Homemade Maple Oat Bread

Posted by on August 27, 2010 | 16 Comments

I owe you all some winners from the last two giveaways, but today is recipe day, so that will have to wait.

Nothing fancy, just a good loaf of bread that I adapted from Kevin’s recipe over at Closet Cooking. He tops the loaf with maple sugar. I did sprinkle on a little coconut sugar one time that I made it, and it was tasty. It enhances the maple flavor and gives that nice sheen to the bread that you see in the picture below. Still, I did opt to omit the sugar topping in my second loaf so that it could be used either for breakfast toast or sandwich bread. It was still quite delicious, but the maple flavor was slightly more subtle.

maple oat bread

If you haven’t made bread from scratch, it’s time to get started …

Maple Oat Bread

This recipe is Vegan / Vegetarian, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, and Refined Sugar-Free.

  • 1 Cup Warm Water
  • 2-1/4 Teaspoons (or one packet) Active Yeast
  • 1/2 Cup Rolled Oats
  • 1/4 Cup Oil (I have used coconut oil and extra-light olive oil)
  • 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 1-1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1-1/2 Cups Bread Flour or All-Purpose Flour
  • 1-1/4 Teaspoons Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons Maple Sugar or Coconut / Palm Sugar (optional)

Combine the warm water, yeast, and oats in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together the flours, salt, and cinnamon. Stir the oil and maple syrup into the yeast mixture. Gradually add the flour (I do about 1/3 at a time), stirring after each addition. Once the dough starts to come together, continue adding the flour and knead it with your hands. If the dough is still too wet, add a little more white flour; if it is too dry, feel free to add a wee bit more warm water. This ratio actually came out just right for me, but I live in a dry climate.

Place the dough back in the large bowl, and cover, letting the dough rise for about an hour.

Note: I had a reader comment that I should add to the directions to grease the bowl before adding the dough to rise. You may want to do this. I actually let the dough rise in the bowl I make it in, which is a round glass pyrex bowl with a glass lid. I don’t bother greasing since there is residual flour from the dough, and have never had a problem with this.

Grease and flour (I usually flour just the bottom and corners) a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Punch the dough down, knead it a few times, and shape it into a loaf that will fit lengthwise in your loaf pan. Place the dough in the pan, and leave it to rise for about 1 hour.

Preheat your oven to 350ºF. If desired, brush the loaf lightly with water and sprinkle on the sugar. Bake the loaf for 20 minutes. If it is starting to brown quickly on top, tent it with foil. Bake it for 15 to 20 minutes more. Let the pan cool for 15 minutes (I usually place it on a wire rack to get the air circulating around it) before removing the loaf to cool completely.

Note: I have trialed a higher ratio of whole wheat flour, but this ratio was better. If you want to go 100% whole wheat, I recommend adding a little wheat gluten to the mix.

Makes 1 loaf

maple oat bread

Chocolate Explosion Oatmeal Cookies

Posted by on July 23, 2010 | 23 Comments

I was in a baking mood and my husband was in a cookie eating mood, so I whipped out my copy of Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar for a little inspiration, and to give the book another go. So far, it has been a little hit and miss … the hits scoring big points, and the misses still tasting okay, but often a bit too sweet and lacking in the performance category.

Fortunately, the Chocolate Fudgey Oatmeal Cookies were a hit with the husband … and I liked them too! I omitted the fruit, and added in more chocolate. Craving perhaps? Anyway, these are the chocolatiest oatmeal cookies I have ever tasted … almost like an oatmeal-spiked brownie.

chocolate explosion oatmeal cookie

I made a few adjustments to the recipe including an ingredient swap or two, but stayed true to the concept. Here is my modified version …

 

Chocolate Explosion Oatmeal Cookies

Recipe adapted from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. This recipe is Vegan, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free, and Soy-Free.

