I love sprinkling granola over the top of my yogurt in the morning or as an afternoon snack. I usually eat plain yogurt with fruit, so the added sweetness of the granola helps take the ‘bite’ out of my unsweetened yogurt. The problem I was having is this… Most granolas purchased in the store are filled with more oil and sugars that I prefer, not to mention they are usually fairly pricy! So, I tackled it myself.
Since the weather is cool, I tend to gravitate toward warm, cozy soups.The warmth of this soup is intensified with the deep flavors of the curried brown butter and spicy kick from the curry and red pepper flakes. It’s amazingly delicious and I could not recommend it more. Even people who aren’t big lentil or curry fans found this soup tasty.
My slight modifications and recommendations:
I used whatever lentils I had on hand (brownish). You don’t need to go out of your way to get green lentils unless you just want to.
I didn’t use the coconut milk. I didn’t think it needed it, so I subbed a bit more broth in it’s place.
Prep time: 5 min – Cook time: 45 min. Serves 4 to 6
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
6 cups good-tasting vegetable broth or water
1 1/2 cups green (or any color) lentils
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon Indian curry powder
Fine-grain sea salt
1 bunch fresh chives, minced (optional)
Combine the 2 tablespoons butter, onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a large soup pot over medium heat, stirring regularly, until the onions soften, a couple minutes. Add the vegetable broth and lentils and simmer, covered, until the lentils are tender. This usually takes 20 to 30 minutes, but can take as long as 50 minutes.
In the meantime, warm the 3 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and let it brown. When it starts to smell nutty and fragrant, stir in the curry powder and sauté until the spices are fragrant, less than a minute. When the lentils are finished cooking, remove from the heat, stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt, and puree with an immersion blender. You can leave the soup a bit chunky if you like, or puree until it is perfectly smooth.
Stir in the spiced butter, taste, and add more salt, if needed, typically a couple of teaspoons if you used water instead of a salted broth. Serve drizzled sprinkled with chives and crusty bread or naan.
These are some of the yummiest and addicting mashed sweet potatoes/yams ever! With a great blend of flavors – sweet potato, pineapple and coconut milk, they are definitely our new Thanksgiving tradition.
I broke down and tried the Vegan Peanut Butter Cookie recipe from the fabulous blog 101 Cookbooks. They turned out amazing. My husband didn’t even know they were vegan until after he ate one and I told him. He just looked at me and said, “uh uh!” So there you have it… The “Uh uh, these can’t be vegan peanut butter cookies”.
Here are all my ingredients ready to go. I was a bit worried because I was using extra virgin olive oil, which has a stronger flavor than just regular olive oil and also I used white whole wheat, contrary to the flours suggested in the recipe. But I have no regrets. They taste fabulous.
They were very simple to make and my favorite part was licking the spoon with absolutely no fear that I might get salmonella poisoning from raw eggs in the batter.
Peanut Butter Cookies
Spelt flour bakes into a slightly darker cookie (photo), whole wheat pastry flour is slightly blonder – more traditional in appearance in the end. Finish the cookies with chopped nuts or a sprinkling of flaky salt. I’d also recommend seeking out a peanut butter that is well combined, and not super-oily (extra slick) looking – to avoid problems with the cookie batter.
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour, spelt flour, or unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 cup organic, chunky natural peanut butter
1 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Place racks in the top third.
In a medium mixing bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. in a separate larger bowl combine the peanut butter, maple syrup, olive oil, and vanilla. Stir until combined. Pour the flour mixture over the peanut butter mixture and stir until barely combined – still a bit dusty looking. Let sit for five minutes, give one more quick stir, just a stroke or two. Now drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Press down on each one gently with the back of a fork. It’s a loose batter, so if you’re set on doing criss-crosses, go ahead and chill the batter for an hour or so before this step. Bake for 10, maybe 11 minutes – but don’t over bake or they will be dry. Let cool five minutes and transfer to a cooling rack.
Just a quick peek in to give a quick review of Cafe Sunflower… I have some vegan peanut butter cookies coming soon, too. So, check back in the next few days.
I went to Cafe Sunflower in the Buckhead area of Atlanta. Per usual, I had the most difficult time deciding what to order. At the recommendation of the waitress, I got the Orzo Eggplant Lasagna (no noodles). It was layers of baked portabella mushroom, eggplant, zucchini, oven roasted red pepper, orzo pasta and tofu ricotta. Served over roasted shallot marinara and topped with grilled asparagus. Plus, I ordered a Mixed Green Salad with Basalmic dressing and a Pomegranate Lemonade.
