Snack bars revisited – this time with Millet!

31 01 2012

Do other people who blog about the food they make ever feel like “hey, sometimes I wanna revisit stuff I made a while ago and I don’t wanna feel bad about that”?

I made these ages ago and I really loved how complex the flavour was, you were hit with sweetness and bitterness from the agave and the coffee, the molasses adds a nice depth of flavour and then… THEN you taste some chocolate. It’s like a diversity party in your mouth.

Last time I made these with less sauce and with amaranth. It was different this time but it was a good kind of different. (Let’s revisit the diversity party idea, again.)

Millet Snack Bars

1 cup coffee

3 Tbsp molasses

3 Tbsp agave nectar

1 tsp vanilla

3 Tbsp cocoa powder

3/4 cup peanut butter

2 cups puffed millet

1/2 cup almonds, chopped or slivered

1/2 cup pecans, chopped

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut

1 cup dried cranberries

Prepare a 9″ x 9″ pan, either greasing it or lining it with parchment paper. I normally go with greasing the pan because folding parchment paper is a lot like work.

Chop pecans and almonds, then place in a large bowl – I didn’t toast like I did last time. Measure all other dry ingredients (except cocoa powder) into the bowl with chopped nuts: puffed millet, unsweetened coconut, and cranberries.

Heat coffee in a saucepan on medium-high heat in order reduce. You want to have roughly 1/3 cup coffee after reducing. Remove from heat and add molasses, honey, vanilla, cocoa, and peanut butter, stirring until mixed.

Pour coffee-peanut-butter mixture over millet-nuts-n-coconut mixture, stir until all the dry ingredients are lightly coated.

Scoop mixture from saucepan into 9″ x 9″ pan, pressing bar mixture firmly into pan. Place in fridge or freezer and allow to set for at least an hour before cutting into bars and trasferring to an air tight container and storing in the fridge.

Beware: these do not travel well because they have to stay cold, but they are delicious and totally worth having to keep them at home and never share them with your work colleagues. Totally worth it.

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Granola you could thrive on

23 01 2012

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I used to make granola religiously and then I started eating oatmeal.  I’m growing tired of oatmeal and looking for something new, something crunch, something satisfying.  So I made some granola.

Looking at a bunch of recipes that I have, I pulled my favorite parts together and tried something new.  Something healthier, fruitier, and downright protein-i-er.

My favorite thing about this granola is cooking it at a low temperature.  It’s so much more forgiving!

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My Newest Granola Creation

1 cup oats

1/2 cup almonds, chopped

1/2 cup protein powder

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds (optional)

1/2 cup ground flaxseed

1/2 cup unsweeted coconut

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup apple, peeled and chopped

1/4 cup agave nectar

1/3 cup apple sauce

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 250ºF.  Prepare 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Mix all the dry ingredients, stir until everything is evenly combined.  Measure wet ingredients into bowl full of dry ingredients.  Stir until combined, ensuring that all the oats, flax, and protein have been been moistened.  The resulting mixture should be thick and moist, not runny.

Divide the granola between two baking sheets and spread thin.  Bake for at least an hour or until the granola seems mostly dry.  This recipe does not require you to stir the granola during the process, although you can stir it, stirring will break up the granola into smaller bits.

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Catastrophic Waffles

9 01 2012

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When I moved to the east coast, my brother bought me a waffle maker.  It was amazing, we had top notch waffles and they tasted delicious.  Then one day the waffle maker decided to hate me and never let go of the waffles I tried to cook.

I read the web sites and tried the tricks to not have sticky waffles.  Nothing worked.

For a year (or more), my waffle maker has been stashed in the cupboard, silently repenting for all it’s sins.  Yesterday I brought the beast into daylight to try out  Alicia Silverstone’s rice waffles from The Kind Diet.  I had hoped that maybe bygones could be bygones and everything would turn out waffalicious.

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I was mistaken.  The carnage was quite severe.

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This is a small sample of the wreckage, a tasty-tasty piece of wreckage.

