Sunday, March 29, 2009

Summer Dreamin'

Winter here has seemed forever, and we are so happy that the flowers are blooming and that there are finally signs of spring. Even so, we are missing Texas weather at this time of year, when it's 70 degrees and sunny, versus still a mid-40 degree cloudy weather in Oregon. Furthermore, we keep on dreamin' of sunny warm t-shirt days during the summers ...

...with fresh produce to bring home from the markets, such as:

...ripe sweet red tomatoes
...crisp yellow sweet corn
...juicy sweet strawberries and blueberries
...and juicy ripe mango

...all to make wonderful delectable fresh meals, such as:

...Fresh Tomato Basil Soup

...Homemade Spicy Salsa

...Fresh Corn Soup or Corn Chowder (we love Passionate Vegetarian's Corn Soup!)

...Corn Chive Pancakes (again, from Passionate Vegetarian)

...Creamed Corn

...Spicy Tortilla Soup (with fresh tomatoes and corn)

...Black Bean and Mango Rice

...Strawberry (or Blueberry) Muffins

...Mango Crisp with Raspberries

Oh, we could go on and on, dreamin' about sunny picnics with fresh salads and sandwiches and fruits and vegetables...

All the leaves are bloomin'
Yet the sky is grey
I went for a walk
On a cool damp day
I'd be safe and warm
If it was sunny May
Summer dreamin'
On such a cool damp day.
- (Our Version of The Beach Boys' California Dreamin')

Smiles! LK

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Recipe Review - Vegalicious' Eggplant

We've made alot of tasty meals this past week, including Vegalicious' Baked Eggplant with Corn Flake Crust. Eggplant was on sale and we happened to have some Nature's Path Mesa Sunrise Corn Flakes on hand, so we thought this recipe would be great to make. And it was!
We only used one eggplant and one onion, used a can of diced unsalted tomatoes, and 2 cups of corn flakes. Very delicious and simple and quick to make! We just sauted onion and eggplant in the skillet like suggested, then mixed 1/3 cup of corn flakes into the eggplant mixture. Coated the bottom and top with remaining corn flakes, then baked for just 15 minutes!

Leftovers are always great to change it up a bit - we put it in a large whole wheat tortilla and had a delicious wrap! This dish would be good with added bell pepper or mushrooms.

We don't often bake eggplant, but this recipe prooves that using eggplant in meals can be easy and quick, and we will definetely be cooking eggplant more often. It's such a unique vegetable in texture and shape, and of course is nutritious!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Yes for Breakfast - Biscuits and Granola

A rainbow!

We've been wishing for a fluffy tender breakfast biscuit these days, and without margarine, it's been somewhat difficult baking up the perfect biscuit. With coconut oil, however, the results are pretty close! We found an easy baking powder biscuit online and made a few adjustments:

Baking Powder Biscuits

2 cups spelt flour
1 1/2 Tb baking powder
3/4 Tb sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup coconut oil, firm (cold or at room temp)
1 cup non-dairy milk

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. In the dry mixture cut in coconut oil as you would margarine. Add milk to the large bowl, and combine until just blended. Flatten the batter out a little or roll out on parchment, then form or cut out 7-10 round biscuits. Bake at 425 degrees F for 10- 12 minutes or until just golden.

Of course we like having different kinds of biscuits too, with different textures and flavors. So, out of the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Cookbook, we made the Cornmeal Maple Biscuits. We adapted the recipe of course to add in some crushed cornflakes instead of just all cornmeal, which gave the biscuits a nice texture. We did half of the recipe a maple flavor like the recipe states, and then the other half we did an herb version and added dried basil, celery seed, and dried dill. Both were delicious and turned out great! A cross between cornbread and biscuits.

Cornmeal Maple Biscuits

1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup wheat flour
1 Tb baking powder
>1/8 tsp salt
2 Tb coconut oil, firm
1/4 cup + 2 Tb non-dairy milk
1 Tb maple syrup
5 Tb corn flakes, crushed (1/2 cup flakes before crushed)

for an herb variation you can add a mixture of herbs (about 1 - 1 1/2 tsp total) and instead of 5 Tb maple, sub in 1 Tb agave.

