Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Cornmeal wheat pizza crust

3/4 cup warm water
1 envelope yeast
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup whole wheat flour (or more)
3/4 cup white flour (or more)

Combine warm water, yeast, and honey in a bowl and let sit for five minutes. Add olive oil, salt, and black pepper.

Combine cornmeal and both flours. Add yeast mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer, attach dough hook, and turn on low while adding flour mixture slowly. Scrape the sides of the bowl if necessary.

Allow to mix for 2 minutes. Add additional flour, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Remove dough hook and lightly coat dough with olive oil. Allow to rise, covered, in a warm place until doubled in size, or about 2 hours. Punch down and roll out into desired shape.

Dough can be frozen until needed, but allow to thaw before use.

Note: This also makes great breadsticks!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Pecan Crusted Tofu with Maple Dijon Sauce

3 10oz blocks of extra firm tofu
12oz pecans
1 egg
Salt and pepper


1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 tsp dried thyme

Maple Dijon sauce:

1/4 cup maple syrup (real stuff, not pancake syrup)
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 tsp olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 325 F

Drain the tofu and slice in half though the center, to create two blocks that are the same size as before, but half as thick. Place between layers of paper towels with a baking sheet and heavy object on top. Press tofu for 30-60 minutes.

While tofu is pressing, combine marinade ingredients. When tofu is pressed, put tofu in a baking dish or ziploc bag and marinate for at least one hour or overnight.

Place a metal cooling rack on top of a baking sheet, evenly place tofu on rack, and bake for two hours, until firm to the touch. Flip tofu over every 30 minutes, and do not burn. (the previous steps can be completed the day before)

Toast pecans in a skillet over medium heat until they become aromatic, around 7 minutes. Watch to ensure they do not burn. Let cool and pulse in a food processor until they are finely chopped. Place in a shallow, wide dish and add salt and pepper.

Beat egg in a shallow, wide bowl. Slice cooled tofu in half across the center, to give 12 total pieces. Dip each piece in egg, then pecans. Ensure that each piece of tofu is well coated, patting on coating if necessary.

Raise or preheat oven to 375 F.

Place each coated tofu piece on a large baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until pecan coating is well browned.

For sauce, combine syrup, mustard, olive oil, and salt in pepper in a bowl. Briefly heat on the stove or in the microwave.

(Notes: this may look complicated, but if you have pre-baked and pre-marinated tofu on hand, it goes fairly quickly. Marinating and baking large amounts of tofu on the weekend helps make dinner faster during the week!)

Monday, September 29, 2008


25 corn tortillas (I use tortillas that have 25 calories per tortilla)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, very thinly sliced
1 large green pepper, very thinly sliced
8oz sliced mushrooms
15oz can pinto beans
16oz jar green salsa
4oz jar diced green chiles (optional)
2 tsp ground cumin
8 eggs
1/4 cup skim milk
Salt and pepper
12 oz Cabot 75% Reduced Fat Cheddar, shredded

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add mushrooms and onion, cook 15-20 minutes, or until soft. Add pepper, salsa, pinto beans, chiles if using, and cumin, and cook for another 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Spread tortillas on a baking sheet, and bake until crisp. Break into small pieces, and spread half in a 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle half of the cheese over the tortillas. Spread half of the vegetable mix over the cheese, then layer the other half of the tortillas and cheese on top. Beat eggs and milk, and evenly pour over casserole.

Bake until the top is golden brown, approximately 30-40 minutes.

This is delicious with sliced avocado, fresh chopped cilantro, salsa, or low fat sour cream.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Nut Butter Template

1 1/2 lbs shelled raw nuts
1/4-1/2 cup nut oil
1-2 Tbsp honey or agave nectar
Pinch sea salt

Pre-heat oven to 300 F. Spread nuts evenly on a baking sheet and roast in oven, shaking and turning every few minutes, until roasted, 10-15 minutes. Do not burn.

Let nuts cool and place in food processor. Add sea salt. Finely chop in food processor and add honey and slowly add oil until a paste forms. Add any other ingredients at this time and puree until smooth.

Vinaigrette Salad Dressing Template

1 Cup oil
1/4 cup acid (vinegar, citrus juice)
1 Tbsp mustard
Seasonings of choice
Optional sweetener of choice
salt and pepper

Combine ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. This basic recipe can be used to create hundreds of different types of dressings. The mustard is there as an emulsifier and to give it texture, though it can be left out if desired.

Oils: olive oil, walnut oil, almond oil, peanut oil, macadamia nut oil, corn oil.

