Saturday, March 31, 2012
I talked so much about our beloved Greek yogurt in my last post that it's only natural I share our recipe for Greek yogurt biscuits in this post! Biscuits and gravy are a staple back home down South. I do believe I have posted our standby classic recipe here already... This morning, however, Zach suggested we try to create a light, healthful, vegetarian version - viola!
Green Onion Biscuits with Veg Gravy
2.5 cups white whole wheat flour
5 tsps baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup fat free Greek yogurt
4 green onions, green and white parts minced
1 cup almond milk
12 oz vegetarian "sausage" patties, chopped
1 T olive oil
2.5 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup gravy mix or flour
To make the biscuits, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Stir in the green onions.
Whisk together the wet ingredients, then fold them into the dry.
Use an ice cream scoop to portion the dough onto greased baking sheets.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 12 minutes.
While the biscuits are baking, make the gravy. Brown the veg "sausage" in the olive oil, then quickly whisk in the broth and gravy mix or flour. Continue to whisk over medium heat until thickened, adding more broth or gravy mix/flour as you feel necessary to create the right texture. Serve warm, over the lovely biscuits!
Sunday, March 25, 2012
I rarely forget to cook dinner. I mean, part of my brain spends all day thinking about what to fix for dinner. (While the rest of my brain processes payroll, deals with HR dramas, and drives back and forth to work.)
So if I ever do forget to cook dinner until the last minute, it's usually because I've become engrossed in some project I've been putting off for weeks, like completing my graduate school application. Thus, when this rare scenario happens, I just go with it... and make something easy and scrumptious, like this sweet potato curry!
Late Night Sweet Potato Curry
~ Saute an onion in some olive oil (preferably a red onion, because they are awesome.)
~ Meanwhile, baking some sweet potatoes - I baked 4, since there were two of us and I wanted to have some leftovers for lunches as well.
~ Cut the baked sweet potatoes into cubes, and add them to the onion with some broth.
~ Season generously with curry powder, and add some salt and pepper as well.
~ Serve warm, topped with Greek yogurt, raisins, and slivered almonds!
With sweet potato curry leftovers for lunch, and Greek yogurt for breakfast, I truly felt like I was dining in style at work last week. A coworker recently introduced me to Chobani's blood orange Greek Yogurt, which is life-changing! You must try this tangy deliciousness! :-)
Another recent favorite are bagel thins! I've recently become hooked in an effort to find a healthier alternative to the amazing local bagel shop down the street from my office... We used the "everything" version (onion, poppyseed, and sesame!) to make egg and cheese bagels this morning, with a bit of low-fat cream cheese, a steamed egg, and low-fat pepper-jack cheese!
During the work week, though, I'm still a Greek yogurt girl... This combination of plain fat free Greek Yogurt, sliced banana, Trader Joe's High Fiber O's, and cinnamon rocked my world! Wishing you a beautiful week filled with sweet potatoes and Greek yogurt!
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
I finally succumbed. Amidst all the gorgeous baked doughnut recipes floating tantalizingly around the blogosphere, I couldn't resist any longer. Especially when Lesley of The Purple Carrot posted her recipe for cinnamon and nutmeg doughnut bites, proving to me that I didn't need to purchase a doughnut pan, I could simply bake doughnut muffins! Having already promised Zach a batch of muffins to take to work the next morning, how could I not try the recipe?
Here is our version of doughnut muffins, inspired by Lesley... They were so amazing not a single muffin was left only two hours after their arrival in the doctors' charting room at hospital!
|All the lovely spices...|
Spiced Doughnut Muffins
(Adapted from Lesley's Recipe)
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 cup raw turbinado sugar
1 T baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cup almond milk
1 tsp vinegar
1/4 cup canola oil
~ Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin cups with paper liners, or coat with cooking spray.
~ In seperate bowls, whisk together the dry and wet ingredients respectively.
~ Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and stir until combined.
~ Fill the muffin cups nearly full, and bake for 15 minutes - until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
~ Allow to cool on wire racks, and enjoy! :-)
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Time for the next week's update! :-) Amidst another whirlwind work week, my culinary culinary task was to bake a treat for a friend who just had a baby. I might not have children, but I Do know how to find organic cotton infant sundresses and bake chocolate tea cakes for my friends with children.
Other exciting events of the week (and weekend) included a glorious St. Patty's day celebration with friends and Zach (who was actually off work for one magical day!)
The wonderful treat of a gift of home-brewed ale from a coworker...
The debut of my recently purchased "make food not war" t-shirt - look closely, because the graphic is actually composed of kitchen utensils!!
An incredible salad that I must recreate at home STAT - spring greens, pine nuts, herbed goat cheese, and figs!!
The discovery of blood orange Chobani Greek yogurt!
And Dayton's first flowers of spring!!
Ah yes, back to buisness - the tea cake. This tea cake is delightfully simple, in the classic tradition of one-bowl cakes (an ideal recipe, perhaps, for cooks unlike myself who face the challenge of cooking and tending to a child simultaneously ), and wonderfully moist and fudgy - perfect paired with a cup of tea and truly not even requiring frosting at all. If you are handy with cake aesthetics it would be beautiful served at a tea party dressed up with just a dusting of powdered sugar, but since my graphic design skills (not at all exhibited in this case, but still quite functional nonetheless) are far superior to my cake decorating skills I opted instead for a little paper sign. This has filled my imagination with far more fanciful ideas for dressing up cakes with computer generated graphic elements, so stay tuned as I do further research in my spare time... And in the meantime, please take a moment from all of our hectic lives to enjoy the spring weather, a cup of tea, and a slice of cake. Our work will wait patiently... We deserve a moment of Zen.
