Sunday, April 28, 2013

Damn Good Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Kassik's Chocolate Cherry Stout Beer

I have never been into stout beer even though I am a huge fan of craft beers. I wanted to make some chocolate stout cupcakes and I had some Kassik's Chocolate Cherry Stout in my garage. I don't have a clue as to when or where I bought it. I do that sometimes, go on a beer buying binge, and then it sits for weeks, months, sometimes years. The sad thing is after I tasted it I went to my local store to buy some more and they had none.

This Kassik's beer was something special though. Very dark with a delectable taste. Smooth. Mysterious. The recipe only used 1/4 cup of beer and I happily drank the rest. It was wonderful in this recipe.

The beauty of these cupcakes (beside the beer) is you don't have to frost it. It has a crumble on the top. It is quite delicious and not too sweet. You could probably halve the topping recipe and have enough. The recipe originates with the book Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.

1/4 C all purpose flour
1/4 C cocoa powder
1/4 cup coconut sugar
2 TB canola oil

3/4 C soy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 C plus 2 TB all purpose flour
1/2 C whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 C cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 C stout beer
3/4 C coconut sugarsugar
1/3 C canola oil
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place liners in muffin tin. To make topping, mix dry ingredients until well blended. Add oil and mix until it's clumped in pea size balls. Set aside.

In large bowl, add milk and vinegar. Mix and set aside. In medium size bowl, add flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix well. Add the rest of wet ingredients including sugar into the large bowl and mix until frothy. Add dry ingredients in two passes. Mix for a couple of minutes with a hand mixer. Scoop batter into liners. Sprinkle topping on top of each cupcake, taking care that it doesn't sink into batter. Bake for about 22 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on rack.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Steamed Buddha Bowl with Super No-Oil Dressing

Buddha Bowl ingredients pictured from top clockwise: red rice, peeled zucchini, steamed carrots, steamed kale and chard, steamed broccoli, and garbanzo beans.
 Buddha Bowl ingredients pictured from top clockwise:
red rice, peeled zucchini, steamed carrots, steamed kale and chard,
steamed broccoli, and garbanzo beans.

I've recently discovered the "Buddha Bowl." What's great about it, is that there is NO recipe. The bowl consists of some greens, grains, a legume, one or two substantial vegetables, dressing, and a topping. The beauty of it is that you don't have to THINK about it. Just dig through the refrigerator and choose what you like. Hopefully you have planned ahead a little and will have pre-cooked grains and legumes. Here are some ideas to get you going.

Greens: chopped spinach, kale, Swiss chard, power greens, watercress, cabbage, escarole, arugula, romaine, chicory, dandelion, etc. Depending on the type of greenery I might steam it.

Vegetables: lightly steamed broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, etc.

Grains: brown rice, quinoa, millet, barley, bulgur, farro, etc. Make this an opportunity to try something new. I'm not a huge rice fan and I bought some Heirloom Bhutan Red Rice (pictured above) and I love it!

Legume: I don't believe a traditional Buddha Bowl uses legumes but I like the addition. I enjoy adding cooked garbanzo beans, lentils, white beans, pintos, etc.

Dressing: Your favorite dressing, hummus or just mash up some avocado and lemon. I have included an interesting recipe for an oil free dressing below.

Toppings: Sprouts, chopped nuts, sunflower, sesame, or hemp seeds, kale chips, you name it. Pile it on!


This oil free dressing recipe is from Dr. Greger's website You must visit it. He has informative, entertaining, and short daily videos. The dressing is slightly tart and delicious. While there is no oil added, it is not a fat-free dressing. Don't fear the fat! Some fat is necessary to help you absorb all the wonderful nutrition you're getting from this meal.

Dr. Greger's no oil dressing
Dr. Greger's Oil Free Dressing
Blend in high speed blender until smooth:
3 TB white miso
1/4 cup brown rice vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 raw carrots, chopped
1 small beet, chopped
1 inch fresh ginger, chopped
1 TB fresh roasted sesame seeds
(I used raw tahini)
I also added:
1 tsp Dijon mustard
freshly ground pepper

Depending on what kind of beet you use, the dressing will be yellow, orange, or red. I used an orange beet and the dressing was a deep golden color. Don't be alarmed by the addition of the beet. You cannot taste the beet, it just adds more nutrition and a beautiful hue to the dressing.

For more ideas here's a Roasted Buddha Bowl with the beans incorporated into a Creamy Lemon White Bean Sauce. You could also make a Mexican Bowl with brown rice, pinto beans, corn, shredded cabbage, zucchini, steamed broccoli, salsa, and avocado. Let's see, Asian Bowl, Indian Bowl, you get the idea!