Saturday, June 27, 2009

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

We were having some friends over for brunch today and I wanted to make some muffins along with the fruit and happy eggs that we were having. V likes pineapple upside down cakes very much and when I was reading out different options, that's what he chose. I mostly followed this recipe to make this cake.

The changes I made were - I used 1/2 cup of Sugar instead of a whole cup; substituted half the oil with applesauce; used pineapple rings instead of pineapple chunks; used half all purpose flour and half whole wheat flour; used a regular cake pan instead of a spring form board; and it took me about 45 minutes in 350 degree temperature to get it completely cooked.

It definitely did not taste like pastry shops' cake. But, it was very good - healthily good :)
Half of it was eaten today and half for dinner guests tomorrow!!

Before I end, here is a picture of our small raspberry bush. We got 3 raspberries today. Can't wait for the blueberry busy to start bearing fruit (literally) too!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


The not-so-new Vegan Soul Food by Bryant Terry that I have really enjoyed had a recipe for Succotash Soup. It sounded like a good idea. But, it has been so hot, I decided that a soup was really not going to be fun. I looked through a bunch of recipes at recipezaar and created my own recipe for Succotash. I am very sure that this is not completely authentic. I have eaten Succotash at one local restaurant (if you can call it that). It is made of black beans and corn and definitely has butter and/or cream. I tried a healthier version of Succotash with Frozen Lima Beans instead. I used some fresh herbs from the vegetable garden - both oregano and basil - some of the recipes called for Parsley, but I did not grow any.

There are these noodles with Indian spices that V really likes - They are called 'Maggi Noodles'. Growing up, they were called the 2-minute noodles - it takes 2 minutes to cook. Now that I am more conscious of our eating habits, I realize that the spices in the noodles are probably not the best. But, occasionally (or however often I agree to it) V craves these noodles. The Succotash is probably best as a side dish, but I did not want to make a main dish. So Maggi to the rescue. I had a few indulgent bites of these noodles and then returned to brown rice as the base for my Succotash. The photo has Succotash topped with Maggi Noodles!



1 C Frozen Lima Beans
1 Onion, chopped
1 C Frozen Sweet Corn
1 C Shelled Peas
1 15 oz can Fire-roasted tomatoes
1 Vegan Sausage, chopped
Salt, to taste
Red Pepper Flakes, to taste
1/2 t Sugar
1 T Lemon Juice
2 T Fresh Herbs
1 t Olive Oil

Heat Oil. Saute onions till soft. Add beans, corn, peas and vegan sausage. Cook till vegetables are soft. Add salt, red pepper flakes, tomatoes and cook till flavors meld. Add Sugar and let cook for 2-3 more minutes. Add lemon juice and herbs.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Another smoothie and my growing garden

After our regular Saturday run, we crave a smoothie. Yesterday was humid - even early in the morning. When I got home, I realized that we had no berries for a smoothie! So I decided to experiment some.

The ingredients - 1 Frozen Banana, 2 T Cocoa Powder, 2 T Peanut Butter, 1 Packet Soy Yogurt, 1 cup Orange Juice, 1 T Protein Powder - were purreed together for 2 large servings of smoothie. When the bananas start to get too ripe, I peel them and put them in the freezer in a container. This makes the smoothie much better. I used baking cocoa powder - that's all I had. But, the new Nasoya Silken Creations (dark chocolate, especially) will probably be amazing in the smoothie (among other recipes!).

Here is an update on the growing garden and how it grows. The first photo is of the tomato plants.
They were small when first planted. If you look carefully, you can see green tomatoes on the plant in the far right. We are very excited. They tomato plants have taken over the area and that killed the Okra. We started with 6 of them.

These feature the spinach plants in the center - who knew that spinach grows this tall, surrounded by serrano peppers, yellow and red peppers and herbs (far left). The cilantro that we planted did not grow - unfortunately because that is my favorite herb. We started with seeds that I had at home. I am already making plans for next year's vegetable garden. Thanks SO much to V's aunt for her help in planting these vegetables. Some of the flowers are growing well too! Very exciting!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Black Bean Dish

This hiatus was long. With a trip to MN to visit the brother and sister-in-law, I was not cooking anything new or exciting. Today, I made an interesting dish. It started off as a potential soup in the slow cooker. When I came home, it was nowhere near the consistency of soup - too solid. So I decided to turn them into wraps for me and quesadillas for V. I still was not happy with the taste, so I added the salad dressing from this salad recipe. And then it was bliss!!