Acids: red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, fruit vinegars, lime juice, lemon juice, orange juice, grapefruit juice

Mustards: Dijon, grainy, honey mustard (to make a honey mustard dressing, increase mustard to 1/2 cup and decrease oil to 1/2 cup)

Seasonings: The sky's the limit here. Any and all herbs or spices, garlic, shallots, vegetables, fruits

Sweeteners: honey, agave nectar, sugar, Splenda


Honey Lime Dressing

1 cup light olive oil (or any light oil - I always have olive oil on hand)
1/4 cup lime juice
1 Tbsp honey mustard
1/2 small shallot
2 Tbsp honey

Basic Vinaigrette

1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp grainy mustard
1-2 cloves garlic

Balsamic vinaigrette

1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp grainy mustard
1-2 cloves garlic

Stir Fry Template


1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 Tbsp dry sherry or Chinese wine
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 inch knob of ginger, minced
1 cup water

1 Tbsp cornstarch

Combine first seven ingredients in a bowl. Slowly whisk in cornstarch and make sure there are no lumps. Cornstarch will settle, so if this is made in advance, whisk before stiring into pan.

Stir fry:

2 Tbsp oil of choice
1 14oz package extra firm tofu, pressed and cubed (or buy the cubed superfirm tofu, I find this at Whole Foods)
1 1/2 lbs vegetables (onions, mushrooms, broccoli, celery, red peppers, nappa cabbage, green beans, carrots, etc) cut into similar size
Stir fry sauce

Heat oil in a large pan over high heat. When the oil is shimmering, quickly add vegetables in the order of cooking time (carrots, green beans, broccoli take longer, celery, nappa cabbage, red peppers take shorter, for example).

When vegetables are cooked to crisp tender, add cubed tofu, stir to combine, and pour in stir fry sauce. Turn off heat, and stir until sauce is thickened and glossy.

(One of my favorite combinations is simply mushrooms and celery.)

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

2 15oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 large jar roasted red peppers, drained
3 Tbsp tahini
2 Tbsp lemon juice
3 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil

Combine all ingredients in the workbowl of a food processor. Puree, and slowly pour in olive oil until a thick paste is formed (this may take around 1/2 cup olive oil).

Serve topped with pine nuts and drizzled with extra olive oil.

Southwestern Black Bean and Rice Salad

1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
Large green pepper, chopped
8oz Cabot 50% reduced fat cheddar (or pepperjack)
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 small can sliced black olives
1/2 red onion, diced


1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup lime juice
1-2 tsp Penzeys Southwest seasoning

Combine rice, black beans, green pepper, cheese, and green onions in a bowl.

Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl, whisk, and pour over salad.

Toss to combine.

Greek Picnic Salad

1 15 oz can chickpeas
1 6oz package Athenos crumbled sundried tomato feta
1 large green pepper, chopped
2 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded, chopped
1/2 red onion, diced


1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp dill
1 tsp Penzey's sandwich sprinkle

Combine chickpeas, feta, green pepper, cucumbers, and onion in a large bowl. Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine.

This is great served with whole wheat pitas.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Winter sangria

Makes enough to fill a 1-gallon pitcher

2 bottles of red wine (or 1.75 L magnum)
3 cups spiced rum
1/2 cup triple sec
2 cups apple cider (using part pomegranate juice is nice as well)
1 cup sugar
1 orange
1 apple
2 whole cinnamon sticks
5 whole cloves
10 allspice berries

Thinly slice fruit and add to pitcher. Combine apple cider and sugar, and stir to dissolve. Add all ingredients to pitcher and stir thoroughly. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours. Serve over ice.

This is very strong, and can be cut with sparkling water.


Makes enough to fill a 1-gallon pitcher

2 bottles of red wine (or 1.75 L magnum)
3 cups white rum (you may also use, in part, any citrus flavored rum)
1/2 cup triple sec
2 cups orange juice (you may also use other citrus juices)
1 cup sugar
1 orange
1 lemon
1 lime

Thinly slice fruit and add to pitcher. Combine orange juice and sugar and stir to dissolve. Add all remaining ingredients to pitcher and stir thoroughly. Refrigerate at least 12 hours. Serve over ice.

This is a very strong sangria! It may be diluted in the glass with sparkling club soda.

Spinach and artichoke dip

8oz cream cheese, softened
16oz shredded Italian blend cheese
1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
2 15oz cans water-packed artichoke hearts, chopped
10oz chopped frozen spinach
10oz jar roasted garlic alfredo sauce
1-4 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Unwrap frozen spinach, place in a bowl, and defrost in the microwave.

While the spinach is defrosting, combine cheeses, artichoke hearts, alfredo sauce, and garlic in a large bowl.

When the spinach is fully defrosted, squeeze all of the water out of it with clean towels. Add to bowl with other ingredients and combine thoroughly.

Pour mixture into an 8x8 glass baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes, uncover, and bake for another 15 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling.

Remove from oven, stir, and allow to cool for 15-20 minutes - the dip is molten straight out of the oven.

Serve with tortilla chips, torn bread, pita chips, vegetables, or any of your favorite dippers.