  • 2 Cups Quick Oats (not instant)
  • 1-2/3 Cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 2/3 Cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1-1/2 Cups Sugar (I have to admit, plain white sugar (organic if you can) is a standout in chocolate cookies and brownies, but if you want a wholesome alternative, feel free to experiment here with evaporated cane juice or granulated palm sugar)
  • 2 Tablespoons Ground Flaxseed
  • 2/3 Cup Unsweetened Milk Alternative (I used coconut milk beverage)
  • 2/3 Cup Olive Oil (extra-light or regular)
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Chocolate Chips (I used the mini-chips from Enjoy Life Foods)

Preheat your oven to 350ºF.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the oats, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, flax, milk alternative, oil, and vanilla. Stir or mix until smooth.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and stir until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop the batter by the heaping spoonful (a couple tablespoons) onto your baking sheets (I lined mine with a silpat). Shape and flatten the cookies slightly, they only spread a wee bit.

Cook for 10 minutes, or until the tops are no longer shiny. I prefer them a little soft in the middle, and 10 minutes seemed to be spot on for this.

Yields 12-16 brownie-like pillows

choc explosion oat cookies

Apricot-Raspberry Crumble Bars

Posted by on July 5, 2010 | 13 Comments

My home is still overflowing with apricots from our CSA, so I knew they would make their way into some sort of dish for our “neighborhood” 4th of July BBQ.

Last year we moved into a small group of tall condos that share a very nice common backyard. Since it is a tourist town, we only have a few permanent neighbors, while the rest are vacation homes. But almost everyone is in town for the 4th of July to enjoy the mountain air and the beaches … so it seems they have started an annual barbecue tradition as a way for everyone to meet up … even past owners of the condos! Yep, even those who have moved onto new places showed up to visit old friends and neighbors. We were honored to have been invited.

Perhaps we will receive a repeat invite next year, since these apricot-raspberry crumble bars seemed to go over quite well …

apricot-raspberry crumble bars

 

Fruity Crumble Bars

Feel free to use the fruit and/or berries of your choice (peaches, blueberries, cherries, apples, blackberries, etc.). You can vary the sugar in the fruit filling based on the fruit you use and how ripe it is. I only used 3/4 cup for the apricots and raspberries, but the filling came out a bit too tart – I would use a full 1 cup for those next time.

This recipe is Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, and Soy-Free.

  • 3 Cups All-Purpose or Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1/2 Cup White Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Dairy-Free Margarine (I used Earth Balance Soy-Free)
  • 2 Tablespoons Orange Juice or Milk Alternative
  • 4 Cups Berries and/or Finely Diced Fruit (I used 3 cups diced apricots, very well packed and one 6-ounce pint of raspberries (about 1-1/3 cups))
  • 2 Tablespoons Orange Juice or other Citrus Juice
  • 1 Teaspoon Orange Zest (optional)
  • 3/4 to 1 Cup White Sugar (see notes above)
  • 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch

Preheat your oven to 375ºF and grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

In a mixing bowl, or in your food processor, combine the flour, sugars, baking powder and salt.

In a small dish, whip together the egg and vanilla.

Add the margarine and egg mixture to the flour mixture, and cut it in with a fork or pastry blender (this can also be done in a food processor). Thick crumbs should form.

Remove 2 full cups of the crumb mixture (about half) to another bowl and set aside.

Add the juice or milk alternative to the remaining crumbs and combine. It should make a thick dough. Press the dough evenly into your prepared baking dish.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the fruit, juice, zest (if using), sugar, and cornstarch. Spread the fruit mixture over top of the dough in your baking dish, and sprinkle it all with the reserved crumbles.

Bake for about 45 minutes, or until it is slightly browned on top.

Optional: If you want to ensure the flavor of your fruit filling, go ahead and cook the fruit / berries over medium-low heat, along with the juice and zest, sweetening to taste. Thicken with the cornstarch. 

Yields dozens of cakey, crumble-topped bars

apricot-raspberry crumble bars

Blog Events:

I had (have) a tone of apricots, but I threw in the raspberries just so these bars would qualify for this week’s Blogger Secret Ingredient (BSI) Event!

