Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cranberry Tea Bread

One of my favorite holiday recipes to share with friends and family, baked up and wrapped in paper, is Cranberry Tea Bread. Snuggled in a basket with homemade jam, it makes for a lovely holiday tradition. Not too sweet, it pairs lovingly with tea or coffee.

I can't take credit for this recipe, it came to me a few years ago from Whole Living Magazine.

Cranberry Tea Bread

1/4 cup oil, plus more for pan
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup flour, plus more for pan
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cardamom (or cinnamon)
3/4 cup vanilla yogurt (or two smashed bananas or applesauce)
2 large eggs (or egg replacer)
1 cup frozen whole cranberries
1/4 cup crystallized ginger
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour loaf pan. Toast oats on cookie sheet until browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer to blender and grind until fine. Place oats in a bowl, and mix with flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, salt and cardamom.
In a seperate bowl, mix yogurt, oil, eggs, whisk until combined. Make a well in the dry ingredients and combine wet with dry. Fold in cranberries.
Pour into loaf pan and smooth top with spatula. Bake until toothpick comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Check after 30 minutes and tent with aluminum foil if browning too quickly. Cool 10 minutes in pan, separate from pain with spatula, cool on rack.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Vegan Pumpkin Paella

Are you tired of pumpkin recipes yet? I'm not!

I took a bit of leftover pumpkin sauce from my enchilada recipe and made a lovely vegan paella. (Actually, Mr. Garrett is credited with this little gem of an idea.) I suppose you could add in vegan chicken strips or seitan, but as we didn't have any on hand, we did without.

Vegan Pumpkin Paella

  • 1 cup pumpkin enchilada sauce
  • 1.5 to 2 cups veggie broth (I know this sounds like a lot of liquid, but the pumpkin thickens as it cooks, use more as needed)
  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1 each, onion and tomoto, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large pan, saute 2 tbsp olive oil, onion, celery, garlic and rice, until the rice starts to get toasted and the onion is soft. Add in the rest of the ingredients and cook until liquid is absorbed, and rice is soft, about 20-30 minutes.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Vegan Pumpkin Enchiladas

Born of the wonderful bounty of pumpkin puree I had in my freezer, these pumpkin enchiladas had all my meat-loving friends and family *almost* in tears. Hands-down the best enchiladas I've made, ever. Don't be put-off by the strange ingredients, they're completely, freakin' awesome.

Pumpkin Enchiladas


2 cups unseasoned pumpkin puree, fresh or canned
1 cup water
1 cup veggie broth
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp pepper
1 seeded jalepeno
3 cloves of garlic
handful of fresh cilantro

Puree all ingredients in the blender until smooth.

For the filling

4 red potatoes, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 cup green beans, ends cut off and chopped
5 button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 each, orange and red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup corn kernels (frozen works nicely)

Saute the potatoes 5 minutes in olive oil, stirring occasionally. Add in onion and mushrooms, cook another 3 minutes. Add in bell pepper and corn, continue to cook for another 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Cover the bottom of a 9 X 13 pan with pumpkin sauce. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat corn tortillas (the recipe makes about a dozen or so) to prevent cracking while handling ( I do this over my gas burner for a few seconds).

Fill each torilla with a small amount of filling and roll. Place seam-side-down in the pan and continue to roll tortillas until the pan is filled. Cover with a bit more sauce (not too much or it will all be soggy) and bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.

Top with salsa, vegan sour cream and fresh sliced green onions.

I served ours with my "Santa Monica Pilaf" that used a mix of couscous, lentils, rice and quinoa
that was cooked with a bit of garlic and olive oil and topped with cilantro. I'll post that recipe at a later date!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Roasted Bell Pepper and Tomato Pasta Sauce

Today I made a quick pasta sauce, using ingredients I had on hand. I can't tell you how delightful it smells. At first I couldn't figure out what taste it was missing, and then I hit on it: bell pepper. So friends, here is my pasta recipe! We had it with veggie meatballs and whole wheat spaghetti.

2 cans stewed tomatoes with basil and oregano

2 cloves garlic

2 leaves fresh sage

2 tbsp. fresh rosemary

2 tbsp. fresh thyme

1/8 cup olive oil

1/4 cup roasted red and yellow bell pepper (I had some in a jar, but you can easily make your own)

Combine all ingredients, except olive oil, in a blender and blend until smooth.

Heat olive oil in a sauce pan and add in your blended ingredients. Simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve warm with your favorite pasta!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Marinated Tofu - Great Sandwich Filling!

This post is for my friend, who has been encouraged to limit the animal protein in his diet, due to a medical condition. It can be difficult, at first, to know what to do with tofu. But this recipe makes great sandwich filling. Just layer slices with your favorite toppings like lettuce, tomato, sprouts and avocado, and enjoy!

Marinated Tofu

1 block extra firm tofu, drained and sliced

Your favorite teriyaki sauce

Green onion

Layer slices in a shallow pan with sides and top generously with teriyaki sauce and sliced green onion. Let marinate for 30 minutes then turn each slice over. Marinate for another 30 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees until the slices are browned (20-30 minutes) turning once halfway through. Cool thoroughly and then store in the refrigerator, in a covered dish, until ready to use.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Tofu Tacos

I've never met a meat lover that didn't love my tofu tacos! You can spice it up or down, depending on your heat tolerance. It also makes a good burrito filling. So the question really is: soft or crunchy shells?

Tofu Tacos
1 block of extra firm tofu, drained and cubed
2 tbsp. chili powder
2 tbsp. cumin powder
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 chopped and seeded jalepeno, optional
Heat up some olive oil in a large frying pan and add in your tofu. With a wooden spoon, smash each cube until they become crumbly. Cook for about 3 minutes, then add in onion, garlic, jalepeno and spices. Continue to cook until the tofu is browned.
Fill your taco shells or tortillas with refried beans and tofu and pile on the toppings! Top with lettuce, tomato, cheese, salsa and guacamole!