Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Peach Crunch Cake

I have made this using various fruits, cake mixes and toppings. Quick, easy, and good. Bakerella is one of my favorite baking blogs because it is just so pretty and fun. Plus, her recipes are just so fabulously indulgent.


Peach Crunch Cake
From: Bakerella

24.5 oz jar of sliced peaches in light syrup
1 package yellow cake mix
1 stick butter (1/2 cup), cut into 16 pieces
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Layer ingredients in a 13 X 9 dish, in order starting with the peaches.
Bake for about 40 minutes.
Serve warm or cold… with or without ice cream.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Red Lentil Thai Chili

This is an odd fusion dish but so very tasty.


Red Lentil Thai Chili
From: Post Punk Kitchen

Olive oil (1 teaspoon to 2 tablespoons, however much you feel like using)
1 large yellow onion, diced medium
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced medium
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 ½ lbs sweet potatoes cut into ¾ inch chunks
1 cup red lentils
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups vegetable broth
2 15 oz cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
1 15 oz can low-fat coconut milk
28 oz can diced tomatoes
½ cup fresh cilantro, plus extra for garnish
Limes for garnish (optional)

Preheat a 4-quart pot over medium heat. Saute onions and pepper in oil with a pinch of salt, for 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and saute a minute more.

Add chili powder, sweet potatoes, lentils, salt and vegetable broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Let it boil for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. When lentils are cooked and sweet potatoes are tender, add the remaining ingredients and heat through.

Taste for salt and seasoning, top with cilantro and lime and serve!


Friday, July 8, 2011

Dal Palak

No witty post today. I am crunched for time. As always, serve this with a nice warm naan bread.


Dal Palak
From: The Kitchn
Makes 8 cups

1 large onion, diced
2 packages (about 16 ounces) white button or baby bella mushrooms, roughly chopped
2 medium-sized red or white potatoes, cubed
1 inch fresh ginger, minced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons coriander
1 Tablespoon garam masala
2 teaspoons red chili powder
1 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes
10 ounce bunch of spinach (or more if desired!), cleaned and cut into ribbons
1 cup red lentils
3 cups of water or broth
1-2 Tablespoons salt
3-4 scallions, chopped

Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, the mushrooms, and one teaspoon of salt, and cook until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms show spots of golden brown. Add the potatoes and another teaspoon of salt, and cook until the edges are just starting to turn translucent.

Clear a space in the middle of the pan and add the ginger, garlic, spices, and one more teaspoon of salt. Cook until the garlic is fragrant (30 seconds), and then stir the spices into the mix. Add the diced tomatoes in their juices, the spinach, and the lentils. Stir to combine everything and then top with three cups of water or broth.

Turn the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and let the soup simmer for about 45 minutes until the lentils and potatoes are cooked through. Taste the soup to adjust the seasonings and salt. Stir in half of the chopped scallions, reserving the rest to use as garnish.

Serve dal along with rice, naan, or chapatis.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Black Bean Enchiladas

I was surprised with how easy this came together. I also believe possibilities could be endless if wanting to change up the flavor with different beans and vegetables. I adapted this from a slow cooker recipe at The Kitchn after that version didn't quite meet our expectations. I quite approve of our oven version though! Bonus? This recipe could easily be vegetarian, vegan, or omni with the know-how. We generally do the vegetarian version around here.


Black Bean Enchiladas
Adapted From: The Kitchn
Serves 4-6

1/2 yellow onion, diced small
1/2 bell pepper, diced small (any color)
1 16-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups cheese, shredded and divided - we like monterey jack
2 16-ounce jars of your favorite salsa
12 6”-8” tortillas, flour or corn
Optional: 1 cup leftover meat - chicken, pork, hamburger, or shredded beef

Heat saute pan or frying pan over medium heat with olive oil. Saute onions and peppers till softened with salt and black pepper. About 5-8 minutes.

In a medium bowl, mix together the onion, pepper, black beans, corn, spices, meat (if using), and just 1/2 cup of the cheese. Pour about a cup of salsa (half a jar) into the bottom of a 9x13 baking pan and spread it around evenly.

Preheat oven at 400°.

Scoop about 1/3 cup into one of the tortillas, roll it up, and nestle it into the bottom of the baking pan. Repeat with the half of the remaining filling, rolling tortillas until the entire bottom of of the backing dish is filled. Spread another cup of salsa over this layer and sprinkle it with another 1/2 cup of cheese.

