Monday, July 7, 2014

Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Biscuits

I recently had brunch at Lovin' Oven in Frenchtown, NJ. On my plate was the most delicious grilled sweet potato biscuit.  It got me thinking yesterday that a homemade biscuit would be well worth the investment of time.  And I was right. It makes me happy when I know, and can pronounce, every ingredient that I'm ingesting. Plus, I love the feel of working dough in my hands. 

Last night I sliced one right out of the oven and used it as a bun for my Boca burger. I had a few left over so this morning I heated one and dressed it up with a pat of butter and a drizzle of honey. It was a delicious way to start my day.  I found the recipe at A Dash of Soul.

Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Biscuits
(yields 8)

  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 T. sugar
  • ¼ t. baking soda
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • 6 T. cold butter
  • 1 c. cooked sweet potato flesh
  • 1 c. buttermilk (or plain milk combined with a couple teaspoons of vinegar)
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Pulse together the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda in a food processor.
  3. Cut the butter into cubes then add it to the food processor, pulsing until the butter is in pea sized pieces.
  4. Remove the mixture to a bowl and set aside.
  5. Puree the buttermilk and sweet potato in the food processor until completely smooth.
  6. Stir in the buttermilk/sweet potato mixture into the dry ingredients in the bowl, mixing only a few times JUST until it starts to become a dough.
  7. Liberally flour your hands and a cutting board and gently pat the dough out flat.
  8. Fold the dough over on itself and pat flat 4 or 5 times (this will help give you flaky layers but you don’t want to use a rolling pin or be too rough flattening the dough).
  9. Pat the dough out to about 1½” thickness. Use a biscuit cutter to cut 8 biscuits from the dough.
  10. Grease a baking sheet and arrange the biscuits so that they are all slightly touching each other.
  11. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the biscuits are a nice golden brown on the top and bottom.
  12. Serve warm!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Oatmeal Pancakes

There are some morning meals that define the destiny of your day. This stack of oatmeal pancakes was just such a thing. From the first bite, I knew I would be content for the rest of the day. I found this recipe in Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. Who would think that something as simple as an oatmeal pancake could bring such comfort? I think the tanginess of the buttermilk, the texture of the oats, the subtle sweetness of the maple and vanilla, and the lightness of the pancake made it one spectacular dish. And since this was a laid back holiday weekend, I had plenty of time to savor it all. I opted to toss in some fresh blueberries for an extra treat. Normally, I don't keep buttermilk in the house but I just so happened to have it on hand for another recipe. After having these oatmeal pancakes, buttermilk is going on my shopping list every week.

Oatmeal Pancakes
(makes fourteen 4 inch pancakes)

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons brown sugar or maple syrup
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Stir the oats and buttermilk together and let stand for 20 minutes. Beat the eggs with the vanilla, sugar and oil, then stir in to the soaked oats. Combine the dry ingredients and add them to the oat mixture as well. For each pancake, drop 1/4 cup batter onto a heated griddle or skillet, with a little melted butter, and cook over medium heat until the tops are covered with holes. Turn the cakes over and cook the second side. Because of the moisture in this batter, the cakes need to be cooked slowly but turn them only once.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Quick and Hearty Chili

I'm continuing on with the recipes from Vegan Diner. Tonight I made the Quick and Hearty Chili served over a bed of rice and side of cornbread. I was not disappointed! I was excited to use my Trader Joe's beef-less ground beef and it lent itself perfectly to this dish. I imagine this as a great "go to" dish in the cooler weather when you're having a craving for a hearty dish that won't take a lot of time. This recipe makes quite a bit of chili so next time I might make it on a Sunday, eat some, freeze some and divide the remainder of it for lunch portions throughout the week. This dish is packed with protein too!

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 bell pepper, any color, finely chopped
2 (15.5 ounces) cans kidney or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15.5 ounces) can tomato puree or diced tomatoes pureed
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon dark cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 cup TVP or TSP granules

In a large saucepan, add olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are starting to soften and turn golden, about 5-6 minutes. Add the bell pepper and cook, stirring, for another 3 minutes.

Add 1 1/2 cups water and reduce the heat to medium low *. Add the beans, tomato puree, soy sauce, chili powder, cocoa, cumin, oregano, salt and paprika, stirring well. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Stir in the TVP and reduce heat to low.

Let the chili simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Adjust the seasonings to taste and serve.

*Side notes: I opted to use Trader Joe's Beef-less ground beef in place of TVP or TSP. Using this, I didn't need to add 1 1/2 cups water.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Banana Biscuits

I've recently fallen in love with Julie Hasson's Vegan Diner. There's not a bad recipe in the whole bunch. As I work my way through it, I decided to start with Banana Biscuits. It was so refreshing to realize that I had all the ingredients at my fingertips. Recently I started buying Vanilla Almond Breeze as an alternative to milk for my morning bowl of cereal. I think the Almond Breeze really contributes to the slight sweetness of the biscuit. Banana Biscuits are more dense like a scone. I think extra things could be added if you're feeling creative: walnuts, mini chocolate chips, etc. The warm baked banana chunks, cinnamon and sugar really make this biscuit outstanding! As a side note, I made my batch with 1 cup of white flour and 1 cup of whole wheat flour. They turned out delicious.