Combine dry ingredients (except corn flakes) in a large bowl. Mix maple syrup and milk in a small bowl. In the dry mixture cut in coconut oil as you would margarine, then add cornflakes. Add wets to the large bowl, and combine until just blended. Flatten the batter out a little or roll out on parchment, then form or cut out 4 round biscuits. Bake at 400 degrees F for 12 - 15 minutes or until just golden.

Another favorite breakfast treat is homemade granola! Sooo much cheaper to make your own, and it makes a ton! We love having this with dried fruit or fresh fruit and non-dairy milk, or adding other cereal like flakes or cheerios, or putting it in yogurt or ice cream. A simple base that can be easily adjusted to add different spices and sweeteners.

Easy Whole Grain Granola

2/3 cup each of spelt flakes, barley flakes, and rye flakes (or try other grain flakes or even just oats!)
2/3 cup oat bran or wheat germ
1/4 cup agave syrup or maple syrup
1/2 - 3/4 tsp vanilla extract (or try maple or almond extract)
2 Tb oil
2 Tb water

Place a parchment paper on a large baking sheet. Combine all ingredients, then spread out on the baking sheet. Bake at 300 degrees F for 15 minutes, then stir, then bake another 15 minutes. Makes 2-3 cups.

Mmm Breakfast. So satisfying. Miss Emma is sure happy :)
May your day start right with breakfast! - LK Sisters

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Yes for Breakfast - Porridge & Cookies!

Raisin Buckwheat Porridge

So in the past month we've jumped on the wagon and just agreed to make new traditions. We've been having Rawesome Sunday lunches with buckwheat porridge, biscuits or pancakes for Saturday or Sunday breakfasts, and a weekly/frequent Breakfast Cookie Snack. Also Rice Bowl Wednesdays, but that's not breakfast :)

For our raw Sunday lunch, we often have Buckwheat porridge, and then something else raw to go with it (such as raw vegetable soups, salads, and raw 'tuna' salad collard wraps).

Blueberry Porridge with Raw Creamy Tomato Soup

'Oatmeal' Raisin Buckwheat Porridge (using raw wheat germ as 'oats')
served with a Carrot Radish Salad
(shredded carrots, diced radish, fresh anise herb, sesame seeds, and avocado dressing!)

We also had an apricot buckwheat porridge (with dried apricots). SOO many variations that you can do (banana pudding, mango, apple spice, strawberry, fig...)! Definitely try the buckwheat porridge - it's so creamy, sweet, flavorful, filling, raw, and healthy!

LK's Buckwheat Porridge (Adapted from Gone Raw)

2/3 - 3/4 cup raw buckwheat groats, soaked in water overnight (or for a few hours), then rinsed and drained
2 Tb raw buckwheat groats unsoaked (for crunch)
1-2 fresh bananas
2-4 dried dates (or other dried fruit)
pinch of cinnamon or other spices
serve with - fresh berries, apples, raisins/currants, 1/4 cup shredded carrots, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, nuts, flaxmeal, and/or raw wheat germ.

Prep your buckwheat (once soaked, rinse and drain).
Cut up dried fruit into sizes more manageable for blending.
Blend the soaked buckwheat groats, bananas, dried fruit, and spices (in Vitamix or other blender/food processor) to a creamy consistency - you may need to add water if necessary.
Then add your toppings and the unsoaked buckwheat groats, and devour!

Of course for an unraw version, use your choice of grains instead of buckwheat (ex - triticale meal, steel cut oats, quinoa, rice), add 1 cup non-dairy milk, and cook the grains or soak overnight. Then blend, along with the spices, banana, dried fruit, and more milk if necessary. You can serve with any toppings (including maple syrup, oat bran, nut butters, sweet potato or pumpkin puree).

