Saturday, July 30, 2011

Nectarine Biscuits

Oh. My. God. OMG! Recipes like this make it all worthwhile – the sometimes tiring quest to eat healthier, failures in the kitchen, etc. This recipe combines a flaky biscuit with succulent nectarine, lightly sprinkled with sugar and spice and topped off with a light glaze. It might seem complicated or time consuming but it's not. This is one to serve guests or earn the undying gratitude of your family! The recipe is inspired by the Peach Biscuits from the book Sweet Vegan by Emily Mainquist. It's a beautiful book filled with gorgeous pictures and wonderful recipes. Makes 4-5 biscuits.

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup unbleached flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 TB Earth Balance margarine
1/4 cup plus 2 TB soy milk
2 TB Earth Balance margarine, melted
1-2 ripe nectarines, sliced
Sugar & Spice Sprinkle
1/4 cup Sucanat or other evaporated cane juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Mix together and set aside.
2 TB organic fruit spread (I used raspberry)
1 TB water
Mix together and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare baking sheet with parchment paper.

To make biscuits, measure flours and baking powder into bowl of stand mixer. Stir to mix and set speed to medium. Add 1 tablespoon of margarine, mix for about 5 seconds and add final tablespoon of margarine. Add soy milk and mix until soft dough forms. Place on floured surface. I split the dough into fourths and rolled out each to just over 4 inches and then used a muffin cutter to make a nice 4" circle. I had enough leftovers to make one more 4" circle plus a little bite size biscuit.

Place circles on baking sheet and brush with melted margarine. Sprinkle with sugar-spice mixture. Add sliced nectarines to top of each biscuit. Sprinkle again with a bit of sugar-spice. Bake for about 15-20 minutes until lightly browned.

Biscuits headed for the oven. See the little one in the back?
No way am I wasting any of this delicious stuff!

After baking, place on rack to cool. Drizzle glaze over top. Enjoy!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Clean Your Beans!

This is a cautionary tale. I've been cooking beans from scratch for many years. "They say" to pick through them and discard any rocks, etc. I've gotten a bit sloppy. As I was eating a burrito from a recent batch beans I chomped down on a rock. Aside from the unpleasant sensation it still lingers in my mind. It's hard to enjoy my burritos the way I used to. Anyway, I'm still making beans from scratch but now I religiously pick through them. Here's what I found in a bag of pinto beans.

I found all this in just ONE cup of dried beans.
(No, the pencil wasn't in the bag, it's just for illustration!)

Please learn from my mistake and pick through all your dried legumes before you cook them.


Coming soon! As soon as my nectarines are ripe I am making Nectarine Biscuits – individual biscuits topped with sliced nectarines. Mmmmm!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Healthy & Easy Chocolate Covered Almonds

This is so easy it's like a no-brainer. Almonds are very good for you (see and so is dark chocolate (

I used a very dark chocolate (72% cocao) and it was borderline bitter but still very, very edible. If you aren't up to the heavier chocolates, go for a lower percentage of cocao. Just remember that it's the darker chocolates with all the flavinoids. You can also make more or less of this recipe; just keep the ingredient amounts the same. I made the recipe with 3 oz. each of almonds and chocolate and it was plenty. Also be sure to buy raw almonds; it really does make a difference when you roast them yourself. The nuts will have a delightful crunch.

6 oz. premium organic chocolate, 60% cocao or more
6 oz. raw almonds

Roast almonds in 300 degree oven for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Let cool. Heat chocolate over double boiler, stirring until it melts. Pour almonds into chocolate, stir to coat all almonds. Spoon onto parchment paper in clusters or single almonds. Let cool overnight.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Amy's Teriyaki Rice Bowl Revisited

I've made this before and I'm going to do it again. Now it is lower sodium and more closely follows the ingredients in Amy's Teriyaki Rice Bowl. The store bought rice bowl has a whopping 780 milligrams of sodium for a single serving and 15 grams of sugar. I've come across a wonderful teriyaki sauce at New Sagaya store called Spicy Red Chili Teriyaki Sauce by Rub With Love. It's delicious and fairly low in sodium. I have other teriyaki sauce recipes and they use so much soy sauce; too much even when using the low sodium brands. So I'm pretty excited about the Rub With Love. This recipe makes about 4 servings and could make more if you made a bit more rice.