Economical Whole-Grain Spelt Tortillas

Posted by on June 24, 2010 | 13 Comments

Usually, I only post recipes that are “my own” in the sense that I made them up in my little head (not to say someone else out there couldn’t have made up a similar one in their own head – really, how many original recipe ideas are truly left?!) or I have significantly altered a recipe. Seriously, I have a hard time leaving those ingredients and directions alone. But once in a while I find a simple gem … one that I just know I shouldn’t mess with … at least not right away.

I actually made this tortilla recipe for the first time last year, and have made it twice since. The first time I did the sandwich roll-ups you see below with some homemade slaw, the second time we used them for fajitas, and the third time I used them for making roll-up snacks, vegan/vegetarian style (sweet and savory). Sorry no pics on the last two, but they were equally good … better even, since my rolling skills improved.

Whole Grain Spelt Tortillas - Vegan

True, I will be fooling around with this wholesome tortilla recipe in the future, it just seems to have so much potential. But, it is also awesome as is, so I really wanted to share it with you here. Plus, I love, love, love that they use so few ingredients (no additives!), are totally whole grain, and quite economical (have you seen the price of good tortillas these days?). Oh yes, and they are tasty too … husband approved.

 

Whole Grain Spelt Tortilla

Rolling out the tortilla dough is more of an art than I expected, and does take some practice. If you happen to have a tortilla press, this recipe will be insanely fast. If not, allow a little extra time for rolling and cooking … you will speed up with practice. Also, I like my tortillas burrito-sized, so I just make 6. Eight makes them a generous taco-size in my opinion.

Recipe from Recipezaar. This recipe is Vegan / Vegetarian, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, and Sugar-Free.

  • 2 Cups Spelt Flour (whole grain)
  • 1/2 to 1 Teaspoon Salt (I like to use half the amount, but your call)
  • 1-1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 3/4 Cup Hot Water

In a bowl, mix all ingredients well. Cover and let sit in a warm place for 20 minutes.

Divide into 8 equal parts [6 for larger tortillas] and let sit, covered, another 20 minutes.

Roll each ball out to a 6- or 7-inch circle shape. I’ve found it helps to flatten each ball with your hand. Then take the rolling pin and roll from the center outwards, back and forth a few times as you go around the circle. When it starts to get thinner, take your left hand (if you’re right handed) and turn the tortilla a couple inches. Use your right hand to use the rolling pin (holding in the middle) and roll from the center outwards. Keep turning and rolling until it is paper thin.

Preheat a skillet on medium high heat. Place a tortilla into the skillet and watch until bubbles form. This won’t take long [about 30 to 60 seconds].

After bubbles form, and the bottom is lightly brown (or there are darker spots), flip over, press down once or twice [I prefer not to press down, this is an option], and cook for about 30-45 seconds, or if smoke appears.

Cook remaining tortillas, watching carefully, and place in a plastic bag, with wet paper towels in between them (or at least on top and bottom of stack) to keep them soft and moist.

These are best if used fresh, but you can refrigerate them if needed [careful as they can dry out], or remove the paper towels and freeze. 

Yields 6 to 8 whole grain tortillas

Whole Grain Spelt Tortillas - Vegan

Blog Events:

Submitted this recipe to Family Food Fridays

Sweet Simplicity: Whole Wheat Vegan Pancakes

Posted by on May 6, 2010 | 38 Comments

With mother’s day on the horizon, and many pancake Sundays to come, I just had to share this delightful yet oh-so-basic breakfast / brunch recipe. These pancakes have a very pleasant flavor that is not too sweet (just right for your favorite toppings), and a perfectly fluffy texture.

whole wheat vegan pancakes

I frequently keep our toppings quite hearty. When I make waffles, I often top them with homemade nut butter, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a light drizzle of honey. But for these, I decided a little maple was in order. I made two separate toppings: mine was outright hearty, while my husband’s had some added nutrition snuck in (no complaints, his plate was licked clean with a very big thank you). I have included our toppings after the pancake recipe.