Along with many other breakfast enthusiasts, we are hooked on the Breakfast Cookie. So easy to whip up. Again sooo many possibilities for flavors. When we do use a 'nut butter', we use tahini, otherwise we sometimes leave it out and add a mashed date or dried fruit. We just prep it overnight and have it sit in the fridge, then breakfast is ready in the morning!

Tahini Breakfast Cookie - Makes 2 Servings
2/3 cup spelt flakes, rye flakes, barley flakes, or other 'oat' type flakes
3 Tb tahini
1 Tb hemp powder
3/8 cup non-dairy milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
banana to serve
optional - 2 Tb wheat germ or flaxmeal

Cranberry Orange Breakfast Cookie - Makes 2 servings
1/2 cup grain cereal (such as Bob's Spice n' Nice Cereal or triticalle meal, kamut cereal...)
1/2 cup spelt flakes
1/4 cup oat bran
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
1/4 cup or more cranberry juice
1 fresh date, mashed
1-2 tsp orange zest
2 tsp dried cranberries, chopped
berries or more dried cranberries to serve

Banana Cocoa Breakfast Cookie - Makes 2 servings
2/3 cup spelt flakes, rye flakes, barley flakes, or other 'oat' type flakes
3 Tb mashed banana
1 Tb cocoa powder
3/8 cup non-dairy milk - try chocolate!
1/2 tsp vanilla
banana slices to serve
optional - 2 Tb wheat germ or flaxmeal

We are 100% in love with breakfast! For breakfast, lunch, dinner, and in between!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Veg Links and Lemon Herb Pasta

It's already March - time for flowers and St. Patrick 4 leaf clovers. Pray for spring to come soon, we're sick of the winter and cold!
Just wanted to let everyone know that we've placed a section on our blog's front page for information about vegetarianism/veganism, Christianity, and animal welfare.
Back in college, we took a great class that discussed the world food supply, the degradation meat has on our land/environment, and other issues. The class actually helped lead us to vegetarianism. We've posted some links to websites providing statistics about meat-eating, and the importance of vegetarianism. Feel free to explore! Even if you already know this information, these websites are great resources for telling your family/friends when they ask you veg questions.

P.S. Here's a great and simple meal we enjoyed a few weeks ago - lemon herb pasta and steamed brussel sprouts with shallots. The pasta dish just had olive oil and a lemon sauce over some whole wheat rotini. Yummy!

Happy reading and learning, (and eating veg!)
LK Sisters

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Have Cake, Will Travel Reviews

We are bread lovers.

We love baking and eating breads, even drooling at breads that we see at the store or online. Every week we look forward to trying a new bread recipe or modifying a favorite bread recipe.

Our main bread sources include:

King Arthur Whole Grain Cookbook...

Bob's Red Mill Recipes...

online blogs...

and Have Cake, Will Travel.

Celine's breads are always the BEST! We try to make bread every week, and quite often the recipes come from Celine.

So far, here are her recipes that we've enjoyed making (and eating):

Rye Whole Wheat Bread - see our comments about this delicious bread here.

Pumpkin Wheat Bread - Made a Sweet Potato version , described here.

Hummus Bread - comments shown here.

Tahini Rolls that we made last weekend! And Tomato (Salsa) Bread that we made yesterday!

We loved the tahini bread- soo soft and nutty. Great with a veggie burger, hummus, or dipped with olive oil or with avocado slices! We made 7 huge buns; these rose so nicely and have a soft smooth texture. We are thinking of making them again but adding some garlic and/or wheat germ.

We also enjoyed the tomato bread - such a beautiful color. Instead of salsa, we used 3/4 cup chopped tomatoes (1 large roma), 1/4 cup diced sundried tomatoes, and 5 Tb tomato paste. Also used different flours and added 1 tsp basil. A good garden bread (although we made ours a little too moist this time), that would be wonderful in pizza form - to add extra basil and some garlic, and then have a simple elegant pizza topped with olive oil, spinach, and mushrooms! Or to use salsa, make salsa buns, and have them with black bean burgers and avocado!

THANKS for the wonderful recipes Celine, we always look forward to using your bread recipes and getting creative bread ideas from you. - LK