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Curried Quinoi with Potatoes & Spinach November 6, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Vegetarian Recipes.
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38 comments

I often cook by experimenting with ingredients to come up with something “different.”  One step leads to the next to the next.

On Halloween, I went into the kitchen to mix up some Tabbouli and a batch of Black Bean Salsa ~ two favorite sides.

One . . .

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Two . . .

2014-10-31 14-45-12_0005I noticed two onions that needed cooking so I chopped them and tossed them into a saute pan with a bit of oil.

I added a couple of cubed potatoes to the pot.

Since that looked like the beginnings of Tattie Soup, I added a vegetarian bouillon cube and 2 cups of liquid (1 1/2 cups of water and 1/2 cup of tomato infused liquid drained from the can of Ro*Tel used for the Black Bean Salsa).

At that point, I remembered I had 1/2 cup of Tikki Masala in the fridge.  So I stirred that in, sure we’d enjoy a hearty bowl of Curried Potato Soup while watching Halloween Specials.

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Then I decided to defrost and add a 10-ounce package of frozen spinach to the mix.

After the soup morphed into Curried Potato and Spinach Soup, I opened the pantry and saw some organic quinoi that longed to jump into the jacuzzi.  I checked the instructions ~ ready in 15 minutes, the same cooking time as the potatoes.  Perfect!

I measured out 1/2 a cup, rinsed it, and stirred it in.  After the mixture came to a boil, I turned it down and let it simmer until the potatoes were tender, the quinoi was cooked, and most of the liquid was absorbed.

I took a quick taste.

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Aah . . . that’s yummy!

Do you enjoy experimenting in the kitchen?  Or would you rather follow a recipe?  (Or order take out?)

Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies October 16, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor, Vegetarian Recipes.
Tags: , , , ,
40 comments

This recipe comes to you courtesy of Nancy (“Keep moving!”) Tex:

They say it’s your birthday
Happy Birthday to Ya!

Happy Birthday NT!

* * *

As I read NT’s post, When Chickpeas and Chocolate Chips Collide, I knew I had to give these healthy high fiber cookies a try . . . with a few modifications because I am (a) a lazy cook who (b) loves rum:

* The recipe called for natural peanut butter.  I hate measuring peanut butter. With a passion.  It’s so S~T~I~C~K~Y!  I substituted 3/4 c. roasted salted peanuts (ground up peanuts => natural peanut butter).

* The recipe called for vanilla extract.  I’m not a baker and don’t keep vanilla extract in the pantry.   I do keep rum around.  Rum => Yum!

Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine 1 1/2 c. chickpeas (15 oz. can, drained and rinsed) with 3/4 c. roasted salted peanuts.  Pulse in your processor until almost smooth.

Add 2 tsp. vanilla extract (or rum), 1/4 c. honey (or agave or maple syrup), and 1 tsp baking powder.  Process until mixture forms a dough ball.

Toss the dough ball into a bowl.

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Add 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips.

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Fold the chips into the dough.

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Form into 1 1/2″ balls and place on greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet.

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Tip:  Use an ice cream scoop to scoop up the dough.

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Press the tops down with a fork.

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Bake for 10 minutes.  Try one to see if it’s done.

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Press the tops down (again) and bake for 2 minutes more. Cool on a wire rack.

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These are not quite as good as Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies BUT they are MUCH better for you.

They omit the empty calories (butter, white flour, and white sugar) and add in good-for-you protein and fiber from both peanuts and garbanzo beans.

Enjoy them.  Guilt free.

Aah . . . that’s better!

If you’re allergic to peanuts, you might try these with almonds and Amaretto or hazelnuts and Frangelica.

Multi-Grain Medley & Squash October 14, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor, Vegetarian Recipes.
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27 comments

Minute Rice has a new Multi-Grain Medley of Brown Rice, Wheat, Quinoi, Rye, Oats, and Barley.

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Intrigued, I picked up a packet ~ 6 grams of fiber per serving.  Awesome!  By way of comparison, plain white rice has a scant 1 gram of fiber per serving.

I haven’t bought Minute Rice since before Ronald Reagan was President, but I decided to give the Multi-Grain Medley a try because the idea of cooking up Brown Rice, Wheat, Quinoi, Rye, Oats, AND Barley seemed too time intensive.

In contrast, the Minute Rice Medley takes only a minute to heat and eat.

Multi-Grain Medley & Summer Squash

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Saute onion, carrot, celery in olive oil.  Add sliced summer squash.  Cook until tender. Stir in 2 cups cooked grain (rice, barley, quinoi, or multi-grain medley).

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Season with salt, garlic, and turmeric (or 1/2 c. of Tikki Masala).

Add a healthy splash of wine.  Toss in some raisins.  Let it simmer until the raisins plump.

If you have cooked green beans hanging around, toss them into the mix.

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Sprinkle some peanuts on top to add crunch factor.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Mint Juleps September 23, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Vegetarian Recipes.
Tags: , , , ,
32 comments

Although I’ve mentioned Mint Juleps in a number of posts, I’ve never shared the recipe ~ a fact I discovered when I offered to share it with Kate Shrewsday after her recent visit to Charleston.

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Mint Julep

1 jigger (more or less) Simple Syrup with Mint
1 jigger bourbon
crushed ice

Fill a tall glass or silver julep cup with crushed ice.  Add a jigger of Simple Syrup and a jigger of bourbon.  Stir.  Ice will melt and meld with the drink.

Garnish with 2-4 large sprigs of fresh mint.  Sip, don’t gulp.

Simple Syrup

Pour 1/2 cup boiling water over 1/2 cup sugar; stir until sugar dissolves.  Stir in 1/4 cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves (or, in a pinch, 1/4 c. dried mint).

