Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tomato Soup!

Who doesn't love a good bowl of tomato soup...

Well maybe those suffering from heart burn don't really care for a bowl or maybe you do (like me and many people I know and love). We just can't resist the delicious tomatoeyness of a good bowl. I am not just talking about a bowl of Campbells Tomato Soup, don't get me wrong there isn't anything wrong with it I just happen to like chunks of tomato in my soup. I was never really a creamy soup person. Just the one texture bothers me a bit. I can eat a bowl of a creamed soup but I prefer some stuff in my soup. I use to eat Progresso Tomato Basil Soup a lot when I was first in college but I have upgraded myself into making my own. Yea!

So for this version I wanted to upscale it as well by adding some wine!! Yum!

Red wine and tomatoes, what could be better?

Adding some kale to the mix, yes that would be better in my book.

Tomato Kale Soup

3 cloves roasted garlic
1/4 cup red wine
1 large can of diced or chopped tomatoes in their juice or 2 small cans
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 to 1 cup chopped or torn kale
1/4 teaspoon each pepper, salt, oregano, and coriander
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast (optional)

To roast the garlic, I cut it into quarters, place it in foil drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with pepper. Wrap it up in the foil and roast 20 to 30 minutes or until soft and slightly browned.

In a soup pot, add in the garlic with any oil that comes out with it.

Heat it and mash it.

Add in the red wine and

let it reduce for 3 or 4 minutes.

Add in the tomatoes and broth.
Simmer for a 5 minutes.
Like my hand crafted splatter shield. haha

Remove from the stove and either in a food processor, blender, or using a hand blender, blend the soup so most or all of the chunks of tomatoes are gone.

Return to stove and bring to a simmer.

Add in the kale.

Add in the spices and

let it simmer for 10 to 15 minutes to bring all the flavors together.

Serve it up with some grilled cheese sandwiches or top it with some cheese. How ever you like to enjoy your tomato soup please do.

I added some roasted tempeh and nutritional yeast to mine.

Monday, January 14, 2013


After making my cinnamon raisin bread I still had a lot of golden raisins left over. I like baking with them rather than eating golden raisins, they are just too sweet to eat. So I made a little cake like thing with them. I had a few bananas that were about to turn, on the fly I whipped up these things and they ended up being pretty yummy. Who would have known haha.

Spiced Golden Raisin Cakes

2 bananas, mashed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnaraw honey or regular honey or agave nectar
1/4 teaspoon cloves and nutmeg and salt
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup water

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and spray baking pans or muffin tins with nonstick spray (coconut oil spray).

Add the vanilla and honey to the mashed banana.

Mix in the spices.

Add in the flour and baking powder.

When just about mixed add in the raisins. It will be a tad lumpy so add in the water.

Divide into the baking pans and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. (I did this in the toaster oven so they got really brown.) Make sure to spin pans half way through baking.

How cute I found the star pans at Five Below. Love them!!
I topped some of the cakes with cinnamon apple butter or you can just use plain apple butter, we all know of my love for cinnamon, if you don't you may be catching on. And some I topped with cinnamon cashew butter, see now you really know.
Cinnamon Apple Butter
Cinnamon Cashew Butter

They reminded me of something, the way they tasted, I just couldn't really say what exactly it was. I liked both topping so that was a hard choice to say which was better. The apple butter definitely added more moisture to the party but I just love cinnamon cashew butter. So you try and decided.


Monday, January 7, 2013

Pizza Hummus!

Yes hummus that tastes like pizza.

Crazy I know but it really did remind me of pizza.

My cousin was around visiting and we wanted to hang out and he wanted to try some of my cooking. This gave me the chance to try out my take on the recipe for pizza hummus I had seen a while ago and pinned it to my pinterest. I have also been in a bread making mood so I made some herb flat bread to eat it on. I also have to give credit to my bf for the idea because ha has been wanting to make pizza hummus (like a real pizza but with hummus on it) for a while now, so soon babe we will make it together. The original recipe for the hummus can be found here: Once Upon a Cutting Board.

Pizza Hummus

1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons tahini
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

Place the beans and spices (not basil and oregano but the rest) into the food processor, processes to chop a little.

Add in the tahini, tomatoes, and nutritional yeast. Processes until smooth. Add in the herbs and if any more tomatoes need to  be added do so. (I did because I had only added 3 tablespoons of the tomatoes at first, then needed to add more and more garlic.)

I found that it had a strong garlic taste after I added some more in, but it was still really good for normal taste buds, for me it was strong. So you may want to add only 1/2 teaspoon each at first of the spices, then more after you taste it.