When you mix everything together, the dough should look like this:

Place 9 generous scoops on a parchment lined baking sheet, dust them with cinnamon and sugar, pop these little gems in the oven and let them bake:

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 Tablespoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup almond milk or soy milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup canola oil
1 banana, cut in to quarters lengthwise and sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper

In large bowl, sift together flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt.

Add the milk, oil, vanilla and banana to the flour mix and stir until the mixture comes together and is thick and sticky. Scoop 9 rounded balls of dough on to the prepared baking sheet.

In a small cup, mix sugar and cinnamon. Dust the top of the biscuits.

Bake in preheated oven until lightly browned for 20 minutes. Cool on a baking rack.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Crispy Cheddar Cheese Pita Triangles

It's been so long since I've been here. This blog has been grossly neglected for some time now. Partly because I keep falling off the vegetable wagon and partly because life has been very different for me in the past 6 months. I recently came across a blog where the blogger was writing about his meatless experiment for one week. That seemed reasonable to me. When I took this project on, I boldly declared that I would go without meat for one whole year. Actually, for me, going meatless is something to be taken one meal at a time. Going meatless takes some real self-discipline especially when you smell all the grills firing up in the neighborhood. Add on to that the fact that I still have my hands in meat every night when I prepare meals for the rest of the family. One thing I'm learning is to be prepared. If I plan my personal meatless menu for the upcoming week and stick to it, I do much better. I haven't been 100% successful with this to date, but I am committed to being persistent until going meatless is as simple as breathing.

Today, my husband took the day off. It's a treat to have him home at lunch. We took a nice walk in to our little town. Since it's really getting chilly here, I thought Cream of Tomato soup would be a perfect thing for lunch. Since I love having something to dip in to my soup, I made some Crispy Cheddar Cheese Pita Triangles. And they were the perfect accompaniment. Pita bread is a wonderful and versatile thing to work with. You can stuff it with peanut butter and sliced apples. You can fill it with scrambled eggs and roasted veggies. You can toast it up with endless toppings. Later this week I'm going to try toasting the pita triangles in the oven with pesto, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese.

Crispy Cheddar Cheese Pita Triangles
One large piece of pita
grated cheddar cheese
sea salt
black pepper
Parmesan cheese

1. Take one large piece of pita and carefully slice it through the middle to give you 2 pieces of pita. Cut each half in to 4 triangles.

2. Line a cookie sheet with foil. Spread the pita triangles on the foil. Before topping each pita, spray each one lightly with some cooking oil spray. Top each pita with grated cheddar cheese, sea salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese.

3. Place the pita triangles on the top oven rack and set to broil. Watch carefully and remove from oven when the cheese is brown and bubbly.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Today I want to write about a beautiful orange variety of cauliflower that I recently stumbled upon. There I was minding my business in the produce aisle looking for my usual head of white cauliflower when I suddenly notice Fiestaflower right next to my old standby. It was so lush and gorgeous in all of its orange glory. How could I not purchase it? I think about cauliflower and I have to smile. When I was growing up I don't remember my mother making cauliflower and if she ever did, it was probably boiled to hell and served up next to the broiled steak. But now that I'm a big girl, I've discovered the joy of roasting veggies. Simply take a handful of your favorites, toss them in olive oil, season them with garlic, sea salt and pepper and toss them in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes. The flavors are amazing and no veggies were killed in the submersion of boiling water. Yesterday I roasted my Fiestaflower with some asparagus and cherry tomatoes and served it with some barbecued tofu for lunch. The Fiestaflower got even deeper in its color as it was roasted.

If you're curious, like I was, about how the cauliflower got its color, I've done the Google search for you. There is no trick of the dye here. It's naturally orange, more healthy for you than its white counterpart AND it looks pretty on your plate during this time of the year! So go ahead and try it if you should happen to find it at your local supermarket or Farmers Market.

Orange cauliflower voluntarily showed up in a Canadian farmer's field nearly 30 years ago. Fiestaflower™ has 25 times more vitamin A than white cauliflower and contains so much beta-carotene it actually causes the cauliflower to take on the orange color. Orange cauliflower contains approximately 320 micrograms of beta-carotene per 100 grams making it much more nutritious than the traditional white cauliflower.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Peanut Butter Pie

We take our sweets very seriously around here. This is one hell of a good pie. Comforting and satisfying. And so ridiculously easy to throw together. You store it in the freezer and it's much better than grabbing for the gallon of ice cream. No baking required either! The bonus here is that I got to use my microplaner to shave the leftover Hershey bar from Kendall's Halloween bag.

Peanut Butter Pie

1/2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 (16 ounce) package frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (9 inch) prepared cookie crust (I used the oreo crust found in the baking aisle)

Beat together cream cheese and confectioners' sugar. Mix in peanut butter and milk. Beat until smooth. Fold in whipped topping.
Spoon into pie shell, add some chocolate shavings or broken Reeses PB cups) on top,
cover, and freeze until firm.
Eat a slice, forget about the calories and go back for seconds.