Wholesome Whole Wheat Vegan Pancakes or Waffles

After scanning various pancake recipes, I combined the different ratios, ingredients, and ideas to develop this very simple, but delicious, recipe. I guess you would say it was inspired by many, but created in my kitchen.

This recipe is Vegan, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, and optionally Refined Sugar-Free. You could probably make them gluten-free with your favorite All-purpose gluten-free flour blend and a touch of xanthan gum (1/2 to 1 teaspoon I am guestimating).

  • 1 Cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder (Note: I made these pancakes at high altitude (6500ft), where everything gets a little extra “lift.” If you are at 3000 ft to sea level, I recommend increasing the baking powder to 1-1/2 Tablespoons. Yes, it may seem like a bit, but it helps to replace the lift that usually comes from eggs!)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Sweetener (I used Palm Sugar, but you can use Sucanat, Brown Sugar, Maple Syrup, etc.)
  • 1 to 1-1/4 Cups Milk Alternative (I used Unsweetened Coconut Milk Beverage)
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons Oil (I used melted coconut oil*, but extra-light olive oil, grapeseed oil, or your favorite baking oil will do)

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt, and set aside.

In a measuring cup, combine the sweetener, 1 cup of the milk alternative, and the oil. Whisk in the reserved flour mixture.

 dairy-free pancake batter

If the batter is too thick or becomes too thick as it sits, add up to 1/4 cup of additional milk alternative (I live at high altitude, where things rise more, so I used the full 1 and 1/4 cups for the pancakes, but you may not need that much).

Prepare your skillet with some cooking spray, and preheat it over medium heat.

Pour the batter into the skillet to create your desired size of pancakes (I make dollar-sized ones because I am so bad at flipping the bigger ones!). Cook over medium heat, reduce heat to medium-low if the skillet gets too hot (I have this problem with our electric stove).

The pancakes will bubble as soon as the batter hits the pan, ignore those bubbles. The batter will smooth out after 30 seconds. Wait until you see bubbles break at the surface again, then flip. Cook for about about 1 minute on the other side. Remove from the pan, and pour in the next batch of batter.

Repeat until all the batter is used up, and you have a few plates of scrumptious pancakes!

Top as desired – we like maple syrup, flaxseed, and sauteed apples.

For Waffles: Everything is the same, but I used only 1 cup of milk alternative, even at high altitude. The thicker batter works better on waffle irons. Simply prepare the batter and follow the directions for your waffle iron. They freeze and re-toast beautifully!

whole wheat vegan waffles

* If using coconut or palm oil, make sure all of your ingredients are brought to room temperature to avoid solidifying the oil as you stir it in.

Yields about 16 dollar pancakes or 3 servings

Alisa’s WW Pancake Topping: I sautéed 1 small apple in 1 teaspoon of earth balanace dairy-free / soy-free margarine, and added 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (could use just 1/4 t). I kept half of this apple mixture for myself, and added just 1 teaspoon of maple syrup for a sweet and moist touch. I placed the apples on my pancake stack, and sprinkled it all with some ground flaxseed.

whole wheat vegan pancakes

Tony’s WW Pancake Topping: To the other half of the cooked apples, I added 1-1/2 Tablespoons maple syrup and 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed. It was still a nice pourable maple syrupy topping with big, soft apple chunks. The flax went pretty well un-noticed by my husband.

Whole Wheat Vegan Pancakes

For more of my recipes see Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook and my new blog, Dairy-Free & Fit.

