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Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies October 16, 2014

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

The Benjamin Franklin Diet September 22, 2014

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

Bagels September 16, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Home & Garden, Vegetarian Recipes.
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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!

Just For Fun February 10, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Humor, Joke, Vegetarian Recipes.
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Gymnastics1.  If you’re looking for something FUN to do, check out the Fun To Do list at Thought for the Day.

My favorite idea is #4.

2.  Wondering where to buy a better bomb shelter?  Check out:

Underground Bomb Shelter Sales Up.

3.  Experiences are great . . . but, like exclamation points, they can be overdone.

Sometimes one is enough.

4.  The best part of most weeks for me is water aerobics ~ getting exercise, outside, with real people who are connecting and laughing and splashing about in the NOW . . . with NO CELL PHONES in sight.

It doesn’t hurt that the water temperature is 80 degrees.

5.  Want 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.

6. Want an even EASIER recipe for Black Bean Salsa?

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

7.  I thought about going to Zumba this morning.  It’s the thought that counts, right?

Aah . . . that’s better!

One Potato . . . Two Potato January 26, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Simplify Your Life, Vegetarian Recipes.
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IMGP3283bIn our recent effort to shift to a more whole food plant based diet (and lessen our reliance on C~H~E~E~S~E), we’ve put our Slow Cooker to good use this week ~ making Split Pea Soup, Vegetarian Chili, Vegetable Soup with Farro, and . . .

Yesterday, I realized I had 4 onions and 3 pounds of spuds screaming for attention.

I peeled and diced the potatoes and sliced the onions and tossed them in the slow cooker with diced carrot and celery.

I left the slow cooker to do its thing while I flipped through recipes to find a few to suit the spudsy base.  

I selected three ~ a veritable potage à trois!

* Potato Curry
* Tattie Soup
* Hash Browns / Home Fries

Once the potatoes and onions were cooked, I reserved 2/3 of the base for the soup and hash browns, then added a bag of peas, some cooked brown rice, 2 tbsp. of curry powder, and 2 cups of vegetable broth to the slow cooker and set it to simmer, low and slow.

I served the fragrant and hearty Potato Curry for dinner last night with a sprinkling of peanuts and raisins on top.  Yummy!

Today (a chilly day), Tattie Soup will be a hit for lunch and a breeze to fix: heat 4 cups of vegetable broth, add cooked potatoes, onions, carrots, and celery.  Bring the mixture to a simmer. Smash the tatties with a hand masher.  Done!

While the soup is heating, we’ll fry up some home fries for the side.

And we’re not the only ones groaning with delight.  Our freezer is a happy camper, stocked with assorted ready-to-go meals on its shelves ~ pea soup, baked ziti, veggie-farro soup, vegetarian chili, potato curry, and tattie soup.

Aah . . . that’s better! 

10 Fabulous Cabbage Dishes April 12, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Vegetarian Recipes.
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IMGP3122bWhat vegetables do you keep in the kitchen?

Our staples include:

* potatoes and sweet potatoes in the pantry

* onions and tomatoes on the counter

* lettuce in the keeper

* celery, carrots, and cabbage in the crisper

In the freezer, we have a number of other veggies ~ chopped spinach, corn, peas, broccoli, green beans, and sliced bell pepper for pizza.  We seldom buy frozen veggies with sauce.  One exception: Green Giant’s Cauliflower in Cheese Sauce ~ delicious side with a baked potato.

We keep a few canned veggies on hand:  fire roasted tomatoes, beans (black, red, kidney, pinto, garbanzo), and beets.  Canned beets are almost as good as fresh beets without the hassle of dealing with bleeding pink dye.


Now that I’ve whetted your appetite, here’s the main course ~ 10 Fabulous Cabbage Dishes . . . with links to recipes:

1. Cole Slaw ~ raw cabbage contains more anti-oxidants than cooked.  Ideal:  2-3 servings per week in tossed salads or cole slaw.

2. Harvest Soup ~ wonderful on a cold rainy day.  If you don’t eat it all, freeze in 2-3 cup servings for a quick meal down the road.