Continue with the remaining filling and tortillas to create a second layer. Top with another cup of salsa, but reserve the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese for later. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 20 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with leftover cheese and bake uncovered for an additional 5-10 minutes.

Serve the enchiladas with the remaining salsa. Leftovers will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Ethiopian Spicy Tomato Lentil Stew

I fell in love with this stew. It's hearty and full of fragrant, exotic flavor. I've used it with fresh tomatoes and canned diced tomatoes. With tomatoes in season, I'd go with that for the taste and canned for time saving. Definitely serve with naan bread.

Ethiopian Spicy Tomato Lentil Stew
From: Post Punk Kitchen

1 cup brown lentils
1 large yellow onion, diced small
2 carrots, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
1/4 cup peanut oil (vegetable oil will do)
10 plum tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 cup vegetable stock or 1 cup water + 2 veg boullion cubes
1 cup frozen green peas

Spice Blend
2 tsp ground cumin
2 teaspoons hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon ground fenugreek
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground cardomom
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)

Boil the lentils for about 45 minutes or until tender.

In a large pot, over med heat saute the onions and carrots for 10 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and spice blend. Saute 5 more minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, cook 5 more minutes. Add tomato paste and mix, then add the water. Simmer Until bubbling. Add the cooked lentils and green peas, simmer 15 more minutes.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fava Beans with Tomatoes

I made this savory dip alongside a cold veggie salad, homemade hummus, and baked pita chips for a tapas inspired dinner. This was my fantastic discovery of fava beans. Before I had only knew fava beans as apart of a certain disturbing "Silence of the Lambs" movie quote. However, there is no cannibalism involved here so rejoice! It's just pure vegan goodness. If you have an international aisle at your supermarket that has a Mediterranean section or perhaps an Arab run market nearby, buy the cans of small fava beans. I know I could not find small fava beans at my grocery store in the non-international aisle.

If tomatoes are in season, you may want to follow the original blogger's advice about using a real tomato and tomato sauce. I have yet to try it this way because it was during late winter when I made this. I do recommend serving it with warm pitas or even pita chips.


Fava Beans with Tomatoes
From: Cheap Healthy Good

1 1/2 cup fava beans, mashed
16 ounces crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

1) Drain and rinse fava beans; then mash and set aside.

2) In a medium sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 5 more minutes.

3) Mix in mashed beans with 1/4 cup water (and chopped tomato, if in season). Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring until thick. Take care; this stuff is splattery.

4) When the mixture is the consistency you like for bean dip, remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and chopped parsley.

5) Serve with warm pita bread as part of tapas spread with other small bites, like hummus, baba ghanouj, wilted greens, and stewed chickpeas.


Monday, July 4, 2011

Favorite Turkey Burgers

I love to indulge on holidays. But this is one burger that is in rotation around our household. I had been anti-ground turkey till this recipe changed my mind. They are full of flavor and do not really need much in the way of condiments. Andy likes to just put a slab of tomato on it normally but for the little gathering with my family yesterday, we melted sliced Gruyere on it and topped it with sauteed onion.

The recipe uses a grill but you can do it on a pan just fine.

Happy Independence Day!


Favorite Turkey Burgers
From: Cheap Healthy Good

1-1/2 pounds ground turkey (93 percent lean)
1/2 cup finely grated Gruyere cheese
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup dried breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Vegetable oil, for grates (if grilling)

1) Preheat grill (high heat).

2) In a medium bowl, mix turkey, Gruyere, scallions, breadcrumbs, mustard, and garlic with a fork. Season with lots of salt and pepper. With your hands, mold meat into 6 burgers, each about 1-inch thick.

3) "Lightly oil the grill." Sear burgers over hottest part, about 1 or 2 minutes each side, until browned. Transfer burgers to a less-hot section of the grill and keep cooking until done. This could take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes on each side, depending on how hot your grill is. Keep an eye on it.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Mushroom Bhaji

My only recommendation for this recipe is to double it if you want leftovers. It only makes 2 very modest servings. It reheats very well. I serve it over brown rice.