BSI Recipe: Sweet Asian Sunflower Slaw

Posted by on April 25, 2010 | 7 Comments

Wow, did I have a heck of a time coming up with sunflower seed recipes that I was happy with! You can read about my many trials here, but I did finally settle on a couple of recipes for the BSI submission. Here is one of them …

asian slaw

My husband was cooking up a barbecue-style lunch, so I thought a little slaw might go nicely. But to mix things up, I forgoed the mayo for a sunflower seed base and used some Asian ingredients for a different flavor. The end result was pretty tasty, but you can adjust the seasonings to your own personal tastes since there are so few ingredients.

asian sunflower seed slaw

Sweet Asian Sunflower Slaw

This recipe is Vegan / Vegetarian, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, optionally Gluten-Free, and optionally Soy-Free.

  • 1/4 Cup Sunflower Seeds plus extra for sprinkling
  • 2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
  • 2 Teaspoons Soy Sauce or Wheat-Free Tamari (for gluten-free) (use coconut aminos or chickpea tamari for soy-free)
  • 1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Ground Ginger (optional)
  • 1 Bag Coleslaw Mix
  • 1 Large Carrot, thinly sliced or grated

Grind the sunflower seeds in a spice grinder until they turn into a powder. Place the ground seeds in a medium-size bowl, and whisk in the vinegar, maple, soy, sesame oil, and ginger until smooth. If you leave it to sit, the mixture will thicken more as the seeds absorb the moisture. Taste test, and adjust seasonings as you wish (soy for salty, maple for sweet, vinegar for tangy, and oil for richness).

Add as much of the coleslaw mix as you like (I used about 2/3 of the bag) and garnish with the carrot. If you aren’t into garnishing, just mix that grated carrot right in.

Yields 3 to 4 sides of slaw

asian sunflower seed slaw

For more of my recipes see Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook and my new blog, Dairy-Free & Fit.

Joni’s Creamy, Chunky, Rustic, and Flavorful Potato Leek Soup (or is it Celine’s?)

Posted by on April 22, 2010 | 14 Comments

As my friend Ricki pointed out, half the fun in using recipes from 500 Vegan Recipes is trying to guess which author wrote which recipe. Both ladies have been blogging their recipes for quite some time, offering hints of their style. But still, I was stumped on some. This recipe though, definitely Joni. I think.

Well, whoever created it, it is delicious! And talk about filling. I tend to be one of those people who eats half my body weight at each meal. But a modest bowl of this soup at dinner was plenty. For that reason, it makes a perfect vegetarian night meal (Meatless Mondays anyone?), and who doesn’t love leftover soup for lunch?

There are many potato leek soup recipes out there, but this one has its own special touches that I just loved. Unpeeled potatoes for a “rustic” look and taste (mmm, love those potato skins!); lemongrass for a unique essence that melded perfectly, and the use of vegetable broth instead of chicken broth gave the soup a beautiful and unexpected orange hue. I liked this, as it left my husband guessing on what type of soup it really was, and of course looks better in pictures …

Rustic Vegan Potato Leek Soup

I adapted the recipe just slightly, adding a wee bit of white pepper, specifying the salt amount I used, and substituting dried lemongrass (luckily I had some on hand since the fresh lemongrass in store looked far less than stellar). I discovered dried lemongrass at Cost Plus World Market. A generously filled jar for just $2.99, so I had to give it a whirl. I also adjusted the directions quite a bit to fit how I made the soup. But, the basis of this soup is all Joni, err … or Celine.

 

Recipe: Rustic Vegan Potato Leek Soup

Summary: Recipe adapted from 500 Vegan Recipes by Celine Steen and Joni Marie Newman

