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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Chiles Rellenos Casserole

I LOVE this dish.  I don't eat it very often though, since it has cheese & my hubby can't eat cheese.

14 oz canned whole green chili peppers (as hot or as mild as you prefer)
6 Cups (12 oz) shredded cheese (again, your preference), divided
4 green onions, thinly sliced
6 eggs
3 Cups milk
3/4 Cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
14 oz green chili salsa

*preheat oven to 325 F
*split chili peppers lengthwise & remove seeds & pith
*spread chilies in a single layer on bottom of 9x13" baking dish
*sprinkle half the cheese over the chilies
*sprinkle the green onions over the cheese
*beat together eggs, milk, flour, & salt & carefully pour into baking dish
*bake for 50 minutes or until "set"
*mix salsa with remaining cheese, place on top of casserole
*bake for 10 minutes more or until cheese melts
*let stand for a few minutes before serving

Zucchini Bread

This bread is very popular in my house.  I make it quite often.

Zucchini Bread

2 1/2 Cups shredded zucchini (about 2 medium)
1 Cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 Cup oil
3 eggs (or egg replacer, such as ener-G brand)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 Cups sugar
1 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 Cups whole wheat flour
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 Cup chopped pecans

*preheat oven to 350 F
*oil BOTTOMS of 2 loaf pans
*mix zucchini, applesauce, oil, egg, vanilla, & sugar until well blended
*stir in remaining ingredients except pecans & mix well
*fold in nuts
*spoon batter into pans
*bake 50-60 minutes
*cool 10 minutes, transfer to cooling rack for 1 hour

Note: this could easily be a vegan dish if you use an egg replacer

Home-Made Rice Milk

I LOVE making this myself, my toddler guzzles a couple of gallons per week easily & I cook & I bake with it plenty since my hubby has a dairy allergy.  It saves me money & I feel I get a better quality product by making it myself.

Home-Made Rice Milk

1 Cup uncooked long grain brown rice, rinsed well
1 Tablespoon chia seeds
8 Cups water (plus some more during the blending process)
1 teaspoon salt

*place 8 Cups water & rice & chia seeds in slow cooker & cook on low for 10-12 hours (I leave it overnight)
*add salt & stir
*blend in batches in blender--using equal portion rice mixture to equal portion water in blender batches (I do 3 cups rice mixture to 2 cups water in each batch & I do 3 batches, but it depends on the size of your blender jar)
*strain (I recently started making almond milk & learned about nut milk straining bags & I started using this to strain my rice milk as well now & I LOVE the result, very creamy & no sediment at all--I personally use a paint strainer bag from Lowe's, much more economical)
*I adjust if needed to make sure I have a total of 15 cups combined rice mixture & water in the end before stirring & placing in mason jars

Note 1: I store mine in mason jars, this recipe fills 4 quart mason jars (makes 1 gallon)

Note 2: If you don't have a slow cooker you could also simmer the rice on the stovetop for 3 hours.  I did try this recipe both ways & it was much easier to me to use the slow cooker, so I will definitely continue doing it that way.

Note 3: Although I prefer the taste of the almond milk, I do have to admit that rice milk is the more economical option if that's important to you.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Chorizo Seitan Sausages

Chorizo Seitan Sausages

1 1/2 Cups vegetable broth
4 Tablespoons tomato paste
3 Tablespoons olive oil
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 garlic cloves, grated
1 2/3 Cups vital wheat gluten
1/4 Cup chickpea (garbanzo) flour
3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 Tablespoon PLUS 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 Tablespoon PLUS 1 teaspoon ground dried chile powder
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cayenne, or more to taste
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

*tear off 6 pieces of foil, about 8" wide each
*preheat oven to 350 F
*combine wet ingredients
*combine dry ingredients
*add wet to dry & combine to form dough
*knead dough for 3 minutes, let rest for 10 minutes, knead again for 2 minutes
*place dough on cutting board & cut into 6 equal pieces
*shape each piece in a log (sausage) shape & place in foil
*wrap loosely in foil, twisting ends closed
*place foil wrapped sausage directly on middle baking rack in oven & bake for 35 minutes
*cool for 40 minutes before opening
*for best flavor chill overnight to let flavors blend more
*store tightly sealed in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or freeze

Note 1: this item is fully cooked & ready to go--use it as you would cooked chorizo: add to beans, eggs, whatever you like

Note 2: I haven't tried yet, but plan to, to adjust the seasonings & make an Italian sausage as well

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Honey Baked Chicken

I made this for dinner last night, so simple, yet my hubby LOOOVED it!  I highly recommend it!