Mushroom Bhaji
From: Cheap Healthy Good

14 ounces white button mushrooms, stems removed and thickly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon minced green onions or chives
Cooked rice of choice

Heat oil in a medium pot over medium-high. Saute onion and jalapeno for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they being to soften. Add garlic, and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cumin, coriander, chile powder, and stir thoroughly. Cook for 1 more minute.

Add mushrooms, tomato paste, salt, and water. Stir thoroughly and reduce heat to low. Cover pot and cook for 10 minutes, stirring after 5. There should be a stew/sauce formed, and mushrooms should be plump and just tender. If not, take lid off and cook another few minutes.

Serve over rice. Sprinkle with scallions.


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Ratatouille Supreme with Pepper Jack

This is the third ratatouille recipe I've tried. Mind you, the first two weren't bad either. The first recipe was one for a slow cooker but we are currently without one. (Recommendation: Do not purchase a Kitchenaid Slow Cooker. There is a flaw in the ceramic pot that will cause it to crack over time. We replaced the ceramic pot at $80 once and the same thing happened to the replacement later so it was retired permanently.) And the second recipe was more of a quickie version. I believe this recipe here has become my favorite because of the flavor and casserole form. Generally I caution anybody cooking Paula Deen's recipes to remember moderation because they aren't entirely healthy for you but soul satisfying delicious if you're a fan of old fashioned comfort food. However, this is a lightened version from her sons.


Ratatouille Supreme with Pepper Jack
From: The Deen Bros.

1 small baguette, cut into 1⁄4-inch-thick slices
6 tablespoons olive oil
3 large onions, sliced
6 cloves garlic (5 chopped, 1 whole)
2 pounds eggplant, trimmed and cubed
1 pound zucchini or yellow squash, trimmed and cubed
1 pound cherry tomatoes, halved
1 large sprig fresh rosemary
11⁄4 teaspoons salt
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1⁄2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
Olive oil for brushing
2 cups shredded pepper Jack cheese


Preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange the baguette slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast in oven for 3 to 5 minutes or until pale golden. Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Add the onions; cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally. Add the chopped garlic; cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the remaining 3 tablespoons oil, the eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, rosemary sprig, salt, and pepper. Cook and stir for 5 minutes. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook about 25 minutes more or until vegetables are fork-tender.

While the mixture cooks, chop the remaining garlic clove; set aside. Uncover the pan and increase heat to medium-high. Cook about 10 minutes or until the mixture thickens. Remove the rosemary sprig. Stir in the remaining garlic, the basil, lemon juice, and chopped rosemary.

Preheat the broiler. Transfer the vegetable mixture to a 2- to 3-quart casserole dish. Arrange the toasted baguette slices over top. Brush the bread with additional olive oil. Top evenly with pepper Jack cheese. Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat for 1 to 2 minutes or until the bread is golden and the cheese has melted.


Friday, July 1, 2011

Mushroom Barley Soup with Fresh Herbs

This is something new I tried for us last week. I will state now that I am far from vegan however that doesn't keep me from indulging in such recipes. I am always wanting to cook things that are tasty and not entirely terrible for you! Andy and I are pretty adventurous or perhaps he is just a wonderfully tolerant husband.

This recipe comes from Post Punk Kitchen. I cannot recommend their website and cookbooks enough. Andy bought me The Veganomicon for Xmas a couple of years ago and it is a great cookbook. I haven't picked up the latest release from them, Appetite For Reduction, but it is d
efinitely going onto my wishlist.


Mushroom Barley Soup with Fresh Herbs
From: Post Punk Kitchen

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 vidalia onion, thinly sliced (a regular yellow onion is fine, too!)
8 oz cremini mushroom, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 average sized zucchini, sliced into 1/4 inch thick half moons
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
1 average sized tomato, diced
3/4 cups uncooked pearled (quick cooking) barley
6 cups vegetable broth
Fresh black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

Herb mix:
3 tablespoons fresh chopped dill
3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
2 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme

Preheat a 4 quart pot over medium heat. Saute the onion in olive oil with a pinch of salt until translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and zucchini, and cook until slightly softened and some of the moisture has been released, about 5 more minutes. Mix in the garlic and saute for a minute or so.

Add celery, tomato, barley, broth, pepper and salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer, add herbs, cover again and cook until barley is tender, about 10 minutes. Salt and season to taste. For best results, let it sit for at least 10 minutes uncovered so that the flavors can marry. Serve garnished with extra herbs.