It was okay, but I wasn’t thrilled. The mixed green salad was very large with basalmic dressing and was nice but nothing to write home about. The Lasagna had good flavor but it tasted a bit heavy/greasy for my tastes. The best part was the asparagus on top. It was very pretty though, with layered vegetables and no noodles. And the the Pomegranate Lemonade was…. Yum.
The place was decorated well and atmosphere was nice. And, of course, the presentation was good with all the layers of veggies. Thankfully it was on the company’s tab because the bill was pretty high, in my opinion, for the meal I had. ($31)
I then went just two blocks down the street to my favorite Cafe Intermezzo for coffee and dessert. I was pretty full from dinner, so I decided to take it to go. Since it was so warm out, I got an iced coffee and a light berry cake. I ate them once I got back in my room.
A perfectly delectable dinner on a hot summer evening, a Tropical Chickenless Sandwich with Sweet Potato Fries on the side.
I have to say, I shamelessly took the concept from the Veggie Grill in Irvine. You may recall I talked about it a few posts back. I think mine is just as good or even better. I kept eating even though I was almost stuffed to the gills. I also got rave reviews from my husband about how the flavors complimented each other so well. I can’t wait to make it again!
Tropical Chickenless Sandwich:
Faux Chicken Breast (I used “Veat”)
Herb Slab Bread, cut for sandwiches (mine was from Acme Bread Co)
Papaya Salsa (see recipe below)
- Cook faux chicken according to package directions. - Spread papaya salsa on one side of the bread and on faux chicken. - Place spinach on chicken and then layer thin slices of red onion, tomato ,mango, and avocado on top. - Drizzle a little more salsa on top for added flavor. - Serve with baked sweet potato fries. (Mine were from Trader Joe’s in the frozen food section)
2 Papayas (not quite ripe)
1/4 Red Onion
1/2 Jalapeno Pepper, seeded
1/2 bunch, Cilantro
Salt & Pepper, to taste
- Put all ingredients in a food processor and process until well combined. - Taste and add more ingredients to your own taste preferences.
I can’t take credit for this one. I got the idea from my “Green” Domino Issue for a few raw vegan recipes that looked pretty good. Unlike many raw vegan recipes that I’ve seen, this one didn’t require many abnormal ingredients, so I tried it:
I’m desperately wanting to try my hand at some raw vegan recipes. I’m not vegan and I’m definitely not ‘raw’ vegan, but after seeing these recipes and the gorgeous pictures that accompanied them, I now have “the bug”.
Ideally, I want to try to get a group of friends together to have a dinner party. I know my husband won’t be interested, so it will have to be a group of my more adventurous foodie girl friends for “Girls’ Night Raw Dinner Party” (but I need a much more interesting name than that for it, of course).
Since the dishes can sometimes be time consuming and/or pricy, ideally, I’d like everyone to find a recipe and bring one dish to make a complete meal without putting all the burden on one person (i.e, me) especially since none of my friends have had any experience with raw foods.
Now, I just need to plan it and find the girls who are willing to try. I’m open to suggestions, tried and true recipes, or anything else you may be interested in providing me.
I made the best dinner for myself tonight (yes, I’m proud of me!). I went to the grocery store to buy all my ingredients for a Christmas Brunch I’m co-hosting on Saturday. I went tonight so I wouldn’t have to fight crowds this weekend which are bound to be thick.
Though the word “vegetable” is the root of “vegetarian”, me eating lots of vegetables isn’t always the case and I was feeling inspired by a Vegetarian Times magazine article about this very fact. So, as I leisurely browsed the produce section, I got the idea to try making something with acorn squash. Also, as you can see from my previous post, I just recently had an acorn squash main dish at Lark Creek, and I figured it couldn’t be that hard. It’s hearty enough to be a main dish for me and since my husband was working overtime, he wouldn’t have to eat any (he doesn’t like squash).
So, here’s what I made. It’s really an amazing flavor. I was very impressed with it. The sweet maple syrup mixed with a bit of tang from the balsamic and the undertones of sage and hazelnuts… Ahh… Perfect for a cold night. (You might need to play with the proportions since I didn’t measure anything. I rarely do.)
So I went a little crazy with the cranberry sauce this Thanksgiving. I had two different parties to go to in the Thanksgiving season and I efficiently decided to make homemade cranberry sauce for both. Smart, eh? Well, it would have been smarter had I had a concept of how much to make.
I bought 8 – yes eight – bags of fresh cranberries. I used 7 of the bags and made a MASSIVE batch of sauce. It was delicious. And everyone loved it at both of my parties. And then I had a bunch leftover. So, I got creative. Me and my cranberry sauce, persimmons, apples, and a package of agar agar. It turned out delicious and with the different weights of the ingredients, it was slightly layered which would look great in a pretty mold. Let me see if I can remember what I did…