‘recipes’ Category

  1. vegan mashed potatoes

    November 27, 2016 by Angie

    I am really bad at making mashed potatoes. I get horrified by the ingredients in the internet’s favorite recipes: bucket of sour cream, 19 sticks of butter, multiple cups of heavy cream, gallons of whole milk. I feel guilty enough about the potatoes. I have tried several healthier versions over the years and they have all sucked.

    This year I based my attempt on a vegan recipe that pledges to be “the creamiest vegan mashed potatoes” from the blog My California Roots. They were cold by the time I got to eat them on Thanksgiving Day, but Robbie and I loved the leftovers. I would make and eat these again and again. I think next year I need to explore a vegan gravy to go on top.

    Thanksgiving 2016

    There they are with apple and onion stuffing, cranberry sauce (I used brown sugar this year – yum), tofu vegetable pot pie, and cheddar bay biscuits. Mom’s sweet potato casserole and Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s vegan pumpkin chocolate chip cupcakes were dessert.

    I changed things around a little so here is what I did.

    Ingredients

    1 cup water
    1/2 cup raw cashews
    2.5 lbs gold potatoes
    4 tablespoons Earth Balance margarine
    2 tablespoons (probably more like 5, but who’s counting?) minced garlic
    salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions

    1. Wash, peel, and chop the potatoes.
    2. Submerge the potatoes in water in a large pot.
    3. Microwave a cup of water in a bowl.
    4. Add the half cup of cashews to the boiling water. Set aside for at least half an hour.
    5. When it’s getting closer to meal time, boil the potatoes in the pot for about thirty minutes or until the potato chunks are tender when poked with a fork.
    6. While the potatoes are cooking, make the cashew cream by blending the water and cashews together. I used my crappy food processor and it worked out fine.
    7. Drain the potatoes.
    8. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher. Add the cashew cream, Earth Balance, garlic, salt, and pepper.
    9. Using a hand mixer, blend everything together for as little time as you can while still getting the lumpy to smooth ratio you like for your mashed potato consistency.
    10. Eat them right now! They get cold in a hurry.

  2. SunButter cups

    September 26, 2016 by Angie

    I’ve never known the joy of a Reese’s peanut butter cup on account of my severe allergy. I hear they’re delicious but I ran a cost-benefit analysis and decided to steer clear. Until NOW! Kind of.
    Sunbutter cups

    I saw a video recipe for three ingredient peanut butter cups. I made the recipe with SunButter, which is very tasty sunflower seed butter, instead. The jar says you can substitute it one for one for peanut butter in recipes.

    Yield: about 12 mini muffin cups

    Ingredients

    1 and a 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
    1/2 cup SunButter
    3 tablespoons powdered sugar

    Directions

    1. Place liners in a muffin tin. I used a mini muffin tin and mini liners. It made 11 cups.

    2. Melt the chocolate chips in a bowl in the microwave. I cooked for 30 seconds, stirred, and repeated that two more times.

    3. Pour the SunButter into another bowl. Stir the powdered sugar into the SunButter until it’s mixed in.

    4. Fill the muffin liners a little over a third of the way with melted chocolate. Top with a small spoonful of the SunButter mixture. Top that with enough melted chocolate to cover the SunButter and fill the liner almost to the top.

    5. Refrigerate overnight.

    6. Peel the liner off and experience anaphylaxis-free, chocolatey, nutty yumminess. Store them in the refrigerator.

    Sookie asks please

    Verdict: rich and delicious! I’ve been missing out!

    Robbie says these are much better than the real thing, but he also says SunButter doesn’t taste like peanut butter. He hates peanut butter and likes SunButter so there’s a definite bias here. I’m going to seek out more taste testers and report back.

    I started with a cup of milk chocolate chips based on the video recipe and needed to melt more. I upped it to 1 and a 1/4 cups but still had some of the SunButter mixture left over. I think 1 and a 1/2 cups would work best and would probably be enough to yield an even dozen cups.


  3. strawberry mojito

    August 23, 2016 by Angie

    Life gave me mint so I made mojitos. Robbie got me an AeroGarden for my birthday. We finally set it up in June and in a few weeks I had so much mint growing in my kitchen! I love fancy drinks with muddled fruit in them, particularly strawberries, so I made a strawberry mojito in addition to a standard one.

    strawberry mojito

    Strawberry Mojito

    Ingredients

    white rum (I used Bacardi Superior.)
    fresh mint leaves
    strawberries
    fresh lime juice
    simple syrup (Make your own! There’s a recipe below.)
    club soda
    ice cubes

    Instructions

    I don’t own a shaker, strainer, or muddling gear. This is how I made a mojito in my kitchen without real barware.