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons Dairy-Free Margarine (I used Earth Balance Soy-Free; I think you could substitute olive oil here if need be)
  • 2 Medium Leeks, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds and halved (about 3 cups)
  • 2 Teaspoons Dried Lemongrass or 2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemongrass
  • 4 Cups Vegetable Broth (I used Pacific Foods Organic Vegetable Broth)
  • 1-1/2 lbs Russet Potatoes, cleaned and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (skin on)
  • 3/4 to 1 Teaspoon Salt, or to taste (I used 1 teaspoon total)
  • 1/8 Teaspoon White Pepper (optional)
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper, to taste (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat the margarine in a stockpot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the leeks and lemongrass and saute for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the leeks soften quite a bit and just begin to brown.
  3. Add the broth, deglazing the pan if needed, and bring the soup to a boil.
  4. Add the potatoes, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for about 40 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
  5. The original recipe called for using an immersion blender, leaving some chunky, but I don’t have one. So I placed half of the soup in my blender, and carefully (make sure that lid is covered, you don’t want hot soup flying out!) whizzed it until creamy and relatively smooth. I then added this back to the pan along with the white pepper and gave it all a stir to combine.
  6. Taste test and season to taste with more salt (I used another 1/2 t). If using black pepper, this is the time to add it, or you could let each person grind in their own.

Diet type: Vegan

Number of servings (yield): 4

Copyright © Alisa Fleming.

Rustic Vegan Potato Leek Soup

Dairy-Free Spiced Honey “Butter”

Posted by on April 3, 2010 | 14 Comments

I think the hardest thing about running a blog (at least for me) is making the time so I don’t feel like I am “missing out” on the fun stuff. There are so many fabulous blog events, and try as I might, I just can’t seem to get posts and recipes done in time to join in on most.

But, a few weeks ago I posted a recipe for Simply Cinnamon Spelt Bread, and atop that bread was a delicious, dairy-free honey-buttery spread that I whipped up for a treat.

Simply Cinnamon Spelt Bread

I had mentioned posting the recipe for that easy spread, but of course, lost my notes on the ingredients! Nonetheless, when Five Star Foodie announced that the March Five Star Makeover theme was Compound Butter, I knew I had to get back to the drawing board to share this little combination.

I did change the ratios a bit, I am sure of that, I also added some more spice, and I didn’t use dairy butter or margarine to make this spread. Rather, I used a combination of nutritive oils that firm up nicely for slicing, spreading, whipping, and melting.

Dairy-Free Spiced Coconut Honey Butter

As many of you know, presentation isn’t my strong suit. With that in mind, you can mold this butter into something more attractive than my roughly done “pats.”

Dairy-Free Spiced Honey Coconut Butter

 

Spiced Honey “Butter”

This makes a rather firm “butter.” If you want a softer butter straight from the fridge, feel free to change the oil blend 50/50. That is, use 2 tablespoons coconut oil and 2 tablespoons of the other oil. The more nutritive oils will impart their own flavors. For the most neutral taste, I use Extra-Light Olive Oil, for a richer taste, I used Hemp Seed Oil (the Green Gold Hemp Oil from Foods Alive – not as strong as some other brands in flavor).

This recipe is Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Nut-Free (if coconut is a concern, see the sub note), optionally Vegan, and Free of Refined Sugars.

  • 3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, melted (Palm Oil can be substituted)
  • 1 Tablespoon Good Quality Oil (Hemp, Flax, Olive, Walnut, etc. – I used Foods Alive Hemp Oil for one batch and Extra-Light Olive Oil for another)
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey (use Agave Nectar to make it vegan)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Chinese 5-spice Powder (sold in most spice sections)
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • Pinch Salt

Quick Cheater’s Method: In a small dish, whisk all ingredients together. Place in the freezer for about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove and vigorously whisk with a fork to smooth it out. Return to the freezer for a bit more. Whisk again to make it smooth. It should be quite firm at this point. Shape or pipe as desired and store in the fridge until ready to use.

Assuming your house isn’t too warm, the “butter” will stay solid at room temperature, just softening a bit, but will melt readily atop warm toast or steamed veggies (try carrots, sweet potatoes, golden beets, or other honey-loving veggies).

