Sunday, February 21, 2010

Whip Up These!

In attempt to keep the cooking and baking short and sweet, we continue to go back to these two recipes. So easy and tasty and fun to change them up each time.

Awesome Homemade Veggie-Bean Burgers

Makes 10-12 patties

1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1 - 1 1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 cup each cornmeal and wheat gluten
2 1/2 Tb nutritional yeast
2 Tb flaxseed meal
2 cups pinto or black beans
1 Tb canola oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tb Braggs
1 Tb stone ground mustard
2 - 4 Tb diced bell pepper
2 Tb diced onion

1. In a small bowl, mix onion powder, cumin, cornmeal, wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, and flaxseed meal.
2. In a large bowl, mash pinto beans, then add remaining ingredients. Mix until just combined.
3. Add dry mixture from the small bowl to the bean mixture in the large bowl, and mix until well combined.
4. Form 10 - 12 patties. Place on a baking sheet that has parchment paper or has been sprayed with cooking spray.
5. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-25 minutes, or until golden on both sides.Variations: Add 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes or cayenne
Add 1/4 - 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce or Balsamic vinegar
Use white beans, lentils, black-eyed peas, or kidney beans
Add 2-3 Tb finely chopped veggies
Add lime juice and jalapeno

Great for breakfast, snacks, or lunches, these extra fluffy soft biscuits are easy to whip up. Serve with avocado, olive oil, nut butter, or jam.

A basic recipe, with lots of variations possible!Fluffy Baking Powder Biscuits

Makes 8- 12 biscuits

2 cups whole wheat, spelt, or kamut flour
1 Tb baking powder
1-2 tsp sugar or agave syrup
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tb oil
1 tsp vinegar
1/2 cup soy milk or non-dairy milk
1/2 - 3/4 cup water

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add in wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Drop on a baking sheet lined with parchement paper (or use biscuit cutters to cut out biscuits). Bake at 400 degrees F for 12-15 minutes or until just golden.

add nuts and/or seeds - such as 1-2 tsp sesame seeds or 1 Tb crushed pumpkin seeds
add nut butter - we use 2-4 Tb sunflower seed butter with about 1 Tb less oil
Oat biscuit - add some quick rolled oats and/or oat flour
Corn biscuit - add 1/4 cup cornmeal and about 2-3 Tb less flour
Pumpkin biscuit - add 2-4 Tb pumpkin puree with 2-4 Tb less water
Make it savory! with 1/2 tsp total of dried herbs or curry powder or even caraway seeds

We also wanted to mention a product that we have our eyes on! Mary's "Gone Crackers Crumbs" look like a wholesome whole grain product to use in replace of those bland and refined bread crumbs! We could whip up a tasty dish with these!

Until next time,

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day Treats--Dark Chocolate and Pink Grapefruit Icebox Cookies

Happy Valentine's Day!

What does Valentine's Day mean to you? To us, it is a day to reflect on all the great loving people in our lives. Although we should express appreciation and love for others every day, this day is extra special! We started off the holiday early by watching "Becoming Jane" last night--such a romantic, sweet, and terribly sad movie!

Real love is expressed beautifully in Corinthians 13:4-13
"LOVE is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.....And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is LOVE."

Valentine's day is also a time to eat decadent dark chocolate and make pretty decorated cookies! We checked out Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar cookbook at the library...there are so many great cookie recipes and pictures in this book! We chose something fun and different than the usual cookies we make, utilizing the winter citrus fruits--"Frosted Grapefruit Icebox Cookies". We would love to eventually make almost every cookie in this book!
Here's what we did:
  • Half a batch of grapefruit-flavored cookies with grapefruit juice and grapefruit zest.
  • Half a batch of orange cookies with orange juice and orange zest.
  • In an attempt to be more organic, and reduce packaging and waste, we bought organic cane sugar in the bulk section and mixed in some cornstarch. We processed it in our blender into powdered sugar. It slightly worked, but the sugar crystals were still grittier than store-bought powdered sugar.
  • Replaced the margarine with room-temperature (slightly soft) coconut oil and used whole wheat pastry flour for nutrition.
We had so much leftover icing, and it was slightly runny and extremely sweet! These cookies gave us "crash-and-burn" sugar syndrome. They did not make us feel very good after eating them. However they were fun to decorate, and smelled heavenly. We plan to scrape of the icing so they are more tolerable.

The shortbread cookie base was good, just a tad sweet and oily. When we make these next time, we will reduce the sugar and coconut oil. We also plan to just put the zest in the cookie base and omit the icing.

Don't forget the chocolate! Equal Exchange's 71% and 80% Dark Chocolate are our favorites, but Endangered Species' Deep Forest Mint Dark Chocolate, and Alter Eco's 85% Dark Chocolate & 73% Dark Chocolate with Cacao Nibs are also delicious. For now, while we are young and single women, we'll consider chocolate as our one-true love! :)

Hope everyone has a lovely, sweet Valentine's day! Remember that we are all loved in the eyes of God, no matter how lonely we feel.