    1. Make the simple syrup by boiling 1 cup of water and 1 cup sugar in a small pot. Stir and cook until the sugar is no longer visible. Set aside to cool. Once it’s cooled down a bit, put it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
    2. Wash and chop a handful of strawberries.
    3. Wash mint sprigs. You’ll want some individual mint leaves for muddling and one giant, intact sprig for garnishing.
    4. Muddle the strawberries and the individual mint leaves together. I did this in a rocks glass with a spoon.
    5. Fill a glass about 3/4 with ice cubes. Add a generous shot of rum, a half shot of simple syrup, a half shot of club soda, and the juice of half of a lime. Stir.
    6. Add in the muddled strawberries and mint. Stir to combine.
    7. Garnish with the big mint sprig (and a lime wedge).

     

    traditional mojito

    Standard Mojito

    For the standard mojito, I did everything the same except for leaving out the strawberries. Pretty straight forward!

    I kept the simple syrup in a travel coffee mug with a tight lid for about two weeks in the refrigerator. I was able to make a lot of Old Fashioneds for Robbie and our guests using that. I definitely recommend taking the time to make simple syrup if you’re going to be making several mojitos or other drinks that call for it.


  4. crunchy tofu tacos

    July 28, 2016 by Angie

    I feel like a fancy chef, y’all! This recipe is easy and so delicious but it looks like something from a cooking show. At least it did in person – I hope the photos do the tacos justice. It’s a flour tortilla topped with a sweetened carrot slaw, pan-fried tofu, toasted cashews, vegan sriracha mayo, and green onions.

    crunchy tofu taco!

    Mmm, sriracha mayo.

    I was looking through the Cooking Light website for new recipes and found this one for supercrunch tacos. I followed it pretty closely except for cheating a bit with the carrot slaw. I used a bag of pre-cut julienned carrots, broccoli stalks, and cabbage instead. I also used flour tortillas and skipped heating them. I will do the two damp paper towels in the microwave trick the next time I make this because warm tortillas would make everything nicer.

    an aerial view

    Two thumbs up from both halves of Robgeleen!


  5. blueberry pie

    July 10, 2016 by Angie

    My parents and my niece came over for an early Independence Day hang on Saturday. I made mozzarella, cherry tomato, and balsamic vinegar appetizer and BBQ tofu and vegetables, black beans, and grilled corn on the cob for the main dinner. Dessert was this blueberry cream cheese pie I kinda invented.

    a blueberry pie


    Ingredients

    9″ prepared graham cracker pie crust
    12 oz light soft cream cheese
    1 cup confectioner’s sugar
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 pint fresh blueberries

    Sookie investigates the blueberry pie

    Sookie has blueberry and cheese interests.

    Instructions

    1. Put the cream cheese, confectioner’s sugar, and vanilla in a bowl. Stir it around so that the confectioner’s sugar doesn’t explode on you when you start to use the mixer.

    2. Use a mixer to beat the mixture until fully combined and a little fluffy.

    3. Spoon the cream cheese mixture into the prepared pie crust. Use a spoon to level off the top.

    4. Wash the pint of blueberries and remove any stems.

    5. Arrange the blueberries over the cream cheese mixture.

    6. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve it.

    Blueberry pie sliced

    The easy to delicious ratio is in your favor.


  6. SunButter bites

    June 12, 2016 by Angie

    I was very intrigued by these no-bake peanut butter oat “protein” bites I saw on Buzzfeed. You can watch the video and get their recipe here. I’m allergic to peanut butter so I substituted SunButter, which is sunflower seed butter. You can use it just like peanut butter in recipes.

    Caution: somebody in the BuzzFeed comments put the ingredients into MyFitnessPal. These should really be called “fat” bites, hence why they taste so darn good.

    SunButter Bites

     

    These are going fast in our house. Only 8 SunButter bites were remaining at the time of this photograph.

    Ingredients

    2/3 cup SunButter (I believe any nut butter would work.)
    1 cup old fashioned oats
    1 1/2 tablespoons honey
    1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
    1/4 cup flax seeds (The original recipe says the flax seeds are optional. The original recipe is incorrect. To take the no flax seed option is to make a poor life choice.)

    Directions

    1. Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl.

    2. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes.

    3. In your hands, roll and press the mixture into balls. You should get about 16 balls. Try to press some extra oats onto them. I didn’t have much luck with this – still delicious, doesn’t matter.

    4. Eat now or store in the refrigerator.


  7. eggplant parmesan

    May 28, 2016 by Angie

    My mother-in-law makes the best eggplant parmesan. The best. I tried to make eggplant parmesan a couple of times using other recipes and I didn’t like what I made. The recipes called for salting then frying the eggplant slices leading directly to disaster. Even Italian restaurants seriously mess up eggplant parmesan so making delicious eggplant parmesan has been a culinary goal of mine for years.