Yields about 1/4 cup of flavorful “butter”

Carrot Love (Spiced Honey Roasted Carrots)

In the pictures I simply steamed some carrots and let the sweet “butter” melt overtop. But, if you would like to prepare some sweet roasted carrots for the holidays – simply place 3/4 to 1 lb of cut carrots (or baby carrots) in a pyrex dish in a single layer, and mix with 1.5 to 2 tablespoons of the Spiced Honey Butter. Roast at 450ºF for 25 to 30 minutes, giving the carrots a stir after the first 15 minutes. If you like them really caramelized, you can always roast longer.

Dairy-Free Spiced Honey Coconut Butter

Additional Notes:

Blog Giveaway – Megan’s Munchies offers up a Wanchai Ferry “Perfect Night”. Giveaway includes Asian entrees, some Asian table goodies, and a $25 Target gift card!

Events – This post was also submitted to Fight Back Fridays at Food Renegade.

Best Wishes to You All for Easter and Passover,

Chipotle Chicken and Chard Chili

Posted by on March 30, 2010 | 16 Comments

How is that for an alliterate recipe title? So thanks to Lacey’s response on my “how to use these veggies” post, I discovered a great new-to-me recipe from Giada of the Food Network. Of course, her recipe needed a few little tweeks. Cheese? Not in our house. How much fennel? Lets trim that down – a lot. Ground chicken? Chicken should be chunky! Parsley on chili? Seriously?

So after making a few modifications this very chunky chili was served and it was delicious! The recipe does make for a very chicken-heavy chili. Feel free to cut that down to 3/4 lb, 1/2 lb, or even make it vegetarian if you wish. You can easily double the beans, add some more veggies (I thought chopped zucchini would go nicely), or just thicken the broth a bit more and enjoy it with less of the chunky add-ins.

Chipotle Chicken and Chard Chili

To note, we did like it as is, and I don’t think my husband (aka “the meat man”) would want me to cut back on the chicken at all, let alone make it vegetarian.

For dinner (the first time), I served full bowls with some homemade “cheddar” and chive spelt rolls (nightime, hence the dark lighting) …

Chipotle Chicken and Chard Chili

For lunch the next day (pictured above), we were out of the rolls, but it still went nicely as leftovers over rice.

On a second go of the chili (more chard in the CSA!), I added some quartered mushrooms (about 4 ounces, but you could go for 8) and served the chili over a bed of rice steamed asparagus. Both veggies were nice additions, so feel free to play around with the produce you have on hand.

 

Chipotle Chicken and Chard Chili

Recipe adapted from Giada’s White Bean and Chicken Chili. I used chipotle chili powder, and even just this wee amount made the dish notably spicy. You can adjust to taste with some crushed red pepper, chilis, or hot sauce, should your chili powder not bring the heat you are seeking.

This recipe is Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free, Nut-Free, Sugar-Free, optionally Gluten-Free, and heck, you can even make it Vegan / Vegetarian (sans chicken of course) if you so desire.

  • 1 lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, cut into small slices / chunks*
  • 1-1/2 Teaspoons Cornstarch or Arrowroot
  • Couple Pinches of Salt (optional)
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Large Onion, diced or 1 Leek, sliced 1/4-inch thick and quartered
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, crushed or minced
  • 1/2 to 3/4 Teaspoon Salt or to taste, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Cumin
  • 1-1/2 Teaspoons Dried Oregano
  • 1 Teaspoon Chipotle Chili Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Fennel Seeds
  • 1-1/2 to 2 Tablespoons Flour (your choice, I used whole wheat pastry flour), depending on how thick you like it
  • 1 15-ounce can Cannellini or White Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Large Bunch Swiss Chard, stems removed, leaves chopped into 1-inch pieces (my bunch with stems was about 3/4 lb) OR 1 Bag of Baby Spinach Leaves (should chard be hard to come by in your area)
  • 1 Cup Frozen Corn, Thawed
  • 2 Cups Regular or Low-Sodium Chicken Broth (I used regular)
  • White or Brown Rice for serving (optional)

Place the chicken in a medium-sized bowl, and stir in the cornstarch or arrowroot (I like to add a pinch or two of salt here too) until it is well-distributed and appears absorbed. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion or leek and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until nice and softened. Add the garlic and sauté for just 30 seconds or so. Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the chicken, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and the spices – cumin, fennel, oregano, and chili powder. Cook while continuously stirring, until the chicken is cooked (no pink showing). This will take about 7 or 8 minutes. If the chicken threatens to stick, just add a dash or two of the broth.

