Monday, October 22, 2007

Apple Cobbler

By popular demand:


Apple cobbler recipe

1 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup margarine or butter
6 cups sliced, cored, and peeled cooking apples
1 to 1 1/4 cups sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
ice cream

1. for topping in a medium bowl stir together flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and cinnamon. cut in butter till mixture resembles coarse crumbs. set aside.
2. for filling, in a saucepan combine the apples, the 1 to 1 1/4 cups sugar, cornstarch, and 1/4 cup water. Let stand for 10 minutes. cook and stir till thickened and bubbly. keep filling hot.



3. In a small bowl stir together egg and milk. Add flour to mixture, stirring just to moisten. Transfer filling to a 2 court square baking dish. Using a spoon, immediately drop topping into small mounds atop filling.



4. Bake cobbler in a 400 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into topping comes out clean. If desired, serve warm with ice cream,

Makes 6 servings




Yes, it's Vegan: Chickpea Curry

I attended a Vegetarian Food Festival last weekend and came home with this recipe for chickpea curry. I've been on an Indian kick as of late and was going to have company over for dinner, so this was the perfect dish. Plus, I actually had all the ingredients in the pantry.

Chickpea Curry

16 oz can of chickpeas
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup onion
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cups of water
1/8 teaspoon of chili powder
1/8 teaspoon of garam masala
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds


Note: I used a whole tomato (or one cup), a whole onion, and lots of minced garlic

1. In a heavy pan heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and add chopped onion (and garlic) and fry for about one minute.

2. Add chopped tomatoes and all spices. Mix properly and then add two cups of chickpeas and two cups of water.



3. Cover and cook for ten minutes or until chickpeas look soft. Press a few chickpeas with a spoon so gravy becomes thick and tasty.



4. Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice and mix. Serve with warm bread or rice.


More notes: This wasn't very spice or thick so I added a can of tomato paste and about 2 tablespoons Pataks curry paste to the mix. I served the curry over brown rice.

It's super good. The best part of this meal is you can substitute almost anything in place of the chickpeas: 2 cups chopped potato cubes, two cups mixed veggies, ect.

Yes, it's Vegan (Chili)

Last week the weather was decidedly fall-like and having me crave a giant vat of vegetable chili. Of course, no sooner than I made it and began devouring it, it turned 80 again.

When I make chili I don't follow a recipe. I brown and soften in a pot (with olive oil) whatever veggies I have. This week is was two white onions, carrots, and celery.



After the veggies have softened, I start dumping in (drained) cans of beans: white beans, garbonzo beans, black beans, red kidney beans, and pink kidney beans. Then I dump in a couple of small cans of tomato sauce and a large can of diced tomoatoes (note, canned tomatoes are better for you than fresh tomatoes as they contain more lypocene).

Then I add salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and chili powder to taste, dump in a bag of frozen corn, and then let it cook on low for about 20 minutes or until everything is softened.



It's a relatively easy and inexpensive meal to make. My vat made about 12 servings.

Battle of the (Apple) Crisps

When Mr. Snowgoose was here a few weeks ago, we went apple picking and filled my fridge with apples (note: store apples in the fridge in a crisper, not on the counter as they contain a chemical that causes fruit to ripen faster when paired with nature's laxative). Slowly I've been using them: an apple cobbler here, an apple-bacon salad there, and of course eating them like there's no tomorrow.

The bag from the apple orchard contained several helpful apple recipes, including one for an apple crisp:

"Peel and slice 4-5 apples into a baking dish. Sprinkle a crumb topping of 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup butter, 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream."

It seemed easy enough, so I started whipping it together, only I decided to be daring and use 1/4 cup white flour, 1/4 cup whole wheat flour, and 1/4 cup brown sugar instead.



So into the oven it went. It came out looking like this:


It was like warm apples and some sugar, not so much a crisp. I felt like it was missing something, and I was right: oatmeal.

I found another recipe for an apple crisp. This one comes from Betty Crocker who knows her crisps. In fact, on the Better Crocker website the recipe was given 4 1/2 stars.

Here is her recipe:

Ingridients
4 medium tart cooking apples, sliced (4 cups)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Cream or Ice cream, if desired


1. Heat oven to 375ºF. Grease bottom and sides of 8-inch square pan with shortening.
2. Spread apples in pan. In medium bowl, stir remaining ingredients except cream until well mixed; sprinkle over apples.




3. Bake about 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tender when pierced with a fork. Serve warm with cream

I had Amy over for dinner last Thursday (leftover veggie lasagna and squash soup) and the fantastic hostess that I am, put her to work creating Apple Crisp #2.

It turned out very delicious and was even better than Crisp #1. It had to be the oats.

But lowfat caramel/ vanilla frozen yogurt didn't hurt either.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Crockpot Classic: Lentil Soup

I can't believe I haven't posted this before. Can it be I haven't made lentil soup in nearly a year?

I lost the recipe, but I feel like since I've made this so many times before I can do this from memory.

Note: this is a double recipe

Lentil Soup:

Ingredients
large yellow onion, chopped
2 or 3 garlic cloves
bag of lentils
2 1/2 cups diced cooked ham, (about a 1/2 inch) or lots of bacon if you like
2 cups chopped carrots
2 cups chopped celery
8 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon ground red (cayenne) pepper
salt and pepper to taste
3 cups fresh baby spinach

Directions
1. In a large crock pot combine everything but spinach. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4.
2. Add spinach and cook on high for 10 minutes.

