Tuesday, August 30, 2011


So I did as I had promised. I finally made butternut squash farro kinda sort of rissito.  This was my first time making farro, which is an Italian grain. It is like wheat berries (what flour is made from) but cooks pretty fast, only taking around 15-20 minutes. It tastes like wheat but at the same time not because it is farro.

Our garden in over flowing with butternut squash because it was my bright idea to grow it this year, not thinking it would be a crawling type plant that just grows where ever it wishes, like a pumpkin does. But hey that works out for me because I happen to love butternut squash! More for me (and a heck of a lot cheaper).

This recipe has a few componts to it. I happen to love to cook and I do not mind any of them one bit, but those of you who happen to not want to spend hours in the kitchen I suggest you skip the carmelizing of the onions and just saute them before you add the farro to the pot, but you have to roast the squash it adds soo much flavor and roasting food is so good. And now my recipe I came up with (serves 2 or 4 as sides):

Roasted Butternut Squash Farro

1 large butternut squash
1 tablespoon oil
salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/2 an onion, carmelized
3/4 cup farro

1 teaspoon oil
1 3/4 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, peeled and chopped (put 1 tablespoon aside)
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped (feel free to add more but I didn't have much on hand)
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

To roast the squash:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and cube the squash. Toss with the 1 tablespoon of oil, the salt and pepper, onion, coriander, and oregano. Place on pan, and roast for 1 hour.

To carmelize the onion:
Add 1 teaspoon oil to a pan, heat add onion, turn heat to medium low. Stir occasionally and also add splashes of water when the bottom of the pan turns brown.

To make the farro:

First rinse the farro, drain. Heat a pot with a lid (I used my dutch oven) with the 1 teaspoon of oil.

Add the farro and let the toast for 2 minutes.

Add the onion and some salt and pepper. (I wanted to add some wine but well I didn't have any good white wine on hand.)

Add in 3/4 cup of the stock, let that boil and become absorded into the farro. (I cooked the farro as if I was making rissito, but you can also cook it by add the farro and water at the same time boiling it for 15 to 20 minutes then draining off excess water, but that was not what I was going for in this recipe.)

Once almost all liquid is absorded, add in a 1/2 cup more of the broth. This time lower the heat to medium. Let it cook, then add and other 1/2 cup of the broth.

Once all the liquid is just about gone, add in the 1 tablespoon of nutritonal yeast.

Mix, then add in the roasted squash.

Add in the parsley, and all but the 1 tablespoon of the hazelnuts. Mix it all up. Let it cook for another minute or two so the flavors come together. Serve topping with the extra hazelnuts.

I loved it! I also made some for my mom, she didn't love the nuts in it, but said it was ok, and both of my brothers tried it. They didn't really comment on it, so I guess that means it wasn't bad or great, just ok to them. Heh, I loved it and that is all that matters!

I have been craving carrot ginger soup for the past week, so I finally made myself some...recipe coming soon! (Like on Thursday!) Promise!! Plus a cracker recipe! Can't wait, but until Thursday!

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Few Of My Favorite Things

Ok. I know I have been neglecting my postages-ness recently, but I just haven't felt that I have post worthy recipes. I have been making a few things a lot lately that have become my new favorite things.

First up is sweet potato falafel with the fennel cashew cream sauce and tomatoes.

I love roasted curry spiced veggies such as parsnips and carrots. Add in some green beans and tomatoes from my garden, heaven! I have also curry roasted some butternut squash from my garden and next I am going to add a sweet potato to the mix. I have been on such a curry kick recently its scary. Well actually tasty in my belly maybe not so much for the families noses. (Sorry I don't have a picture of my recent curry dishes.)

Corn on the cob have been a staple every week. I usually get some from the farmers market, one farm in particular because the corn is so sweet and yea, I love corn on the cob.

I really have been liking taco salads. All a taco salad is lettuce of your choice with salsa as a dressing, they loading up on taco filling goodness such as roasted corn, roasted (spiced with cumin, onion powder, coriander, oregano, and s&p) mushrooms and peppers, tomatoes, avocado, beans, roasted chick peas, the toppings are endless. Hey add some cheese if you wish. They are really yummy.