Stir in the flour to coat, and add the broth, beans, chard, and corn. The chard will look boisterous, but don’t worry, it cooks down significantly.

Bring the mixture to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low, and allow it to simmer for at least 30 minutes, or up to an hour. The liquid will reduce in half and thicken a fair bit. Taste test it as it is cooking, and season to taste with additional salt (I used another 1/4 teaspoon) if desired. You can also add a pinch or two of crushed red pepper as it cooks if you want more spice, but we found the medium-heat to be just right as is.

If desired, serve over rice and with some homemade rolls.

*I used chicken breasts that were only slightly defrosted, making them very easy to slice. I sliced them about ¼-inch thick, and then cut each slice into ½-inch chunks. But you can cut them any size you like.

Yields 4 servings with rice and/or bread

Can you spot the spoon in this picture?

Chipotle Chicken and Chard Chili

Don’t Pinch My Blog, I’ve Got a Green Recipe!

Posted by on March 17, 2010 | 15 Comments

As mentioned in my last post, we are on week one of our first CSA. It was like Christmas pulling out one surprise veggie after another … until I got to the final item, the lump of coal at the bottom. “What’s this?” I said. It didn’t quite look like kale or chard, but similar. I went to the inventory sheet and my fears were realized – collard greens.

My first and only experience with collard greens was purchasing them in a bag on sale at a mega-grocer about seven years ago. Terrible, terrible, terrible. But determined to polish off that entire CSA box and give every veggie a fair trial, I headed to one of my favorite healthy cookbooks, Whole Life Nutrition. I was confident that Alissa (gotta love her name) would have a recipe to turn those greens into something good. In fact, she had two. One was for Apple-Spiced Collard Greens, which sounded rather tasty, but I didn’t have any apple juice on hand. The second was for Collard Green and Hummus Roll-ups. Now hummus, that is something I almost always have on hand!

Collard Greens and Hummus Mini-Wraps

My version is more of a guide / idea than a recipe, but let me tell you, it really worked to turn those nice big collard leaves (perfectly flat and excellent to work with, unlike kale or stiff chard leaves) into a tasty large snack or small meal – however you view it. And I realize Collard Greens don’t exactly shout “St. Patrick’s Day,” but hey, they are GREEN!

Now it is quite possible that there will be more of these collard greens in today’s CSA box, so please do tell … Do you have any ideas or favorite recipes for using Collard Greens?

 

Collard Green and Hummus Mini-Wraps

Adapted from The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre. This recipe is Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Wheat-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Sugar-Free, and optionally Vegan.

  • Collard Green Leaves, nice full healthy ones
  • Hummus, your flavor of choice
  • Carrots, for shredding
  • Avocado, sliced (optional – I didn’t have any)
  • Leftover Chicken (optional – omit for a vegan option)
  • Olives (optional – my hummus was kalamata olive hummus so I could resist)
  • Other Veggie Toppings of Choice (go wild!)

Lay the leaves flat, and cut them in half, carefully cutting out that thick stem. Spread each leaf half with your favorite hummus (I was using an olive hummus, hence the darker color), and sprinkle with grated or shredded carrot.

Okay, get ready, this is my first ever step by step photo – except it is just one step …

Collard Greens and Hummus Mini-Wraps

Now, simply roll them up tight for a very light snack (I did this once, and they were tasty just like this!), or top them with your choice of toppings. The second time I made them I had some leftover chicken and olives, so I went with this, which made thicker rolls.

Yields as many as you like

Collard Greens and Hummus Mini-Wraps

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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