It's pretty simple and you can make it spicier if you like. Vegans and vegetarians should omit the ham for obvious reasons. If you dare, combine the ham AND the bacon.



This makes at least 8-10 servings depending how hungry you are.

I served this with my Indian feast last week. I've been eating it ever since.

Update on the squash soup:
So I remade the recipe the other night, doing the full recipe with the entire squash and adding extra bacon and it came out much oranger than before. It almost looked like the photo! I would have liked it thicker. Perhaps next time buy a larger butternut squash and maybe add a half of an extra apple.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Veggie-palooza Lasagna

I love vegitable lasagna. I consider it to be a comfort food, but also the perfect meal to serve to guests.

Because it is so time consuming I only make it a)when I'm running in a giant race or b) when friends are over for dinner. This time I used both excuses to make it.

I adapted this recipe from a jar of Ragu (no, really).

It makes 12 servings.

Veggie No Boil Lasagna

Ingridients

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium sweet onion
1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwiseand thinly sliced
2 containers (15 oz) ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded mozerella cheese
1/2 grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs
2 jars pasta sauce
12 uncooked lasagna noodles


Before I begin with the directions, let me just add that instead of one red bell pepper, I used about a cup of frozen, mixed, bell pepper strips. I also added a yellow squash which I cut like the zucchini, and a box of frozen spinach.

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a 12 inch nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and cook onion, bell peppers, zucchini, and squash, stirring occassionaly until softened and browned (about 5 minutes).


3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, thawed spinach, 1/4 cup parmesain cheese, and eggs.


4. In a 13 x9 inch baking dish, spread 1 cup pasta sauce. Layer 4 unoocked noodles, then one cup sauce, half the ricotta mixture, and half the veggies. Repeat. Top with remaining uncooked noodles, and 2 cups of sauce.
5. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour.
6. Remove foil and sprinkle remaining mozerella cheese on top. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes.
7. Let stand 10 minutes.



Cook's notes:
1. I used less than 1 jar of sauce. I didn't want it all saucy.
2. Make sure to buy the noodles labeled "no bake."

It's Indian! (but not vegan) Keema Matar

Awhile back a friend made me Keema Matar (with lamb) and I loved it so much I was begging for the recipe with my mouth full of lamb and peas.

I took last week off as an at home vacation and did a lot of cooking. Mr. Snowgoose was in town, so I used him as an excuse to make this.

Keema Matar

Ingridients
1 pound ground lamb (or ground chicken, which is what I used)
1 small onion, or 1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 8 oz. can tomato paste
2-4 Tbs. Patak's Mild Curry Paste
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup frozen or fresh peas
chopped cilantro to garnish
Vegetable oil for sauteeing

Directions:
1. In a large skillet, brown the lamb until cooked through. Set aside.


2. Add vegetable oil as needed and sautee the onion for 2-3 minutes until browned. Add garlic during the last minute so it doesn't burn.

3. Spoon the lamb back into the skillet and add the curry paste, water, and tomato paste. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for 15 minutes.


4. Add the peas and stir to combine. Cover and simmer for another 5 minutes. The sauce should be fairly thick. You can add more water if you want it thinner.

5. Garnish with the cilantro. Serve over warm rice.



Cook's notes:

1. Instead of the 1 cup of peas, I added an entire bag of frozen peas. It didn't steal too much from the chicken.

2. In addition to the rice (I cooked long grain brown rice) I served the Keema Matar with garlic naan bread (from the freezer at the store) and lentil soup.

3. I will play around with the recipie and try to make it vegan. Maybe I'll sub in chickpeas or some sort of tofu instead of the chicken.

4. Unfortunately this meal requires you to babysit the stove and stir frequently, but it comes out looking glamourous. After this, you'll never want to eat Indian takeout again!

And the winner of the bakeoff is....

Danielle

She narrowly defeated Mr. Snowgoose with the ever so tasty Low-fat Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Muffins, as decided by Sharona. It was the moist goodness chock full of chocolate that pushed the muffins over the edge.

Really, chocolate chips will win every single time. Who can resist?

Mr. Snowgoose made a delicious apple cake (complete with homemade applesauce), but it was muffins hands down.

This recipe was passed on to me by a friend. It really does taste so good you forget it's healthy.

The recipe comes from the angry chicken blog: http://angrychicken.typepad.com/angry_chicken/2007/09/mackin-good-yal.html

chocolate chip pumpkin muffins

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves (I actually omitted these as I had none)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 egg whites
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2/3 cups apple sauce
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 can (15oz) pumpkin
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Mix flours, spices, and all the other dry stuff together.

3. In a different bowl mix the eggs, oil, applesauce and pumpkin. Add the dry stuff- to the wet,then stir in the chocolate chips.

4. Bake 20 min.


Cook's notes:
1. On the blog where the recipe was hatched from, it is suggested that one could make cookies from the batter by dropping a tablespoon of batter on a cookie sheet and baking 8-10 minutes. The cookies came out all fluffy and tasted exactly like the muffins. Don't waste your time trying it.

2. These were possibly the easiest muffins I've ever made, and the easiest to clean up. They will probably become my fall standby!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Coming Attractions

Round Three of the Bakeoff will happen tomorrow. I spent last night baking what I think will be the winning muffins, but of course have to keep it top secret until I win.

After the competition is over, the winner and the loser baked goods will be presented. Winner gets breakfast in bed served by the loser.

Also coming this week, posts on:

vanilla birthday vegan cupcakes
Keema Matar
apple crisp
veggie lasagna
lentil soup

and more!