This is also another favorite salad like dinner that I have been loving. Mango, roasted peppers, black and green stuffed olives, tomatoes, avocado, and roasted chick peas with lemon basil.

And this is a dinner I had recently that was the strangest combination of food but came out to be good. Roasted beets, beet greens, roasted purple peppers, roasted corn, and tomatoes. Strange yes, but strangely yummy.

I have been really loving the raw brownie batter which is really just chocolate almond butter. This is really good, especially if you use the Hershey's special dark cocoa powder. That just adds such a deep chocolaty rich flavor. I have been loving it with fresh cherries and some white and dark chocolate chips, but just last night I had it with a banana, cacao nibs, and dark chocolate chips. That was also heavenly.

And I guess I do have a small recipe for you. My newest favorite ingredient to add to baked goods is coconut flour. I have used it before in making vegan frosting (some recipes from the Babycakes cookbook), but I have noticed the ingredient popping up all over the blog world recently. So I wanted to jump on the ban wagon. I came up with these Coconut Chewy Cookies. The only bad thing is that I haven't made a large batch of these. I have been on a small scale baking kick because I have been wanting to try other treats at night, so when I do want a cookie I make small batches. So the recipe I have to share is for only a few cookies and they are also gluten free.

Coconut Chewy Cookies

1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1 teaspoon chia seeds
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of cinnamon
1/4 cup grated coconut
1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries
1 teaspoon agave nectar (for sweeter cookies add more, 1 tablespoon)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon coconut oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and place parchment paper on cookie sheet. Mix all of the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients and mix until a stiff dough forms. Shape into cookies, about a tablespoon of the dough. Place on cookie sheet and bake 10 to 12 minutes, do not let them brown too much, they should be firm when touched.

They are crazy chewy and have a great coconut flavor.

I promise my next real recipe post will be farro butternut squash risotto. This week too!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Raw Brownie Please!

So we all love to eat raw (aka uncooked) brownie batter, Right?! So I have (well actually the raw diet found) a way to do this without using eggs or nasty brownie mixes with all those artificial ingredients, and well a little healthy in a way. All you need are a few simple ingredients and you can be on your way to eating raw brownie batter for yourself. (Ok well if your pantry looks anything like mine you will be able to, but some may need to go get a few ingredients to stock up on.) I can not take all the credit for this recipe. I found a lot of the blogs I read had recipes of how they make theirs. So I just made mine to my liking. And in my head it really does taste like raw dough.

Raw Chocolate Brownie

1/4 cup almond butter
2 tablespoons cocoa powder (I like Hershey's Special Dark, it has a deep rich flavor)
1/2 teaspoon agave nectar

Mix everything up. Yup it's that easy and if you like cold batter put it in the fridge, if you are like me put it on a plate, doctor it up and eat!

A handful of cherries, some grain sweetened chocolate chips, some white chocolate chips, yum!

The almond butter for some reason helps with giving the flavor of raw dough. It's hard to explain, but it just does. And I am not the only one who thinks this either! Other food bloggers have said this, so I was thinking to myself, "They lie!", until I tried it, then I became a believer. There are other raw brownie recipes out there calling for walnuts and dates in a food processor, I just have not tried them out yet, they are on my long list of things I need to make. So until I get to that I am just going to enjoy this recipe.

My upcoming recipe post shall be a farro, butternut squash rissoto. Hum....

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sweet Tatos and Banilla Soft Serve

I know finally I made some banilla soft serve! After what, a few weeks of saying I was going to make it. Well I finally got around to it, but first you must eat dinner to get dessert.

My friend over at veganaphrodite had posted this recipe for sweet potato falafels. She got the recipe from 101 Cookbooks blog. So I went over to that site and got the recipe for myself because it sounded really good. So I of course made my own tweaks to the recipe and I loved them! Once I saw the recipe I automatically wanted to make a fennel cashew cream dipping sauce to go with it. I have been dying to make one of my own (and not at work) but I did face a few problems trying. First my blender is not cut out to make a cashew cream sauce, so I had to move the mix to the food processor instead, but then there wasn't enough for the blade to mix it, so I had to add a few more cashews and a little more water. But hey I have more for another meal. (Along with the extra falafel.)