So, although my waffle maker still hates me, the recipe is delicious.  The miso is not over powering and could easily allow these waffles to sway to the sweeter side of life, or remain on the veggie side.  (At the bottom you can see my attempt at salvaging the batter for pancakes – it kinda worked.)

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Rice Waffles

2 cups cooked brown rice (I used black rice)

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 Tbsp miso paste

Get your waffle iron hot because this batter will take you two seconds to get ready.

Stuff everything into a food processor and whiz it around.

Cook waffles as per your waffle makers instructions.

*Note: Alicia Silverstone’s recipe actually says to just mix these things together in a bowl, but I like processing my food… which could be part of the reason why my waffle maker hates me.

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Magic Balls

14 10 2011

And by Magic Balls, I mean they’re vegan, meat-ish, and tasty.

I made these a day ahead so that I could test drive them before actually serving to guests.  And by test drive, I mean that I put some on a plate and made SO eat them first.  He liked them, therefore they passed the test.

Sautéed and ready to go, these magic balls waited over night in the fridge, before being baked to perfection in the oven.  And then smothered in mushroom gravy (recipe to come).  You gotta love a dish that allows you to make it ahead.  As an aside, I basically made everything for my Thanks Giving dinner in the days before the actual dinner.  The day I hosted my feast, I showed up home at 5:15 from a really long bike ride, turned on the over, had a quick shower (during which time the oven got hot), put everything in the oven, got ready, and ZAMMO! dinner was ready in a flash.  Then, once dinner was out of the oven, I jammed the pumpkin filling into my pre-made crust and got that thing baking while we were eating.

Honestly, I felt like Martha Stewart for how organized I was and how smoothly everything went.

Walnut Tofu Balls

6 cloves garlic, peeled

1 1/2 cups oats

1 cup raw walnuts, whole or in pieces

1/3 cup sunflower seeds

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp pepper

2 tsp ground sage

2 tsp cumin

dash cayenne pepper

1/2 cup wheat germ

2 Tbsp arrowroot powder

1 pkg firm tofu (280 g)

3 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Grab your food processor.  Combine garlic, oats, nuts, sunflower seeds, and dry spices in the food processor.  Whizz around until mixture is medium-fine.

Add wheat germ and arrowroot flour, and pulse a few times to blend.

Add the tofu and blend.  Gradually add 1 tablespoon of oil and the balsamic vinegar.  Blend just long enough to evenly distribute the ingredients, then taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.

Form the mixture into balls, links, or patties and brown them in a sauté pan over medium heat in the remaining 2 Tbsp of oil.  Drain on paper towels.  Transfer them to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes,.

*Recipe originally from The Veganopolis Cookbook by David Stowell and George Black





Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

14 10 2011

Growing up, my mom used to make these enormous cinnamon buns.  In the morning, we’d cut them in half, cover them in butter and sear them in a cast iron skillet.  Growing up, I hated breakfast and every morning it was a chore for my mother to figure out what I was willing to eat.

When there were cinnamon buns available, it was never a chore to get me to eat breakfast.

This past weekend some friends were hosting lunch.  I brought this festive rendition of a classic mom dish to share.  I didn’t hear any complaints, just a lot of hmmmms.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

2 1/4 tsp yeast (1 pkg), regular not fast acting

1/2 cup lukewarm water

1 cup canned pumpkin

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup sugar

3 Tbsp Earth Balance or coconut oil

3 to 3 1/2 cups flour (I used whole wheat)

3 Tbsp melted Earth Balance or coconut oil

3 – 6 Tbsp cinnamon (I ♥ cinnamon!)

1/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup raw or brown sugar

6 Tbsp melted Earth Balance or coconut oil

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts

Mix the yeast with the water.  Allow to stand for 5 minutes.  Mix again.  If you have a Proof option on your oven, use it to get your yeast going.

Beat pumpkin, salt, sugar, and Earth Balance into yeast.  Beat and work in enough flour to form a soft dough.  Ad more flour if necessary.