Chocolate Tea Cake
2 cups raw turbinado sugar
1-3/4 cups white whole wheat flour
3/4 cup Cocoa powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/2 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
~ Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat two 8X8" baking pans with cooking spray.
~ In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients.
~ Add the wet ingredients and mix until combined.
~ Divide the batter between the two pans, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Allow to cool in the pans, then turn out onto platters and serve!
Monday, March 12, 2012
Saturday morning dawned bright and cheery. After so many weeks of mostly gray drizzle, it's a treat to see the sun!
After a good workout, a cozy bowl of quinoa with corn and peas,
a cup of coffee from the farmers' market,
and my favorite Eco-friendly t-shirt, I was ready to start the day!
The first task of the morning was to figure out just What to do with the entire bushel of Jerusalem Artichokes (also known as sunchokes) that arrived as our first week of this year's CSA boxes! While The Motherload of tiny, knobby root vegetables might not be the most practical of CSA boxes we've ever received, it was exciting nonetheless just to realize fresh vegetables had returned to our lives after a winter of frozen veggies, and I know more and more variety will creep into our veggie boxes as the weather warms.
Jerusalem Artichokes might not be the easiest vegetables to prepare, as they are oddly shaped and tricky to scrub clean, but they are worth persevering over because they have a delightful flavor - reminiscent of a cross between an artichoke, a potato, and a pear (which is an infinitely better combination than it sounds). They also have a very comforting potato-like texture without being quite as starchy as a potato, so they are a nice, healthful addition to comfort food recipes as we move through the last days of winter.
To make a simple little Jerusalem artichoke gratin...
~ Wash and dice a good quantity of Jerusalem artichokes - enough to nearly fill a 2 quart casserole.
~ Preheat the oven to 350, and spray your casserole dish with cooking spray.
~ Scatter a handful of the Jerusalem artichokes across the bottom of the casserole dish, sprinkle them with salt and pepper, and dust a bit of grated sharp cheddar over the top.
~ Continue to layer handfuls of the chopped Jerusalem artichokes with salt, pepper, and a little cheddar cheese.
~ Once you have your casserole nearly filled, pour a cup of vegetable broth over top.
~ Cover the dish, bake for 1 hour, then uncover and bake for 20 minutes more. Serve warm!
Saturday, March 10, 2012
On the week of my birthday... I am going to post cookies. This year I have finally come to terms with the fact that, as an adult, I am now responsible for my own birthday cake, and as an adult, I am also far too swamped with work this year to even think about baking a birthday worthy cake. So, instead, for the Jewish holiday of Purim that happens to coincide with my birthday this year, I'm baking darling triangle shaped cookies, crafted with luscious peanut butter dough and filled with chocolate chips - rather like an inverted Reese's peanut butter cup. And who could possibly be anything less than thrilled with that? :-)
To make these wonderful treasures, all you have to do is the following:
- whip up your favorite peanut butter cookie dough, making the dough slightly drier/stiffer than usual - rather like the consistency of PlayDoh. I used our oft mentioned peanut butter butterscotch cookie recipe for the base.
- take a golf ball sized handful of dough, and flatten it under a large flat bottomed glass. A whiskey tumbler works rather well for this purpose, if you have one handy. Pour yourself some bourbon on the rocks, while we're getting out the whiskey glasses.
- place a few dark chocolate chips in the center of the dough circle.
- using your fingers, fold the dough up on 3 sides to create a triangle, pinching the 3 corners to seal. Bake as usual for your dough recipe, cool on wire racks, and enjoy!
Lest you think the absence of a birthday cake means I was neglected on my birthday, however, fear not... I arrived home from work last night to find my wonderful husband had cooked nothing less than a beautiful gourmet feast as a birthday surprise... Chili garlic shrimp, curried guacamole, french bread, sauteed lemon-cumin asparagus, and roasted potatoes. Zach is one amazing chef, and i am one lucky girl!
All this just only one day after a coworker and I enjoyed a birthday lunch of veggie hummus sandwiches, carrot fennel soup, and Greek salads, followed by locally made, organic dark chocolate salted caramel ice cream...
I am a very lucky, well loved, very grateful gal indeed.
Saturday, March 3, 2012
Where have I been?
I've been at work, logging absurdly long hours.
I've been fixing fun veggie burger pizza sandwiches - child-like fun for dinner, healthy style!
And veggie burger bagel sandwiches! Whole wheat bagel + laughing cow cheese wedge + Boca veggie burger + steamed egg!
I've been at work, drinking endless cups of Yogi brand tea.
I've been having spelt flakes for breakfast - a revelation!
I've been at work, where my wonderful staff makes me laugh with clever pranks like putting fangs on my stapler.
And I've been completely enamored with this noodle curry dish, which is so insanely delicious and easy to prepare on a weeknight that I'm left wondering where it's been my whole life... Yes. That crazy good.
Thai-Style Noodle Curry
1 T olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
1/2 tsp cilantro
1 T red Thai curry paste
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1 15-oz. can light coconut milk
3/4 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
1 T sugar
1 12-oz. pkg. soy crumbles, such as Quorn brand
6 cups assorted chopped veggies, such as bell peppers, corn, mushrooms, etc
6 oz. whole wheat spaghetti or angle hair pasta, cooked according to package directions.
~ Heat oil in medium pot over medium-high heat. Sauté onion in oil 2 minutes.
~ Add cilantro, curry paste, curry powder, and turmeric; cook 1 minute.
Stir in coconut milk, broth, and brown sugar, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium, and cook 5 minutes, then stir in Quorn crumbles and veggies. Simmer 10 minutes.
~ Add the cooked pasta to tofu-curry mixture. Mix well, and serve warm!