Chill at least 4 hours.  Strain. Store covered in the fridge.  Makes about 3/4 cup ~ enough for 3-6 Mint Juleps.

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Aah . . . that’s better! 

The Benjamin Franklin Diet September 22, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Food & Drink, Vegetarian Recipes.
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36 comments

While scouting the library stacks for inspiration, I stumbled upon an interesting diet book . . .

I added it to the stack of books in my arms, ignoring the oft quoted adage and admonition . . . “neither a borrower nor a lender be.”

At home, I settled down to learn about Ben’s diet.

* At a young age, Ben swore off meat and quaffing pints of ale so as to have more money to spend on books.

* In so doing, he noted that he felt better and had greater mental clarity after meals consisting of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

* He also noticed that he felt better when he exercised for 15 minutes before each meal.  If the weather wasn’t being cooperative, he spent his 15 minutes leaping inside the house ~ forward and back or side to side.

In addition to the fascinating narrative of Ben’s life philosophy, the author, Kelly Wright, collected and shared a number of colonial recipes for grains, soups, stews, game, and sweet fare, including:  Hasty Pudding, Dauphiny Soup, Oatcakes, Classic Colonial Bread, Hoecakes, Tavern Bread, and Garlic and Herb Cream Cheese Spread.

Inspired, I whipped up a loaf of Mrs. Wright’s Beer Bread in minutes.

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Combine 3 cups whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup raw sugar, 1 Tbsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. salt.  Stir in a bottle (12 ounces) of beer or ale.

Pour into a greased and floured 9 x 5 loaf pan.

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Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.

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“Hunger never saw bad bread.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

Delighted with the result, I followed Ben’s lead and leaped and leapt about.

Aah . . . that’s better! 

To learn more:  The Benjamin Franklin Diet (Book) * The Benjamin Franklin Diet (Website)

Jalapeno Cornbread September 18, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Vegetarian Recipes.
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33 comments

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Yes . . . we are continuing to carb load.

Man cannot live by bagels alone!

Jalapeno Cornbread

Heat over to 425 degrees.

Grease baking dish with butter or oil and place in oven to pre-heat. I use a round pottery baking dish but a 8-9″ square baking dish would work.

1 1/4 c. stoneground cornmeal
1/2 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder (or 1 tsp. and 1 egg)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2-4 tsp. sugar (or brown sugar)

Sift together dry ingredients in large bowl.

1 1/2 c. almond milk
2 T. butter (or 1 T. oil)
5-6 roasted jalapenos (or 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes)

Whisk wet ingredients. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Pour into heated baking pan. Bake 25 minutes at 425.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Bagels September 16, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Home & Garden, Vegetarian Recipes.
Tags: , , , ,
34 comments

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1 cup warm water
1 1/2 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup
3 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. yeast
1 1/2 tsp. oil

Mix and knead the dough (or let your bread maker do it for you).  Let it rise for 20 minutes.  Turn out onto a floured surface.

Divide the dough in 8-12 pieces.  [I made 12 the first time.  Too small.]

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Roll each piece into a rope and form into a circle, pressing ends together.

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Place on well-greased baking sheet, cover with a warm/damp towel and let rise for 15-20 minutes.

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Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Admire your Pillsbury Dough Boys . . .

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In a large non-aluminum pan, boil 3-4 inches of water.  Lower 3-4 bagels at a time into simmering water.  Cook 15-30 seconds each side.

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Remove bagels, drain excess water.

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Place bagels on a well-greased cookie sheet (or pre-heated pizza stone).

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Bake 8 minutes.  [For larger bagels, turn bagels over and bake another 4-6 minutes until lightly browned on both sides.]

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Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.  Cool.

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Yield: 12 small bagels (or 8 large bagels).

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Yes.  One of the dozen is M.I.A. ~ wherever did it go?

Aah . . . that’s better!

One of the Best Things I’ve Eaten This Year July 17, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Special Events, Vegetarian Recipes.
Tags: , , , ,
62 comments

On our 30th Anniversary, we went out for lunch and ordered one of the best things I’ve eaten all year:

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Tempura Battered Asparagus with shaved Parmigiana Reggiano

On my umpteenth Birthday, we went out for Happy Hour and ordered another winner of an indulgence:

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Caramel Macademia Nut Cheesecake

Here’s the Birthday Girl before sharing 2 appetizers and a decadent dessert:

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And here’s the Birthday Girl after:

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Yup.  Still smiling.  Without a trace of guilt.

Aah . . . that’s better!

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten this year?

Hey, That Prickles! July 16, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Home & Garden, Vegetarian Recipes.
Tags: , , , ,
26 comments

In April, I shared Our Budding Pineapple Plantation with you . . .

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Since then, our lone pineapple has continued to grow . . .

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With a rather majestic looking crown . . .

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Care to share any good pineapple recipes?

Related post:  Pineapple Chutney

Pacific Organic Tomato Soup March 26, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Sustainable Living, Vegetarian Recipes.
Tags: , , , ,
22 comments

Fresh Market’s running a special on Pacific Organic Tomato Soup this month.

We tried it.

We both loved it!  And BFF doesn’t even really like Tomato Soup.

It comes in a resealable quart container and stays fresh in the fridge for 7-10 days after opening.

It’s low fat, gluten free, soy free, kosher, vegetarian, and . . . delicious!

Other soups include: Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup (also yummy), Creamy Butternut Squash Soup (not my fave), and many more we haven’t tried.

Yet.

In addition to soups, they make Meals, Sides, Sauces, and Gravies ~ all of which can be filtered by dietary preferences.

To learn more Pacific and its sustainable practices ~ check out Our Story ~ Pacific Foods.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Have you tried any products by Pacific?  Are you a fan?

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