3. Colcannon ~ delicious served with Irish Soda Bread and Glazed Carrots.

4. Veggie Stir Fries ~ serve over cooked rice or stir into spaghetti noodles for lo mein.

5. Curried Lentil Soup ~ hearty, delicious, nutritious, and budget friendly.

IMGP40896. Caribbean Cabbage Slaw ~ a rather fluid recipe, ingredients and quantities.  Ya mon!

7. Split Pea Soup ~ great served with garlic bread, corn bread, or French bread, warm from the oven.

8. Thai Noodles with Peanut Sauce ~ delicious hot or cold.

9.  Vegetarian Egg Rolls ~ so good fresh out of the frying pan.

10.  What Say You?  What’s YOUR favorite way to serve cabbage?

Aah . . . that’s better!

French Onion Soup November 8, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Vegetarian Recipes.
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In restaurants, French Onion Soup is not always a vegetarian entrée  (despite the vegetarian sounding name).

When we make it at home, we substitute vegetable broth (or vegetarian bouillon cubes) for the beef broth.  Even then, purists would turn their nose up at the anchovies in the Worcestershire Sauce.

We never turn up our noses at this soup.

IMGP2929bFrench Onion Soup

4 onions, sliced thin
2 Tbsp. butter
6-8 cups vegetable broth or bouillon
2 tsp. Worcestershire
Cracked black pepper

Toasted French Bread

Grated Cheese (Swiss, Gruyère, Muenster, or Mozzarella)

Cook onions in butter over medium-low heat for 20-30 minutes until soft and translucent.

Add 6-8 cups vegetable broth or bouillon, Worcestershire Sauce, and fresh cracked black pepper.

Simmer for 20-30 minutes.

Ladle soup into oven proof bowls. Top with a slice of toasted french bread and sprinkle bread with grated cheese or top bread with a slice of cheese (swiss, Gruyère, Muenster, or mozzarella).

Brown under broiler for 3 minutes until cheese is lightly browned and bubbly.

* * * * *

A few months ago, Tammy tossed out a tasty tip:  carmelize onions in a slow cooker . . . whenever you’re Oniondated!

This morning, I used the slow cooker to make Onion Soup.  I cooked the onions on high for an hour before adding the broth and simmering for another hour.

Next time, I might give the onions two hours before adding the broth.

Aah . . . that’s better!

For more vegetarian ideas and recipe links:  A Month of Meatless Meals

* * * * *

Susanna posted the 8 Finalists from the Halloweensie Contest on Tuesday morning . . .  and I’m in the running!

If you want to vote, click this link and Vote for your Favorite!

They’re all in one place . . . so it’s one stop shopping.  No clicking back and forth between blogs.  Simple, right?  You can vote while your onions sweat.

Curried Lentil Soup October 18, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Vegetarian Recipes.
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This fragrant soup is easy, inexpensive, healthy, full of fiber, filling, and  delicious . . . perfect for creating welcoming aromas on a cool rainy day.

Curried Lentil Soup


1 Tbsp. vegetable or olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp. curry powder
4 cups vegetable stock or bouillon
2 cups water
16 oz. can, fire roasted tomatoes
2 cups dried lentils, uncooked
2-3 carrots, chopped
2 ribs of celery, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 c. red wine (optional)
1 c. chopped parsley (optional)

In a large saucepan, heat oil.  Sauté onion and garlic until soft, not browned. Stir in curry powder, sauté 1 minute. Add broth, water, tomatoes, lentils, (wine), carrots, celery, and red pepper.  Simmer covered until lentils are cooked, about 45 minutes. Stir in parsley, simmer 5 minutes.

For an even heartier soup or stew . . . serve over cooked brown rice or pearled barley.

Lentil soup is also delicious with chopped cabbage or spinach stirred in during the final 10 minutes of cooking time.

Serve with fresh baked bread or cornbread.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Quote:  An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than a cabbage, concludes that roses will also make better soup. ~ H. L. Mencken

Related post:  5 Homemade Seasoning & Soup Mixes (Clover & Thyme)

Cranberry Fool October 12, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor, Vegetarian Recipes.
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When I’m in the right frame of mind, I love to cook.