Autumn Harvest Salad

Serves 2 as a main dish, 4-6 as a starter


1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 TB Grade B maple syrup
1 Tsp fresh thyme (or 1/3 tsp dried thyme)
1 Tbsp grainy mustard
Salt and pepper to taste


1 head red leaf or green leaf lettuce
1 large ripe apple
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 red onion
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

For dressing:

Blend vinegar, maple syrup, thyme, and mustard in a bowl. Slowly add olive oil while whisking to combine. (This can also be made in a blender)

Note: This will make more dressing than is needed, and the dressing may be refrigerated for up to a week for other uses - it's great for baked tofu


Chop, wash, and spin dry lettuce. Place into a large salad bowl.

Core and thinly slice apple and red onion, and shred cheddar cheese, and add to salad bowl along with dried cranberries and walnuts. Toss with dressing and serve immediately.

Variations: adding thinly sliced celery or thinly sliced fennel is nice as well. Protein of choice can be added to make a more substantial main course. If you have walnut oil, it makes a great substitution for the olive oil in the salad dressing.

Italian-Style Sauteed Seitan

This dish is based off of the Pepperoni Spiced Seitan recipe. This can be baked or sauteed.


1 teaspoon olive oil
1 lb pepperoni spiced seitan (or other seitan recipe)
1 cup pizza sauce
6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese (sliced or shredded)

Heat olive oil in a nonstick pan and slice seitan into 1/4 inch slices.

Warm pizza sauce in a small saucepan or microwave while the pan is heating.

Add seitan slices to the pan, saute 2-3 minutes on each side or until browning.

Remove seitan to plates and evenly top with warm pizza sauce and fresh mozzarella.

Scrambled Tofu


2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 ounces mushrooms, sliced and cleaned
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14 ounce) package firm tofu, crumbled
1 teaspoon turmeric
salt and pepper

Heat olive oil in a nonstick pan.

Add onions, cook for 5 minutes or until translucent.

Add mushrooms, cook until liquid has been released, and the mushrooms begin to crisp - 5-10 minutes depending on degree of desired doneness.

Add garlic and stir briefly, until garlic becomes aromatic.

Add crumbled tofu and turmeric, and combine. Stir mixture for 2-3 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste.

Serve. This is great with some whole grain toast and vegetarian sausage patties.

Pesto-Seasoned Sauteed Cabbage


1 tablespoon olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 large head of cabbage, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh basil leaf, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons grated fresh parmesan cheese

Shred cabbage very thinly, or use food processor slicing blade.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.

Add garlic and pinenuts and saute until the garlic is aromatic, 1 minute.

Add cabbage and stir to coat with oil. Saute until slightly wilted, 3-5 minutes.

Remove skillet from heat, stir in basil and top with Parmesan.

Pepperoni Spiced Seitan

This recipe is based off of the Veggieroni recipe from Fat Free Vegan, with a few tweaks. Feel free to substitute something else for the nutritional yeast (ground nuts, ground flax), but you can't really taste it in the final recipe. I also use my food processor with the dough blade for this, and it goes together in minutes.


1 1/4 cups vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons pizza seasoning (Penzey's)
2-3 teaspoons spanish smoked paprika
3/4 teaspoon mustard seeds, whole
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder

2 tablespoons olive oil
2/3 cup water
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon honey

Preheat oven to 325°F Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the wet ingredients a smaller bowl.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry, stirring well. Add more water if necessary.

Remove from the bowl and knead for a few minutes, making sure ingredients are distributed well.

Roll into a log shape, about 7 inches long. Place the log on foil and roll it up in the foil, twisting the ends to seal. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, turning over after 45 minutes.

Remove from oven and unwrap to cool. Slice as needed and store leftovers wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge.

Channa Gobi Masala


2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 large onions, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons Penzey's hot curry powder
1 1/2 tablespoons Penzey's garam masala
1 large head of cauliflower, chopped
3 (15 ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
14 ounces fire roasted tomatoes, pureed
salt and pepper

1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup mint leaf, chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Melt butter and olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onions and saute until slightly browning, 5 minutes. Add garlic, curry powder, and garam masala, and cook for 2 minutes.

Add cauliflower, garbanzo beans, and approximately 1 cup of water. Place a tight fitting lid on the pan and let simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the cauliflower is soft. Add pureed tomatoes, and simmer for another 10-15 minutes, adding additional water if needed. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

This can be served alone, over basmati rice, or with naan.

For raita:.
Stir greek yogurt well to achieve a smooth consistency. Add chopped cucumber, garlic, mint, ginger, and cumin. Add salt to taste. Rest in the refrigerator 30-60 minutes before serving to allow flavors to blend.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I wish I could give you a long, romantic story about the title of my blog.

I can't.

I have a tough time naming things, so when I think of something I like, I latch onto it. For some reason these two herbs (which do happen to be two of my favorite) came to me, and the domain was available, so here I am.