3/4-1 cup short grain brown rice
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 onion, chopped
1 TB fresh ginger, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 oz. of extra firm tofu, pressed and diced
1-1/2 cups mushrooms, sliced
2 cups broccoli florets
3/4-1 cup green beans, sliced into 1 inch strips
1/2 cup carrots, sliced into 1 inch strips
1/4 cup water chestnuts, chopped
1/4 cup Rub with Love teriyaki sauce

Cook rice according to package directions and set aside. I like to use my rice cooker while I sauteé the rest. Heat oils and add onion and sauté until soft. Add ginger, garlic, and mushrooms and cook until mushrooms release moisture. Add tofu and cook till it starts to get a bit brown.

Meanwhile, steam broccoli, green beans and carrots for about 3 minutes until broccoli is crisp-tender. Take it off the heat and drain.

Put steamed veggies back into pot, add the cooked rice, water chestnuts and teriyaki sauce. Stir well and serve. I like to portion out into single serving freezer bowls, add an additional tablespoon of the teriyaki sauce on the top and freeze. Makes an excellent frozen lunch!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Apple Muffins

These are the original muffins without the muffin tops.

I am re-posting this because I made these again with Sucanat sugar, and Fuji apples. I also ran out of cup cake liners when I baked it. So I just sprayed the muffin pan with Pam. These were even better this time, the interior was tender and not too sweet and that little extra crispness at the edges of the muffin top were oh so, wonderful! From now on, I am never going to use cup cake liners when I make muffins. Now I understand what all the fuss is about “muffin tops.’’

I adore apple muffins and love to try out new recipes. Here is one adapted from Vegan Baking Classics by Kelly Rudnicki. This is a library book that I plan to purchase for my collection – it’s a keeper. My only gripe with the book is she tends to use shortening and all-purpose flour. This particular recipe called for dairy-free margarine which I substituted with canola oil. I also used some whole wheat pastry flour instead of all-white flour. All I had on hand for apples was a huge Honeycrisp. I used about 3/4 of it for the muffins and ate the rest. These are beautiful little gems! Makes 12 muffins.

1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup soy milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup Sucanat sugar
1-1/2 cups apple, peeled, chopped into pea sized pieces with 1/2 cup set aside

1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Mix together in small bowl.

Heat oven to 375 degrees and prepare muffin tin. Mix first four wet ingredients in large bowl and set aside. Mix dry ingredients in another bowl and whisk together. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just mixed. Don't over mix. Fold in 1 cup of the apples.

I like to use a ice cream scoop to scoop the batter into muffin tins. Add the reserved chopped apple to top the muffins. Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon sugar topping (more or less depending on your sweet tooth) over each muffin. Bake 23-25 minutes until lightly browned and inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Chocolate Agave Frosting

It's really nice to come across a frosting recipe that's not all butter or powdered sugar. This is a riff on the one in Alicia Silvertstone's The Kind Diet. Tastes perfect atop a vanilla cupcake. Generously frosts 12 cupcakes.

1/4 cup Earth Balance "butter" stick
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla extact
3 TB cocoa
1/4 cup soy milk powder

Cream the butter and agave together until very smooth. Add vanilla and half the cocoa and mix on low until blended. Add rest of cocoa and soy milk powder and beat on medium-high speed until fluffy.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Susan’s Vegan Zucchini Frittata

 Here's a piece of my vegan zucchini frittata.
See Susan’s pie along with the recipe at

Back in the 80s(!) we used to go to the 13 Coins restaurant. They had a couple of locations that I was aware of, one in Seattle and one in Anchorage. Every time I went there, I’d get the vegetarian frittata. Oh, it was good! And then the restaurant went away and I quit eating eggs and cheese. I’ve always loved the whole concept of sautéed vegetables encased in a savory layer of... what? The vegan version is tofu and I'm just not too wild about tofu. Has this funny taste, you know? Even though they say it is tasteless, I find it has a bitter flavor. I’m theorizing that it may be the coagulant used to thicken it. Anyway, Susan from has a new post for a zucchini frittata. It is quite delicious.

This particular tofu dish did not have a bitter flavor. The tofu I used for the sautéed portion was Wildwood Organic Extra Firm Tofu. I think that really made a difference. Perhaps I better stick to that brand. And the next time I make this (and there will be a next time!) I am going to use some kind of vegan parmesan on the top. 

Just a little bit browner and this pie would be perfect!

Oh yeah, one more thing. The leftovers are great. I made a delicious wrap the next day.

Wrap with leftover zucchini frittata, almond cheese, romaine, bell pepper and jalapeno.