Honey Baked Chicken

4 bone in chicken thighs (I did remove skin myself) or 2-4 b/s breasts
1/4 Cup butter, melted
1/4 Cup honey
2 Tablespoons mustard (I used grey poupon)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon curry powder

*preheat oven to 350 F
*place chicken in shallow baking dish, skin side up
*combine sauce ingredients & pour over chicken
*bake 75 minutes uncovered

Note: I sometimes add a little mayo to the sauce & put it all in the crock pot for 3-4 hours on low for breasts, 4-5 hours for thighs

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Crock-Pot Vegan Marinara Sauce

This was really yummy.  I have made marinara sauce in the past, using both canned & fresh tomatoes.  I have to admit that using fresh tomatoes is a real pain, all the peeling & such.  I'm sure at some point (like when the garden is bursting with tomatoes at some point) I will make a marinara in the crock-pot from fresh tomatoes, but for now this one was really good & I was very happy with it.

Crock-Pot Vegan Marinara Sauce

2 cans (6 oz each) unsalted tomato paste
2 cans (12 oz each) diced tomatoes, with juice
1/2 Cup water
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 Cup olives, chopped
2-4 Cups sliced mushrooms
1 Tablespoon dried basil (or 3 Tablespoons fresh)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
1 Tablespoon dried parsley
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 Tablespoons sugar
salt to taste

*combine all ingredients in slow cooker, cover, & cook on low for 6-8 hours

Friday, March 4, 2011

Mexican Tamales

This is my favorite tamale recipe.  You can essentially put any filling in it that you want, but this filling happens to be very good I must say.  The masa is low fat, which my hubby & in laws love. 

Mexican Tamales

24 dried corn husks
1/4 Cup fresh or frozen & thawed corn kernels
2 Cups masa harina
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 Cup HOT water
1 Cup broth
3 Tablespoons lard or shortening (I personally use butter)

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 red bell pepper, finely chopped
2-3 jalapeno chile pepper, seeded & minced (wear gloves)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 oz finely chopped boneless, skinless chicken or turkey breast
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 Cup dry white wine
Salt to taste

*Place corn husks in large bowl & cover with cold water; let soak for at least 2 hours
*puree the corn
*combine masa harina, salt, & baking powder; gradually add hot water, broth, pureed corn, & fat
*combine until consistency resembles play-doh (I use a stand mixer, I beat it for 15 minutes, but you can do it in a bowl or food processor also--the longer you beat it the more air will be incorporated into dough, making it lighter tasting)

*heat oil, add onions, peppers, garlic, cumin, oregano, & cinnamon; cook for 3 minutes
*stir in chicken or turkey & cilantro; cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes or until meat is cooked through
*add wine & cook for 5 minutes, season with salt to taste

*place 1 corn husk flat on a work surface, tapered end toward you
*mound 3 heaping Tablespoons of masa mixture in the center of the top half of the corn husk
*make a shallow groove the length of the corn mixture; place a spoonful of the filling in the groove; pinch the sides of the groove together to encase the filling
*fold tapered half of the corn husk over the top to enclose the filling
*lay another corn husk flat on the work surface, tapered end away from you
*place the first husk in the center of the bottom half of the second husk
*fold tapered end over the bottom to encase the tamale
*tie the bundle into a neat rectangle, using strips of corn husk or string (I use dental floss, LOL)
*repeat to use the remaining corn husks & filling
*insert a steamer basket into a lare pot; add 1" water & bring to a simmer over medium heat; stack the tamales to the basket, cover, & simmer for 90 minutes, or until the dough is set & comes away easily from the corn husks when tested
*remove the string before serving

Vegan Maple Cake

This is the cake I made my hubby for his birthday recently.  I wasn't necessarily looking for a no sugar cake, but decided to give it a shot.  It wasn't very sweet, although if I had put a sweet frosting on it it would've been perfect I think.  But I do have to say that my hubby has the biggest sweet tooth I've ever seen & he REALLY liked this cake.  I haven't told him that it's vegan (haven't told the kiddos either & they loved it too) yet but at some point I will.  It was very moist & very good I must say.

