Tuesday, September 22, 2009

It's Fall Ya'll Banana Muffins

My friend Deb called and left me a message the other day with a very specific request: "Muffins." Apparently she's ready for baking and I'm her go to gal.

I searched through all of my cookbooks and decided on this yummy Banana Bread recipe from Veganomicon. You can't really go wrong with this book. There is something for everyone. Even better there were directions for turning the bread into muffins. Perfect. Frankly these were the best banana muffins I've ever made. Thanks Veganomicon.

I made these for my gang and 30 minutes later there were 2 left. I saved those for lunch boxes the next day.

I also added a small pinch of allspice and cloves to the mix and decorated the tops with pecan halves.

Banana Muffins

2 large and ripe bananas
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp molasses
2 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease muffin pan.
2. In a large mixing bowl, mash bananas.
3. Add sugar, applesauce, oil, and molasses to the applesauce and whisk briskly to combine.
4. Sift in the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt to the wet ingredients. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together until just combined.
5. Add the batter to the muffin tins. You can put a pecan on top of the wet batter at this point. I got exactly a dozen muffins filling to about 1/2 full.
6. Bake for 18 minutes and a knife should come out clean to let you know they are done cooking.
7. Remove from oven and remove the muffins onto a cooling rack.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Red Lentil Crispy Tacos

Red lentils are my go to quick dinner ingredient. Having recently started subbing at our school part time, fast meals on these nights make my day end on a lighter note. Tacos are fast and it is one of those meals where I don't get complaints from anyone. I can usually get dinner on the table in about 40 minutes.

Even better, I can fill these tacos up with lots of vegetables that otherwise wouldn't get eaten. Tristan doesn't care for zucchini, carrots, and onion. He says he's happy to eat them when he can't see them. Go figure. They are great with either crispy taco shells or tortillas as soft tacos. The term kid friendly is kind of funny. What my kid may enjoy may not be what other kids like, but I'm always up for a good experiment.

Red Lentil Taco Filling

1/2 finely chopped medium onion
1 grated carrot
1/2 grated zucchini
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp cumin
1 cup red lentils
2 cups water
1/2 cup finely chopped spinach
      or favorite greens of choice

1. If you're using crispy taco shells start heating them in the oven according to package directions.
2. Finely chop the onion and add to a skillet. When the onions begin to start getting clear add the carrots and zucchini. Cook until they begin to get soft.
3. Add the spices and stir into the veggies.
4. Add the lentils and stir.
5. Add the water and bring to boil. Once boiling reduce heat to a simmer, add the spinach and cook the lentils until soft.
You may have to add water so check on them frequently.
6. I also chop up green onions, tomatoes and lettuce to use as toppings. Oddly enough, Tristan has started to enjoy green onions.
7. Cheese or non-dairy cheese is optional. I've added it directly to the taco mixture or as a topping.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Meatless Monday Tangy Brown Noodles

I just realized it is Meatless Monday. I made one of my favorite quick dishes tonight. I love it even more because everyone likes it. That means no complaints from the peanut gallery wishing they could eat something else. My kids just love balsamic vinegar which gives the sauce its tang.

In this picture the noodles aren't my usual soba noodles, but spaghetti. I like to cut up a bunch of extra raw veggies for everyone to at least try. Cliff and I usually end up with the most greens, big surprise. I often add my saute├ęd tofu. Look for the tofu recipe later.

Tangy Brown Noodles

1/3 cup tamari/soy sauce
2 tbsp molasses
1/2 cup tahini
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup agave
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup water

1. Start cooking your choice of noodles. Any will work: rice noodles, udon, soba, wheat free, etc.
2. While the noodles are cooking heat the tamari in a small sauce pan on medium heat. This cooks down the tamari and reduces the amount for about 5 minutes. Add the molasses and stir to combine.
3. In a blender combine the heated tamari, and the rest of the ingredients and blend.
4. Cut up what ever extra veggies you wish to add: green onions, bell pepper, salad greens, etc.

I usually serve up the noodles and let everyone pour on as much sauce as they want. Then you can go crazy adding all of the extra goodies.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Rainy Day Honey Whole Wheat Bread

I love making bread. Last year when the prices of everything started going up I decided I needed to get crafty. These guys are toast maniacs. At $4 for an organic loaf of bread something needed to give. I woke up one morning and decided it was time to figure out how to make my own. Just recently I found Baking in America and this book has given me the best loaves of bread by far.

I recommend the Honey Whole Wheat Bread, Buttermilk, Wheat and Rye bread, and Buttermilk Wheat Germ Bread. I've adapted them all to be non-dairy. I can make buttermilk by adding a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to any nondairy beverage. The combination of cider and milks will curdle to make a quick non-dairy buttermilk. This process can be started while you are gathering all of the other ingredients for your bread.

I'm relieved that the weather is a bit cooler. I made everyone miserable all summer heating this house up. My only saving grace is how good it smells and the end result. Delicious toast and sandwiches. There is nothing more gratifying that having the loaf turn out just right.