So here is the recipe I made:

Baked Sweet Potato Falafel

1 jumbo sweet tato
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 clove of roasted garlic
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1 nice handful of parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup of chick pea flour
1 teaspoon oil
salt and pepper
black sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the sweet tato into small cubes. Season with a little salt and pepper and the oil.

Roast for 30 minutes, but do not let the brown, you just want the sweet tato to be cooked and soft.

Place the cooked tato in a bowl.

Add in the seasonings, 1/2 cup of the flour, lemon juice, parsley, and garlic.

Mash until it becomes smooth. Add in the remaining flour if the mixture is still too wet. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for a few hours. (I went and worked out at this point, so it was in the fridge two hours or so.) Preheat oven again to 400 degrees.

Scoop out tablespoon fulls of the sweet tato mixture, roll into a ball, and

coat in the sesame seeds.

Place on a parchment paper lined baking pan and bake for 30 minutes. You want the falafel to firm up and they have cracks in them.

For the Fennel Cashew Cream Sauce
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup hot water plus more while blending
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon ume plum vinegar
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds

Place the nuts and hot water in the blender or food processor. Let it stand for a few minutes, so the nuts can soften.

Add in the other ingredients and blend. Adding more water if necessary to make a smooth sauce.

There you go, dinner.

Now how about some dessert! I decided to make my first banilla (banana and vanilla combined) soft serve flavor to be...

Cherry Chocolate Chip Banilla Soft Serve
1 1/2 frozen bananas
12 cherries, pitted and chopped
2 tablespoons (ok more) grain sweetened chocolate chips
1 tablespoon cacao nibs (this is what chocolate is made from)

Place the banana in a food processor. Pulse it a few times to start chopping the bananas.

Once the bananas are in smaller pieces, puree.

And in just a few seconds you will get a creamy banana ice cream. Its amazing.

Top with your cherries, chocolate chips, and cacao nibs. Eat. (I swear there is soft serve under there.)

I cannot wait to make the other types of soft serve I thought up!! It was really yummy and so easy. Why did it take me so long to make it? Who knows...

Thursday, August 4, 2011


And no not the channel on TV for British shows!

It stands for banana-blueberry-corn as in Banana Blueberry Corn muffins.

I use to make muffins all the time. Like I mean I ate a muffin for breakfast every morning after my run/workout, before work for two years. Then all of a sudden I stopped. (I do have a feeling as to why, but I'm not going to get into that at this moment.) I switched to eating my huge fruit salads in the morning instead. I really enjoy this, but after making these muffins I think a muffin kick is coming back! Oh yea! I once wanted to own a muffin shop. That's how many muffins I use to make. I had an arsenal of recipes! All different flavor combinations. Oh man so many. Some worked, some failed (but were still eaten because I refuse to throw away any of my works of art), and some where my usual. Such as Cinnamon Raisin Cookie Muffins, Almond Banana Blueberry, Peach, and Surprise Muffins (they had jam in the center). I love muffins!

Banana Blueberry Corn Muffins

1 1/4 cups whole wheat white flour
3/4 cup corn meal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
1 tablespoon flaxmeal
1 large ripe banana
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup plus more water
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 3 tablespoons agave nectar (depending on the ripeness of the banana and how sweet you want your muffins to be)

Spray a muffin pan with nonstick spray and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mash the banana, add in the oil, vanilla, and agave.

Add in the dry ingredients.

Start to combine, once the batter comes together slightly add in the berries and 1/2 cup of water.

If the batter is still dry, add in small amounts of water until well combined.

Equally divide batter into the muffin pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, turning halfway during baking process.

Allow them to cool, you can eat them now or do as I do, individually wrap and freeze them. Then I take them out and let them defrost over night until its breakfast time!

Easy go to for breakfast. Why did I ever stop eating them. So what do you like to eat for breakfast? Do tell...