squash), peeled, seeded and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed and briefly pureed
1 tsp salt

In a soup pot, add the beans and 6 cups water, bay leaves and baking soda. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 45-60 minutes, or until the beans are tender. Skim and discard any foam.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onions and jalapeno pepper. Stir and cook for 10 minutes, or until the onions are soft and transparent. Add in the paprika, oregano, cumin and basil, stir and cook for 30 seconds, then turn off the heat. When beans are done, add the onion mixture, 2 cups water, tomatoes, pumpkin and corn.

Bring the stew to a boil over high heat, stir and lower heat to a simmer. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes, until the pumpkin is very soft and easily mashes if pressed against the side of the pot. If desired, puree a portion of the stew.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Maple-Miso Glazed Tofu with Broccoli and Butternut Squash

A couple of weekends ago we did something super exciting. Well super exciting to me. We went curling! My grandma used to watch curling, which is where I first became interested in it. I've never been one to watch sports on TV except things like gymnastics, figure skating and equestrian shows. And I know curling isn't a sport like hockey or football, but it's sport enough for me!

When the Olympics was here a couple of years ago we went to watch curling. And then a few months ago I bought a deal for a 2 hour intro to curling lesson, and last weekend we went. So much fun! I want to look into joining a league now but may have to wait until September. Anyone else into curling?

Unrelated to curling, is this delicious meal. When I do my weekly meal planning, I look for something that has a grain, a protein and at least 2 vegetables preferably of a different colour. And this meal is exactly that. Brown rice, tofu, green broccoli and orange squash! Excellent. And the sauce is the perfect accompaniment, made with miso, maple syrup, soy sauce, rice vinegar, mirin and sesame oil.

My weeknight evening photo does not do this meal justice, so I recommend checking out Joanne's photos to see just how awesome this meal is.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Tamarind Tofu Cabbage Bowl
Lemon Miso Tofu and Eggplant
Tofu and Broccolini in Peanut Sauce
Salt & Pepper Tofu

Maple-Miso Glazed Tofu with Broccoli and Butternut Squash
Adapted from Eats Well With Others who adapted from The Blue Kitchen

Serves 4

1/4 cup white miso
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp + 1 tsp sesame oil
1 block of tofu, diced
4 cups butternut squash (about 1/2 large squash), diced
4 cups broccoli (about 3 crowns), chopped

In a bowl/container large enough to fit all the tofu, whisk together the miso, maple syrup, soy sauce, rice vinegar, mirin and 1 tbsp sesame oil. Add the tofu and marinate for at least 1 hour, but longer is better.

Preheat oven to 450F. Bake the squash for 30 to 40 minutes, or until tender.

Add 1 tsp sesame oil to a wok over medium heat. Using a slotted spoon, add the tofu to the pan, leaving the marinade in the bowl. Cook undisturbed for about 2 minutes per side and then flip over. Repeat until all sides are browned and crisp. Add broccoli to the pan. Mix to combine and then cover the pan, steaming for 2 to 4 minutes or until broccoli is bright green but not too soft. Add in the squash and the reserved marinade. Stir to combine (careful not to squash the squash!) until marinade is evenly distributed and everything is evenly heated.