Turn out on a floured board.  Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.

Place in a large bowl and cover with a damp cloth.  Let the dough rise in a warm place until it has more than doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.  Not sure where you should let the dough rise?  In the oven on the proof setting or in the oven with the light on are two really great places.

Punch the dough down and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.  Roll out on a floured surface to form a 9 x 14 rectangle.

Brush the dough with the melted Earth Balance.  Mix the sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle evenly over the surface of the dough.  I LOVE cinnamon and normally go overboard, using 6 or more tablespoons but that’s just me and that’s how I roll.

Roll up the dough lengthwise to form a long rope.  Slice into 12 equal pieces to form the buns.

Mix the brown sugar and melted Earth Balance together.  Spread over the bottom of a 10 inch cast iron skillet or ceramic pan.  Sprinkle pecans evenly over the bottom.  Arrange the buns in the skillet about equal distance from each other.

Redampen the cloth, cover the buns, and allow them to rise in a warm place – not the oven – until proofed, 30 – 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Bake the buns until golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Invert a large plate over the pan.  Reverse the pan and plate so that the rolls will come out in a single cake, covered with syrup and nuts.





Borscht Salad

29 09 2011

Maybe this is stating the obvious but I’m not a traditionalist.  Don’t get me wrong, I love borscht – it’s a delicious kind of soup – but sometimes it’s not soup that you wanna have for dinner.

I wanted to enjoy the delicious flavours of borscht but I wanted to enjoy something crunchy, so I made this salad.

Borscht Salad

1/2 cup dried quinoa, cooked in 1 cup water

1 cup diced beets, steamed

1/4 cup fresh dill

1 pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed

2 Tbsp diced onion

salt & pepper to taste

olive oil to taste

Cook your quinoa: If you’ve never cooked quinoa here’s a quick how-to.  Rinse your quinoa.  Put quinoa in a pot with water and bring to a boil.  Once the quinoa comes to a boil, turn the heat to low (very low heat) and place a lid on the pot.  Allow to cook for 10 – 15 minutes and then remove from heat.

Steam your diced beets: I recommend steaming the beets for 5 minutes.  This is enough time to heat the beets through and soften them but not make the beets squishy.

Mix everything but the oil into the salad, the oil gets added just before serving.

Ready to eat?  Plate your salad, add a splash of olive oil on top, and then sit down and enjoy.

Also, if you’re digging into falls bounty, you might also like these recipes:

Rustic Cabbage Soup
Roasted Beet Tofu Burgers

Beet Chips!





Squash Bars

26 09 2011

I’m a girl with a one track mind.

Squash.  Squash.  Squash.

Fall is hear and we have a bounty of good stuff to eat.  You can count on more carrot recipes, but at the moment I’ve squash coming out of every container in my fridge.

In effort to use the squash productively and to honour the women of yesteryear who diligently made bars of goodness, I offer Squash Bars.

Squash Bars

1  1/2 cups diced cooked squash

1/2 cup apple sauce

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp pumpkin or gingerbread spice

1  3/4 cups flour (your choice, get creative: spelt, buckwheat, oat, Oh MY!)

1/2 cup ground nuts (I used pecans)

1/2 cup wheat germ

2 Tbsp arrowroot flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 – 1/2 tsp Stevia

1/3 cup margarine or Earth Balance

2 Tbsp water

Preheat oven to 400ºF.  Grease (spray) a 9 x 9 baking pan.

Simmer squash, apple sauce, lemon juice, vanilla and seasoning in a small saucepan over low heat for 10 minutes.  You can purrée for a smooth filling or leave it as is for a filling you can bite into.

Wile the filling is cooking, combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl.  Add margarine and water.  Mix to a crumbly dough, getting hands messy and using your fingers.

Press half the dough in the pan.  Spread the squash filling evenly over the dough.  Sprinkle the remaining dough over the filling to completely cover it.

Bake until lightly browned, 20 – 25 minutes.  Let cool thoroughly and cut into squares.