Vegan Maple Cake

1 Tablespoon egg relacer (I used Ener G brand)
2 Cups non-dairy milk (I used vanilla rice milk)
1 Cup maple syrup
1/2 Cup oil (I used sunflower oil)
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon white or apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 Cups all purpose flour
1 Cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

*Preheat oven to 350 degress F
*grease & flour cake pans (2 8-9", 1 bundt, 1 9x13, 2 8x8--I used a bundt pan)
*whisk together egg replacer, milk, syrup, oil, vinegar, & vanilla
*separately mix together flours, baking powder, salt, & baking soda
*add dry mixture to wet & combine
*pour into pan & bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Lemon Bars

Ok, I haven't actually made these yet, so far I have never posted a recipe without trying it first, BUT I trust Brandi so I'm gonna take a leap of faith & post this & I do plan to make these VERY SOON.  I LOOOOOVE lemon desserts & lemon bars are very high on that list.  I can't wait to try these!!

Lemon Bar Recipe

Cake Decorating Icing

Making cakes & decorating them is something I really enjoy.  Although I'm good at making cakes, the decorating part is still pretty new to me & I have a long ways to go really.  But I plan to continue on that journey.  A friend of mine gave me this recipe a while back.  She is REALLY good at decorating cakes.  I found myself struggling when it came to "decorating" the cake--frosting is easy, but "decorating" was hard for me.  I always found the decorating stuff too soft & melting away later on.  I could never get it stiff enough.  This recipe works well.  I think the original recipe said to use either "lard" or "vegetable shortening", I can't remember, but I know it sounded very unappetizing for a cake.  I just subbed butter myself & it worked great.  However, today I was trying to do this recipe "vegan", so I used my Earth Balance instead of butter & it didn't turn out too great, it was very soft.  I do think it can be done, but I'm thinking don't add water & maybe more flour is needed.  If I do end up perfecting the vegan version at some point (maybe next month when I make Lil J's birthday cake) I will post it here, but for now I'm just gonna post it as the regular non-vegan version that I know works great.  I've used it several times.  It's exactly how I want it, where it's soft enough to work with while decorating & then as it dries it firms up nicely.

Cake Decorating Icing

1 Cup flour
1 Cup butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 Cup water
Coloring of choice

*Mix flour & butter until fluffy
*add salt
*add water, a little at a time & mix well
*add sugar & coloring

Note 1: I often split this into several batches after it's made & add the coloring separately to each batch so I have several different colors to work with.

Note 2: I am very health conscious, but I have used natural colorings & am not happy with them (if I had a girl I think I woud be--they come out very pastel & usually pinky or lavenderish) so I do use the artificial colors sometimes.  A couple of drops of food coloring goes a long way in this recipe so the actual amount eaten is super small & I honestly don't think that small amount once or twice a year is going to do any major damage in the grand scheme of things. 

Note 3: This makes quite a large amount, I often have too much left over.  Unless you need A LOT consider halving the recipe or even quartering it.

Note 4: You will need a pastry bag with decorating tips to use this.  I LOVE mine, I had never used one up until a couple of years ago.  They are so nice & easy to use.  At some point I ordered one (from someone's kid's school fund raiser I think) that is more like a syringe, but I don't have the same amount of control over it as I do with the pastry bag.  A simple one with only a couple of attachments is pretty cheap, definitely worth buying if you plan to make cakes.  I would still love a more deluxe kit with more tip attachments myself, maybe someday.......