29 February 2012
27 February 2012
26 February 2012
I stole this recipe from Whole Foods, and then improved it, if I do say so myself. I was making this for a dinner with friends, so this recipe produces quite a large quantity of food--enough for at least eleven people with some left over. (which is funny because, with eight siblings, that "large quantity of food" is exactly what my mother needed to make for my family every night for dinner. Since I learned to cook from my mom, I suspect this is why I have such trouble for cooking for small groups of people. But I digress). Anyhow, if you're making these for less people, just halve or third the recipe as needed.
Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
12 oz sliced mushrooms
4 medium carrots, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped (I'd use yellow just for the aesthetic value. But you can use whatever color you'd like)
8 bell peppers, stems removed, seeded, and halved (again, I used a mixture of red, yellow, and orange for aesthetic purposes but you can use whatever color you choose)
6 oz baby spinach
1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa
Optional: 2 cups vegetable broth for cooking quinoa
3/4 cup roasted, salted cashews
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (8oz) can tomato paste
1 ½ tsp dried oregano
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Salt and pepper to taste
First, prepare the quinoa (See this recipe for instructions). I used 2 cups vegetable broth and 1 cup water for the quinoa, but you could use all water or all broth, depending on your taste or what you have on hand. I just find that cooking it in some broth adds a bit more flavor.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions start to become transparent (about 5 minutes). Then add the mushroom and cook until soft (5-7 minutes). Next add the carrots and peppers and continue cooking until they start to soften (probably another 5ish minutes).
Serve warm and enjoy. :)
21 February 2012
This cake is absolutely glorious. Wonderfully glorious. Definitely one of my favorite things I’ve ever made because it’s amazing in terms of both taste (a perfectly moist blend of dark chocolate, spices, and pumpkin) and aesthetics.
I nicked this recipe from Frangrant Vanilla Cake (someone who I’ll probably be stealing loads more recipes from…red wine cake, anyone?). I made quite a few modifications for reasons of both cost and ingredient availability; I didn’t want to spend $10 on a thing of coconut oil and I couldn’t find maple extract (Dear loser—Publix, I hate you, I’ve aaalways hated you). I also cut out some of the spices because I thought chipotle powder in a cake would be a little bizarre (and because I am a complete sissy when it comes to spicy foods).
Anyhow, without further ado, here’s my modified version of Pumpkin Turtle Cake:
Spiced Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Cake:
3 cups flour
1 3/4 cup white sugar
½ + 2 Tsp cup maple syrup
3 Tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 canola oil
2 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup coconut milk
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
Dark Chocolate Frosting:
1 cup regular cocoa powder, sifted
1 cup dark cocoa powder, sifted
3/4 cup agave nectar
1/3 cup maple syrup
¼ cup coconut milk
2 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp sea salt
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup full fat coconut milk
2 Tbsp Earth balance butter
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp sea salt
12 oz pecans, toasted
(The original recipe also called for pumpkin seeds, which I would have used but the pumpkins seeds at Publix looked questionable at best (I hate you more than anything in this world-d-d-d-d-d! If you can find better quality pumpkin seeds, dooo it.)
Whisk dry ingredients together in a bowl. In a different bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, coconut milk, oil, and vanilla extract and mix in with the dry ingredients. Then whisk in the apple cider vinegar until pale swirls form in the batter and it is well combined.
Divide the cake batter equally between two 9” cake pans. Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes or until tester is inserted and comes out clean. Thank you, dear mother, for putting the cakes in the oven for me! This cake would not have gotten made without you. Well, it would have gotten made but ended up a wet goopy mess. (In all seriousness, I am very thankful because she did purchase the plethora of ingredients for this cake so it really would not have been made without her. Merci maman!)
While the cake is baking, go ahead and make the icing and the caramel. For the frosting, whisk all the ingredients together until smooth. Add more cocoa powder to thicken the frosting or milk to thin it.
My caramel turned out a bit wonky. It didn't end up thickening as much as I would have liked and it never turned a very deep amber color. However, it was still tasty, so it sufficed.
To make the wonky caramel, bring the sugar, agave nectar, and water to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes (until deep amber) swirling the pan every so often to assure even heating. Remove from heat and stir in the rest of the ingredients (carefully, because the mixture will bubble). Set aside and let cool (the mixture should thicken as it cools...ha).
To toast the pecans, spread them over a cookie sheet and bake in the oven at 350 for about 5 minutes or until “aromatic” (basically, until it starts to smell nice). Careful that you don’t let cook too long, because they will scorch.
After the cakes have completely cooled, cut in them in half by turn them over onto a plate lined with parchment paper and cutting through them with a long serrated knife. Do this as slowly as you need to--if you go to quickly your cake layers could end up super uneven.
Place the first layer of cake on a plate and cover with a thin layer of frosting and caramel. Repeat with the following layers (I also crushed about half of the toasted pecans and added them to the middle layer).
Once you have assembled all the layers, cover the entire cake with the rest of the icing and caramel, letting the caramel drizzle over the sides. Decorate the top of the cake with the other half of the pecans.
17 February 2012
Oh, and I originally got the recipe from this blog.
Coconut Curry Chickpea Soup
2 (15oz) cans of chickpeas
1 cup quinoa
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 cups vegetable broth
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 lb mixed greens - kale, collards, mustard greens, swiss chard (I acutally used spinach because it was what I had on hand)
1 (14 oz) can coconut milk
Put the quinoa in a medium sized pot with 2 cups of water (I used 1 cup of water and 1 cup of veggetable broth because I knew I'd have extra broth left over after using what I needed for the soup). Bring to a boil and then turn the heat to low. Simmer covered for 15 minutes, or until water is mostly evaporated. Remove from heat and let sit with the lid on. After 5 minutes, remove lid and fluff with a fork.
In a large pot, heat up the olive oil on medium heat. Add the onions, peppers, carrots, and garlic and cook until the onions are translucent (maybe 5 minutes).
Add tomatoes, chickpeas, broth, curry powder, cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes.
Add the greens and stir until wilted.
Stir in the coconut milk and quinoa. Simmer until heated all the way through (it should only take a few minutes). Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve warm.