Friday, July 29, 2011

Garlicky Beans and Spinach

I'm visiting my family in Massachusetts so haven't been doing much cooking (my mom and sisters have been spoiling me), but last night decided to give Mom the night off. I roasted potatoes, carrots, zucchini, and onions but needed wanted a protein dish to go with it. So I raided the cupboards and came up with this dish that was a surprise hit with both my family and my nonveg parents. I don't have exact measurements but here's what I did.

Drained and rinsed 1 can of black beans and 1 can of pinto beans and placed in a pan.

My mom has these cubes of crushed garlic that she keeps in the freezer -- said she got them at Trader Joe's. I dropped in 1 cube but if you like even more garlicky flavor use 2. I think roasted garlic would be really great as well.

I added about 10 halved cherry tomatoes. And a cup or two of frozen chopped spinach. Then salted to tasted and added some Italian seasoning herb mix. Heat until warm. Serve with grated parmesan cheese.

It was also good on toasted Italian bread -- sort of like bruschetta.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dairy-free Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream

Wondering what to do with all of those luscious raspberries in season right now? How about making ice cream. This is one of my favorite recipes from Lick It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love. It tastes like a truffle.

Chocolate-Raspberry Ice Cream
Makes about 3 cups
Rich dark chocolate tinged with fresh red raspberries—a wonderful flavor combination. To make this even more decadent, add a couple of tablespoons of Chambord liqueur.

1 (14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups raspberries

Place the coconut milk, sugar, and cocoa powder in a medium saucepan and whisk until well combined. Warm on medium-low heat until the mixture just begins to simmer and get foamy. Remove from the heat and stir in the raspberries. Let rest for 20 minutes.
Pour the mixture into a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a medium bowl (or, to save on dishwashing, over the saucepan you used to heat the coconut milk). Pour the blended mixture into the strainer and press it through to remove the seeds. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. Then freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Vegan Rhubarb-Raspberry Cake

Rhubarb always brings me back to my childhood. We had a monster plant in our yard and it seems like we ate it all summer long. So when I saw some at Rutiz Farms, I just had to get some. My mom usually stewed it, but many people are turned off by rhubarb cooked that way because it gets kind of mushy and stringy (though I never minded). I thought I'd try something different and thought it would be good in a cake--that would retain a better texture.

Well, I was halfway through putting together the batter when I opened the freezer to get my whole wheat pastry flour (the staple of almost all of my baked goods) and found I was just about out. Not willing to stop for a trip to the store, I made due with some brown rice and buckwheat flour I had. According to my family, not only did they not mind the mixture of flours--they thought it made it better. In fact, I don't know when I've had an experiment have such a resounding success on the first try.

So, if you're game--you try this and let me know what you think. If you don't what to use the different flours, just use 2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour--or even unbleached white flour.

Rhubarb-Raspberry Cake

1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup nondairy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups diced rhubarb (3-4 stalks)*
1 cup raspberries

1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinammon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil a 13 x 9-inch baking pan. In a large mixing bowl, whisk sugar and oil together. Add the vanilla, milk, and vinegar. Whisk until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk together flours, salt, and baking soda. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and whisk just until combined. Gently fold rhubarb and raspberries into the batter. Pour into prepared baking pan. Mix topping ingredients together and sprinkle evenly over the batter. Bake 45-50 minutes, or until tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 30 minutes before cutting into squares and serving. Serve with some whipped cream-type topping if desired.

Makes 15 squares.

*For thick stalks of rhubarb, cut then in half lengthwise and then slice --sort of like you'd dice up celery for soup. Remove any tough strings.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Boysenberry-Blueberry Buckle

My daughters and I just could not resist the amazingly flavorful berries at Windmill Farms in Arroyo Grande. The blueberries in particular are so delicious. I talked to the owner and he told me that his blueberries are the Sharp Blue variety. Most farmers grow Jewel because the berries are bigger and the plants yield more--but unfortunately they don't have much flavor. The Sharp Blues on the other hand taste absolutely amazing.

So my daughters and I wanted to make a special dessert with our boysenberries and blueberries, but we couldn't agree on what to make . . . a cake? a crisp? a pie? a tart? So we decided to make a buckle . . . sort of a cake, pie, and crisp all in one. Oh--and it's vegan too!

Boysenberry-Blueberry Buckle

1/2 cup whole wheat or spelt flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup rolled oats (regular or quick)
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch cardomom
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons oil

Fruit filling:
2 cups boysenberries
1 cup blueberries
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinammon
1/8 teaspoon cardomom
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup nondairy milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil a 9-inch square baking pan.
Place all topping ingredients together in a small bowl. Mix with a fork until combined.
Place fruit in another bowl. Pour sugar and juice over the fruit. Toss gently until fruit is coated.
To prepare cake. Place flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Stir gently with a fork or whisk to combine. In a larger bowl, whisk sugar and oil together until smooth. Add the vanilla and milk and whisk until smooth. Add the flour mixture to the oil mixture and whisk until combined.
To assemble buckle, pour cake batter into the prepared pan. Carefully, spoon the fruit filling evenly over the batter. Use your hands to crumble the topping evenly over the batter and fruit. Bake for 50 minutes, or until edges are golden brown and tester comes out clean (other than berry juice). Cool 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.