Monday, December 13, 2010

Powerful Protein Pancakes

Ok, ready for a healthy and delicious jump start to you day?!?  Whip up some of these easy, yet powerful, pancakes... and you're ready for anything!  This recipe calls for buckwheat flour which is packed with protein, fiber, essential amino acids and many more important nutrients.

feeds 4-6

3/4 cup buckwheat flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour (I used spelt)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup soy milk + 1 Tbsp lemon juice (or buttermilk)
3/4 cup soy milk
2 Tbsp honey
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp canola oil (coconut oil, olive oil, grapeseed oil are all fine)
1 tsp cinnamon
1-2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)

pure maple syrup

Squeeze 1 Tbsp of lemon juice into 1 cup of soy milk.  Set aside for 5 minutes... this turns it into a buttermilk substitute.

In a large bowl whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.  In another smaller bowl, whisk together buttermilk, soy milk, eggs, vanilla, honey and oil.  Stir wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.  Stir just enough to combine them.  Gently stir in blueberries.

Cook over medium-low heat until bubbles form on one side, then flip.

   (smother) Drizzle with pure maple syrup and serve warm...  mmm good!

Healthy Tortilla Soup

 This soup is soo easy and comforting.  We have all been a little under the weather here and this was the perfect meal to perk us back up.  It has the right amount of spice (if you like it spicier add more cumin, a dash of cayenne, or some chipotle seasoning).  It is hearty with all the beans and the collard greens and crispy tortillas.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

1 Tbsp olive oil
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bunch of collard greens, washed, stems removed and roughly chopped
4 cups of veggie stock
2 cups water
2 cans of cannellini beans
1 can kidney beans
1 small jar of salsa verde
1-2 tsp cumin

garnishes: (optional)
sliced avocado
broken tortilla chips
corn tortillas, crisped and sliced

Heat oil in a large stock pot/dutch oven, over medium heat.  Add in the garlic and collard greens.  Saute for about 3-5 minutes, or until the greens soften and even start to brown up a bit.  Next, add in the stock, water, salsa verde, beans, cumin and s/p.  Cook until heated through, about 30 minutes.

To crisp up your tortillas, heat a skillet over medium heat and toast the tortilla  until each side is charred to your liking.  Slice into strips and top your soup with them.

Sourdough Stuffing with Almonds and Apples

This stuffing will knock your socks off, seriously!  So good and so easy!  Give it a try!

serves 8-10

2 sourdough baguettes cut into 1-inch cubes
olive oil
2 yellow onions, diced
3-4 large stalks of celery, diced
2 large granny smith apples, cored and diced
2-3 Tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, minced
2-4 cups veggie stock
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 300 degrees and grease a 2 quart baking dish.

Put bread cubes on a lined baking sheet, in one layer, and bake for about 3-5 minutes.  You are just looking to dry out the bread, not toast it, so keep a close eye on it. Remove and place in a large bowl.

Bump the oven up to 350 degrees.

In a large saute pan add some olive oil and warm over medium heat.  Add in the onion, celery, apples, parsley, rosemary, and s/p.  Cook for about 10 minutes, or until mixture is soft.  Add to bread cubes in the large bowl.  Also, add in the almonds.

This is where you have to use your judgment.  I said 2-4 cups of stock because the mushiness of stuffing depends on your preference.  I happen to like my stuffing gooey and not dry.  So, I added enough stock that when I pushed down the bread it stayed somewhat compacted.  If you prefer a drier stuffing, I would suggest pouring just enough stock to ensure that all the bread was covered.

Cover the dish with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes.  Remove the foil and continue to cook for an additional 15 or so minutes.  If you have a deeper casserole dish you may need to cook for longer.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sweet Potato Casserole with a Crunchy Pecan Topping

disclaimer:  This picture does not do this dish justice! The green baking dish makes the sweet potatoes look green (which of course they weren't).  But take my word for it, these were DELISH!

Once again, this recipe is reminiscent of traditional sweet potato casseroles.  Its creamy, sweet, decadent, and full of great spices.  However, I used a vegan butter substitute (if you don't have issues with dairy, feel free to use the real deal!) and unrefined sugar to make it all the better.

5-6 medium sized sweet potatoes ( I used an O'Henry varietal which is a real light yellow, but super sweet)
2 Tbsp of vegan butter, softened
1/4 cup soy milk
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup sucanat (or any unrefined sugar)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup vegan butter, softened
1/2 cup sucanat (brown sugar)
1/3 cup flour (spelt, whole wheat, unbleached white)
3/4 cups chopped pecans
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 casserole dish.

Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1 inch chunks.  Place in a large stock pot with boiling water and cook until tender, about 15-30 minutes depending on the size.

Mash the sweet potatoes with butter until smooth.  Add in the soy milk, o.j., vanilla, sugar, syrup, salt and spices.  Stir until well incorporated.  Pour into prepared baking dish.

MIx the topping ingredients together until well combined.  Sprinkle over the sweet potato mixture and bake for 40-45 minutes or until heated all the way through.

Friday, December 10, 2010

scrumptious roasted garlic smashed potatoes

serves 8-10

I love smashed potatoes, but they are usually jammed packed with butter, heavy cream, sour cream, yada yada yada.  I was determined to make some this year that had all the flavor and richness of the unhealthier versions but suitable for our needs.  Let me tell you, this exceeded my expectations, they were creamy, flavorful and everything one would hope smashed potatoes would be.

2 heads of garlic
olive oil
4 lbs. of potatoes (red new potatoes or yukon gold) half batch peeled, other half skins on and cubed
1 cup (+/-) organic soymilk or reserved cooking liquid
2 Tbsp freshly snipped chives

Heat oven to 425 degree.  Cut the tops off of the garlic and place each head on their own piece of foil.  Drizzle them with olive oil and s/p.  Wrap them up in a little packet and place in oven for 20-30 minutes. Let them cool.

Place cubed potatoes in a large stock pot and cover them with water.  Cook over medium heat for 20 or so minutes, or until tender.  Drain the potatoes (reserve about a cup of the liquid) and return them to the stock pot.

Using your fingers, squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins into a small bowl.  Sprinkle with a little s/p and use a fork to mash the cloves into a paste.

Add the garlic to the potatoes and mash with a potato masher.  Add in small amounts of liquid at a time and mash until desired consistency.  Check for seasonings and adjust as needed.  Sprinkle with snipped chives.  Enjoy!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Brussel sprouts with pecans and dried cranberries

Here is one of the many side dishes I made for our (almost) vegan Thanksgiving dinner.  I say almost because my brother made a delicious turkey for the meat eaters in the family.

serves 6-8 as a side dish

1 pound fresh brussel sprouts, rinsed, trimmed and quartered
1/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped

Heat a large cast iron pan over medium heat and add the pecans.  Cook them, stirring continually so they don't burn, for about 2 minutes.  Remove them from the pan and set aside.  Add the olive oil to the heated pan and and dump in the quartered brussel sprouts and s/p.  Stir constantly until the brussel sprouts are tender and start to roast about 6 minutes.  If you like them a bit darker (like me) keep them in another minute or 2.  At the last minute stir in the cranberries and remove from heat.  They are ready to serve.