Herb Flat Bread

1 package of active dry yeast
1/2 cup water, warm
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon each onion and garlic powders, oregano and basil, salt and pepper

First mix the yeast and water together in a measuring cup.

In a bowl mix 1 cup of the flour and all the herbs and spices together.

Combine the yeast and flour mixtures together.

You may need to add in more flour, knead until a smooth dough forms.

Place in a bowl, coat with oil, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for 30 minutes.

Punch down,

on a floured board,

divide dough into 4 parts,

roll out, and place on parchment lined baking sheets.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake the flat bread for 20 to 30 minutes or until they start to bubble and are soft but not too soft when touched.

I also sauteed some kale and served carrots along with the spread for our lunch. I didn't get a picture of the finally table or way things came out because I am still a tad shy when it comes to taking pictures of my food when people are around, even if they are family it is still weird. It turned out to be a really great, fun, yummy time.


Friday, January 4, 2013

Christmas Eats

Merry Christmas!!

Happy New Year!!

Hope you all had a great, relaxing, loving holiday season this year. I sure did. Spent time with family that I have missed and continued some traditions. Got some cookie baking done (peanut butter blossoms, chocolate m&m cookies, and 7 layer cookies) and hoping to make sesame and pignoli cookies for padre at some point. But you can't just eat cookies, well you could but that might not be all that great on the waist (cough cough older brother cough cough, but some how he does not gain an ounce) so how about some real food too.

For a family get together I made a pasta salad. I was inspired by my Nana's pasta salad she would always make that I really loved. Hers had black olives, broccoli and the tri- color pasta, I think I'm missing some other veggies that were in it, but I was young. It was really good though. I made mine with roasted eggplant, spinach, and artichokes, and tri-color pasta.

Veggie Pasta Salad with Tahini Lemon Dressing

1 package of your favorite brand tri-color pasta (I used a brown rice pasta)
1 can artichoke hearts, rinsed
1/2 bag of baby spinach
1 large eggplant, roasted
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved

1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon each onion powder, coriander and pepper

Roast the eggplant, I did this with my usual seasonings onion powder, oregano, salt and pepper and coriander.

Cook the pasta according to the directions.

Rinse and chop the artichokes.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain and toss with spinach so that it starts to wilt.

Mix the dressing, while the pasta is cooking, just mix all of the spices, tahini, and lemon juice together until it comes together.

Toss everything together.

It came out way better than a version I had made over the summer. I think its because I made the dressing this time.

For Christmas dinner I finally fulfilled the request of making Mac and Cheese. But this is a healthier version so I has all the essence of mac and cheese just if you haven't eaten it in years it taste amazing (to me) to others it might be dry, to fix that make a creamier cheese sauce. I happen to like that crispy crunch on my mac and cheese so I really enjoyed this.

Whole Wheat Mac and Cheese

1 package whole wheat pasta
1/2 bag each reduced fat 4 cheese Italian blend and 4 cheese Mexican blend (or 1 bag or either)
1 teaspoon oil
1 teaspoon flour
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, salt, onion powder, and pepper

Boil water for the pasta, and cook according to directions.

Heat the oil in a pan, add the flour to make a roux.

Slowly add in the water and boil until it thickens.

Add in the milk and spices. Let it thicken.

Mix in cheeses leaving some to top the mac and cheese with and let them melt.

Drain pasta and mix with the cheese sauce.

Place in an oven proof pan and top with remaining cheese.

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

The inside was so cheesy and gooey and good. Oh how I have missed melted cheese.

Look at the difference of plates between me and my bf.


This does not mean I am going to be eaten cheese on a regular basis now but I will allow myself to eat it if my body is craving it. I have never been a big cheese fan but it I want to make pizza I will or ravioli I will or more mac and cheese.

Here is a really funny Christmas treat that is fun and easy to make...Coal haha. It's only 3 ingredients! My bf found the recipe so we made it. Oreos, marshmallows, and butter. One package of Oreos (use your favorite one, we used mint which ended up being a great choice even after I made a fuss about them <3 ya babe), one bag of mini marshmallows, and four tablespoons butter. Crush the Oreos, melt the butter with the marshmallows. Then mix in the Oreos and place in a parchment lined baking dish. Allow them to cool then cut up and yo have coal!

Hope you all have a wonderful New Year!! I'm hoping 2013 will allow me some more time to get back to being creative with cooking and baking, I really hope so, I miss it!
Here was the dish I made for a New Years Eve Dinner Party:

quinoa with roasted red, yellow, and orange peppers, roasted corn, tomatoes, topped with guacamole. I wanted to mix the avocados in the salad but they were too mushy so I had to make the guac.