    Blanky's eggplant parmesan

    Blanky’s stellar eggplant parmesan

    My mother-in-law shared her recipe with me along with some tips and the brand of sauce she uses – Ragu Chunky in a giant plastic container. Can you believe that? That sauce is key!

    The recipe is this baked, not fried, version from Martha Stewart. Baking is lower fat, less messy, and a lot easier than frying. I followed the recipe pretty closely because I really wanted it to succeed this time! My small changes included the addition of a quarter teaspoon of garlic powder to the bread crumb and cheese mixture and decreasing the initial baking time as advised by my mother-in-law.

    I don’t buy eggs, but I do keep Eggology egg whites in the house. Robbie looked up the conversion for me. Two tablespoons of egg whites are equivalent to one egg without the yolk. He poured four tablespoons of Eggology into a bowl and added 1 tablespoon of Smart Balance oil to try to make up for the fat missing from the two egg yolks he omitted. From there he added the two tablespoons of water and whisked.

    I ran out of the bread crumbs and cheese mixture halfway through and had to make another one. I will double it from the start in the future.

    I had to bake the casserole longer than the recipe said to achieve the coveted bubbly, golden brown status. I think my oven is wonky so YMMV.

    I’m happy to report that my eggplant parmesan was amazing! It was not exactly like my mother-in-law’s but it was really, really delicious. Way better than what I’ve had at many restaurants and I’ve eaten more than my fair share of restaurant eggplant parmesan.

    eggplant parmesan

    Next time I will do everything the same except I’ll also slice the eggplant more carefully to get consistently thin slices and I’ll be prepared to bake the final casserole longer, maybe even using the broiler for a couple of minutes at the end.

    unphotogenic serving

    Lifetime culinary goal achieved!


  8. bruschetta

    May 21, 2016 by Angie

    The jar of pesto in my pantry was in danger of expiring, therefore, bruschetta. Eating bruschetta is much more enjoyable than throwing pesto away. I made a good life choice.

    pretty bruschetta

    Ingredients:

    loaf of fresh French bread
    jar of basil pesto (I would guess I used about 3 tablespoons – the jar is still quite full.)
    1 cup of cherry tomatoes
    reduced fat feta cheese (I used almost the entire container.)
    balsamic vinegar

    Preparation:

    1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with olive oil.

    2. Slice the French bread into small discs. Arrange the bread slices on the cookie sheet and spritz them with olive oil.

    3. Bake the bread slices until slightly toasty. You have to keep a close eye on them – they want to burn.

    4. Quarter the cherry tomatoes. Combine the tomatoes and feta in a bowl.

    5. Spread pesto on the toasted bread slices. Top with the tomato feta mixture. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over the bruschetta, if you’re into that. Enjoy!

    plate of bruschetta


  9. no sugar added sangria

    May 21, 2016 by Angie

    I wanted to drink sangria so I made some. I perused a lot of recipes first. All of them called for sugar, artificial sweetener, soda with high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweetener, or simple syrup. I think that’s overkill. It’s wine with fruit and fruit juice in it. Isn’t that sweet enough? So here it is: my no sugar added sangria. I didn’t miss the sugar at all.

    cold and tasty sangria

    A glass of cold sangria

    Ingredients:

    750 mL Cabernet Sauvignon
    1/2 cup brandy
    1/3 cup orange liqueur
    1 cup club soda
    juice of 1 lime
    1 navel orange, halved and sliced
    1 green apple, cut into wedges
    1 red apple, cut into wedges
    1/2 lemon, cut into rounds
    Ice

    sangria ingredients

    Directions:

    Combine the wine, brandy, orange liqueur, and club soda in a large pitcher. Squeeze in the juice of one lime. Squeeze in the juice of half of the orange. Stir well. Add the other half of the orange slices, the green and red apple wedges, and lemon rounds. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Pour over ice and enjoy!


  10. spaghetti squash black bean mexican bowl

    March 12, 2016 by Angie

    I made this Mexican-style dish from Kalyn’s Kitchen recently. It’s a hot black bean mixture with avocado salsa served over roasted spaghetti squash strands. Robbie and I both loved it. We ate it all.

    avocadoy beany goodness

    My spaghetti squash wasn’t very large so the ratio of black beans/salsa to spaghetti squash is a little off. The deliciousness was unaffected.

    spaghetti squash underneath

    There it is! Spaghetti squash peeking out from underneath all the beans and veggies.

    I followed her recipe pretty closely. The changes I made were I only halved the spaghetti squash instead of quartering it. It wasn’t big enough to require quartering and I really struggle to cut through them. I don’t have Vege-Sal so I used salt, as suggested. I skipped the green chiles and the green tabasco sauce. I don’t keep those things on hand and we don’t really like them anyway. The dish is very flavorful. I didn’t miss the things I omitted. Kalyn’s Kitchen did it again with a great, healthy recipe!

    bowl!
    Mmm, limey avocado.