I tend to strike while the oven is hot without worrying overmuch about whether all necessary ingredients are in residence in sufficient quantities.

Often, they are not.

Wikipedia ~ Cranberry (in Public Domain)

That’s where the fun of cooking comes in . . . the art of making do with what we have where we are.  No shopping required.

Now, I will be the first to admit that you cannot make Apple Crisp without tossing apples into the mix.

But what if you have a few apples fast approaching their useful expiration date AND some cranberries that have out-stayed their welcome ~ might they pair well together?

Yes!  Apple Cranberry Crisp . . . a delicious fall dish.

As I peeled and sliced the apples, I realized I had no lemon juice in the house.  Not a drop.  Undeterred, I reached for the orange marmalade and coated the apples with a few tablespoons of the pectin laced preserves.

The marmalade worked its magic to keep the sliced apple from turning brown before heading into the oven.

While the Apple Cranberry Crisp baked, permeating the villa with delicious aromas, I pondered what to do with the other bag of cranberries that had been loitering about the freezer for far too long.

I decided to search the data banks over at Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide and found just the thing . . . Cranberry Sauce made in the oven!

I had most of the ingredients on hand in the correct quantity:

Cranberries ~ check
Sugar ~ check
Orange juice ~ check
Orange zest ~ check

Brandy ~ nope, not a drop of brandy to be found.
I know, I checked.

Call me a Cranberry Fool if you will . . . I substituted Maple Mist ~ a maple liqueur which is a more potent potable than its next-of-kin, maple syrup.

Best. Cranberry. Sauce. EVER.  Thanks, Greg!

The Apple Cranberry Crisp wasn’t half bad either . . . but it is half eaten:

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related recipes:  Cranberry Fool (Taste of Home) * Cranberry Fool (Neo Homesteading) * Christmas Cranberry Fool (One Big Bite) ~ a “fool” is a dessert made by folding pureed fruit (here, cranberry sauce)  into whipped cream.

Local Seasonal Cuisine October 4, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Vegetarian Recipes.
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IMGP1603cWhen we eat locally, we promote the local economy, support local farmers, and get in tune with the seasons.

Plus, the food we eat is fresher since it hasn’t flown halfway around the world.

What’s in season in Florida right now?

Tons of great stuff, from A to Z:

Avocados, Bananas, Beans, Beets, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Collards, Cucumbers, Endive, Escarole, Green Onions, Guava, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Melons, Mustard, Navels, Oriental Greens, Papaya, Peppers, Pumpkins, Radishes, Salad Greens, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Sweet Corn, Sweet Potatoes, Tangelos, Tangerines, Tomatoes, Turnips, Winter Squash, Yellow Squash, Zucchini.

Broccoli Raisin Salad

1 head fresh broccoli (or 16 oz. frozen broccoli florets)
1 cup raisins
1/4 cup thinly sliced (or diced) onion
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup Miracle Whip salad dressing or mayonnaise
2 tsp. vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)

Blanche broccoli florets and chill in an ice bath to preserve color.  Drain and chill in large mixing bowl.  Add raisins.

Combine remaining ingredients and whisk together.  Pour dressing over the broccoli mixture.  Stir to combine and coat vegetables and raisins.

Refrigerate, covered, for several hours to let flavors meld.  Stir before serving.

The dressing is also delicious on Cole Slaw or Carrot-Raisin Slaw.   If doubling the recipe, make only 1 1/2 times the amount of dressing.

Bacon lovers: Cook 4 slices bacon until crisp. Crumble and sprinkle over sald just before serving.

Bonus Recipes:   Savory Stuffed Sweet Potatoes (Sustainable Cooking)
Cream of Potato Soup with Roasted Garlic (Rufus’ Food & Spirits Guide)

Related posts:  Join a C.S.A. * A Trip to the Farmer’s Market *10 Ways to Fiber Up Your Diet Great Nutrition Starts On Your Plate *A Month of Meatless Meals * Top Ten Reasons to Become A Vegetarian  (AgriGirl) * How to Save On Your Grocery Bill (Real Simple)


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