I have been meaning to try the dressing from the recipe. That is why I soaked the black beans. But, I was planning on coming home late tonight (got to workout after gaining weight on the trip to MN!), so I decided to get something quick started on the slow cooker. We had no fresh vegetables at home, other than peas from the CSA. We have been eating peas everyday and today, I decided not to shell more peas. The dressing is spicy, sweet, tangy and wonderful. I have some saved for salad tomorrow, when we get our fresh veggies from the CSA.

V does not approve of this photo - he says it does not look good. But it's all I have and I don't want to delay this post even longer!

Slow Cooker Beans

Mix together the following ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.

-- 2 C Black Beans
-- 1.5 C Salsa
-- 1 Pkt Peppers and Onions, frozen
-- 1/2 C water (increase the water or broth to make the consistency thinner)
-- 2 t Cumin powder
-- Salt, to taste
-- 1 t Chipotle chillis in Adobo sauce - chopped
-- 1 T Fajita Seasoning.

When done, add 2 T Vegan Cream Cheese, 1 t Lemon/Lime Juice and 2 T Cilantro, chopped. Mix and serve with Corn Tortillas and pre-made Salad Dressing.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

a couple of odds and ends

Well, I don't want you to think that we are not eating at all over here, I just have not been making anything really new or interesting. This weekend we had black bean burgers, corn, broccoli, and I made some potato salad. I haven't made potato salad in a long time and it seemed to be missing something (maybe vinegar?) but I ate it anyway. Here is my less than exciting recipe:

Potato Salad
  • 4-5 red potatoes, cubed
  • 1/2 an onion, chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup vegenaise
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch of celery seed
Boil potatoes. Chill for about an hour. Stir in the rest of the ingredients.

Let me know if you have another recipe. I need some interest!

Secondly, I made a quick Pasta Fagioli that I forgot to photograph until the next morning as it left the house as a lunch. It was much prettier the night before! The ingredients were basically:
  • Can of white beans, drained
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • can of diced tomatoes (I have done this with diced fresh roma tomatoes and it is much better)
  • salt and pepper
  • pinch of onion powder
  • pinch of basil/oregano
  • 1/2 box of small shell pasta
Boil pasta as directed. In a separate pan, heat oil and cook garlic until fragrant. Add tomatoes and spices and let it cook off for a bit. Add pasta when ready.

Ok, no genius tonight but at least I have added something!!!!!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Orange Cake and Mint Chutney

... made on the same day, but not for the same meal!!
We are going to see my brother and sister-in-law next weekend and we are going to be in cabins - high end camping - for a day. To make a burger sandwich for lunch, I made a mint chutney. This is an Indian-style chutney that can be mixed with yogurt to be a condiment to grilled food. I also have fond memories of English-style sandwiches that were Indian-ized. White bread (crusts removed), butter, cucumber and mint chutney on a hot day with some pepper. Good memories!! So when we went to pick up our CSA vegetables this week and there was a *huge* bunch of mint in the 'extras' table, I decided to make some mint chutney to take with us camping. It will go in a ymmy sandwich for a picnic lunch!!

Mint Chutney

Mix together the following ingredients in a blender with as much water as you need to make it into the right consistency.

2 Cups Mint leaves
1 Cup Cilantro
1 T Tamarind paste
1 T Salt
2 Chilli peppers, chopped
1 t Ginger
1 clove Garlic

On a separate note, I also made this Orange Cake.
I wanted to try a different vegan cake after making multiple cup cakes. It was somewhat crumbly and sticky, but tasted very very yummy. I made a mistake while measuring and added 2 Cups of orange juice at the beginning. So I had to double the recipe (I know - very sad :). Now we have 2 cakes!! V ate 1/4 of one of the cakes himself!! Definitely recommend this. I may have enjoyed having some orange juice with pulp in it too. Or some raisins and less sugar may have been nice too. YUM!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Vegan banana pancakes

Breakfast for dinner is the best!! I made these Vegan Banana Pancakes. I used a little more soy milk than in the recipe and it was YUMMY!! We topped it with peanut butter and maple syrup. I think a few slices of banana on top may also be good, but I did not get to it.

The picture does not do the pancake much justice - it tasted better than it looked :)