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EASY Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies September 19, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Less IS More, Vegetarian Recipes.
42 comments

Mickey-Ta-DaaaHere’s a quick and easy recipe for a healthy and portable breakfast treat.

Mash 2 ripe bananas.  Stir in one cup of Quick Oats.  Add a pinch of spice ~ cinnamon, ginger, allspice, apple pie spice, or your fave.

Add other items of interest (e.g., coconut, raisins, chocolate chips, dried cherries, nuts, sunflower seeds, etc.).

I didn’t have coconut or chocolate chips . . . so I chopped up a couple of miniature Almond Joy chocolate bars.   Yum!  

Spoon onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

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Aah . . . that’s easy!

Pushcart Onions September 5, 2016

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

As a child, we lived an hour from the Big Apple.

Street cart vendors sold roasted chestnuts in winter and Sabrett Hotdogs smothered in Pushcart Onions in summer.

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Here’s a delicious recipe for New York Pushcart Onion Sauce (from Mr. Food Cooks Real American)

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 med. onions, halved and sliced
1/4 cup Heinz catsup
pinch of ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. chili powder
dash of hot pepper sauce
dash of salt
1/2 cup water

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat; add the onion slices and saute for 7-13 minutes, until golden and limp.

Optional: add green pepper with the onions.

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Mix together the remaining ingredients and stir into onions.

Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 10-13 minutes.
Serve hot over hotdogs, hamburgers, grilled chicken.

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Also delicious in or alongside veggie wraps, quesadillas, grilled cheese sandwiches, or as a dip with Fritos or tortilla chips.

I sterilized a jar in boiling water to fill for the fridge.

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And froze the rest to enjoy later.

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Aah . . . that’s yummy!

Spanakopita Redux April 25, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Less IS More, Vegetarian Recipes.
26 comments

We recently revisited and revised a classic ~ Spanakopita.

To make the classic Greek dish, layer tedious layer upon tedious layer of phyllo dough to make the crust . . . AFTER slathering each tissue-paper-thin-sheet with a gallon of butter.

To save time and calories, make Spanakopita Quesadillas using fat-free tortillas in place of the phyllo/butter crust.

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On Superbowl Sunday, we served Spanakopita Quesadillas with Hummus, Tabbouli, Kalamata Olives, Peppers, and Black Bean Salsa.

Here’s an EASY recipe for Black Bean Salsa:

Combine 2-3 diced tomatoes with a 15 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed.  Add a few dashes of dried onion, dried garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.  Stir and chill.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Here’s an even EASIER recipe for Black Bean Salsa:

Combine a can of Ro*Tel Tomatoes and Chile Peppers (drained) with a 15 oz. can of black beans (drained and rinsed).

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Spanakopita Filling for Quesadillas

Saute an onion in 2 tsp. olive oil.  Add a bag of chopped spinach or kale.  Once the onions and greens are wilted, add 2 oz. feta cheese, 2 Tbsp. grated parmeson, 1 1/2 tsp oregano (or dill), 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, 1/4 tsp. lemon pepper, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper.

Spanakopita filling is also delicious mixed with rice or pasta or used as a topping for a Spinach Pizza or in Spinach Crescent Rolls (spread 2 tsp. of filling on crescent rolls before rolling and baking).

Aah . . . that’s YUMMY!

“Hunger Never Saw Bad Bread.” April 11, 2016

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

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“Hunger never saw bad bread.” ~ Benjamin Franklin.

Ben was so right!  Man cannot live by bread alone . . . but it’s a start!  Here’s two quick breads ~> Ben Franklin’s Beer Bread and Irish Soda Bread.

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Eat all you want . . . then make more!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Curried Quinoi with Potatoes & Spinach November 6, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Vegetarian Recipes.
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.
46 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.
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.
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.
37 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.
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!