Thursday, February 28, 2008

Vegan Lemon Blueberry Scones

So, yesterday I had a panel discussion at the unGodly hour of 7:00 in the frigging morning. Why the hell in the name of all that is good and holy would you schedule your panel discussion 7 hours past midnight? I don't get it, why not 8:00, really, 8:00 is a very nice time to start your discussion. Anyway, this discussion started with a continental type breakfast networking thing before hand; you know bagels, pastries, fruit and teeny tiny little plates, and no tables, so if you want to eat, you are forced to stand with plate in hand, while you juggle your coffee in the other hand and now you don't have an extra hand jetting out of your chest with which to eat with so you just basically don't eat. Awesome people thanks for planning your discussion at 7:00 in the morning and making it completely impossible to eat a breakfast before hand.

I bring this up because at the end of the discussion at 9:00 I could have dropped dead from hunger, so I went to the breakfast buffet and picked up a piece of breakfast bread, I think it was lemon, that had been pre cut into half slices, so it was not a whole slice, it was a half a slice, and I was starving. As I placed the half slice on my napkin a man, whom I have never met in my life walked up beside me and asked "how many calories do you think are in there?" Are you fucking kidding me? If it were the summer and I was wearing slip on flats I may have just taken my free hand, (the one not holding the mega calorie laden half slice) slipped of my flat and hit him the the face with the dirty sole of my shoe. At what point did it become PC for a man to come up to a women he has never met and discuss her caloric intake? Are you socially fucking retarded asshole?

My point is, I'm a small person. I'm not fat, I'm not thin, I'm what I refer to as "sporty", athletic if you will. But I guarantee you if I was overweight or obese this fuckface would not have felt that he could speak to me about the amount of calories that I was about to put into my face. Why is is ok for people to comment on what an average weight person eats, especially when they wouldn't feel comfortable saying the same thing to an overweight person? I'm lost here. When did it become socially acceptable to make comments to a woman who is at a healthy weight about her weight, or why is it ok for someone to tell another person that they are too skinny, but telling someone that they are too fat is taboo. I just don't get it. Why the double standard?

So what was my response to this question? I looked right at him and said "I don't give a shit how many calories are in it, I'm hungry." and then shoved it in my face.

So, can you say RANT? Sorry folks, just rubbed me the wrong way.

These scones were my own recipe that I made up. They were good, not the best, but definitely good, tasty and obviously low fat.

Vegan Blueberry Lemon Scones
2 C flour
3/4 C oats
1/4 C brown sugar
1/4 C white sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbs lemon juice plus zest of one lemon
1/2 C soy milk
1 C frozen blueberries
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 400.
Combine dry ingredients. Combine wet ingredients. Add wet to dry, mix until incorporated. Fold in blueberries. Drop onto greased cookie sheet (or slipat). Bake 25 minutes or until toothpick comes clean.
Rating = Damn Good

Monday, February 25, 2008

Sauteed Spinach with Feta and Pine Nuts

Something you may not know about me; I love spinach. Loooove it, love it, love it. I feel bad for people who don't like it. If I could eat it everyday I would. I try to eat it everyday, whether it be spinach omelets, sauteed spinach, pasta with spinach, whatever. I love it. absolutely hated it growing up. I don't know what happened, my taste buds grew up or something, but now I love it. Why is it that you can hate some foods when you are younger, but love them when you are older? I don't get it because some of the foods that I hated when I was younger, I still hate; mushrooms, raw tomatoes and cantaloupe (I have a serious gag reflex to cantaloupe, just the name induces a little vomit in my mouth, blech.) But, some of the things I hated when I was younger I love now, spinach, eggplant, summer squash, onions - why do I love these now, but not the others?

I got this recipe out of the latest issue of Everyday Food. It's delicious.

Sauteed Spinach with Feta and Pine Nuts
1 bag spinach rinsed, drained and trimmed of large stems
feta cheese for sprinkling
pine nuts for sprinkling
olive oil to coat pan
salt and pepper to taste

Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Heat the oil in the skillet (I added the salt and pepper to the skillet at this time to) add the spinach, as much as will fit in the pan, allow to cook down and add spinach a bit at a time until all is added. When the spinach has wilted down plate and top with feta cheese and pine nuts. Yum. (We served this with grilled salmon and it was perfect.)

Rating = Damn Good

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

No Pic Vegan Oatmeal Scones

Honestly, there is no picture of these scones because we ate them, all, rather quickly. They were here, and then they were gone and I didn't get a picture. Sorry. But be assured, they were damn good people. One of the best vegan scone recipes I've tried yet.

There's a lot going on in the life of JB_CB right now, and it involves real estate. CB and I decided to buy a house, yes, a big honking house. This is weird for us becuase we've always lived in teeny tiny apartments or slightly bigger than teeny tiny condos in the City, so the whole, multiple bedrooms, backyards with grass, attic and basement for storage, is all foreign to us.

So we put our house on the market last week and to say that it's been freaking crazy is to put it mildly, we've already had 3 second showings, 12 couples came to the first open house and we've already gotten an offer (which we declined, but that's ok, more will come). What's crazy is that CB and I haven't exactly found a house to move into yet, we've just picked the town and the most desireable streets in that town, so now, we're crapping our pants just a little bit now that it looks like our condo is going to sell much quicker than we anticipated, and we could possibly not have found a house yet, hence being homeless. Maybe I should pimp out my cooking and baking skills...will feed you for room and board? Huh? Anyway, the whole having the condo on the market is not the ideal situation for a food blogger becuase unfortunately the house has to be in "show condition" at all times, which means I can't make a mess in the kitchen and just leave it there, so for a little while, the food posts will be scarce, but I promise, when I have that big honkin suburban chefs kitchen the posts will be fan-fucking-tastic.

Vegan Oatmeal Scone Vegetarian Cooking
1/2 cup vegan margarine or Crisco (I used 1/4 cup soy butter, 1/4 cup applesauce)
1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup raisins, optional
1/3 cup vanilla or plain soy milk

Preheat oven to 375F.

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together in a large bowl. Cut in margarine until mixture becomes uniformly crumbly. Stir in oats and raisins.

Add soy milk and mix gently until a soft dough begins to cling together.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and pat it into a 7 inch circle. Cut into 8 wedges and place them on an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake 15 to 18 minutes until golden brown and firm when pressed lightly in the center.

Makes 8 scones.

Rating = So Damn Good

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Tortellini with Arugula and Sundried Tomatoes

Really, it took five minutes to make this dish. You have time to make this dish. It was awesome and healthy and easy. I took about 1/4 of an onion (I used a quarter of it because it was one of those big honkin probably genetically modified enormous onions) diced it and then sauteed it in a little olive oil, to this I added about 1/3 of a jar of sundried tomatoes in oil chopped. As the onion and tomatoes were getting all happy in the olive oil I put the tortellini in a pot of boiling water and cooked them for five minutes. When they were done cooking I added a little of the pasta water along with the tortellini to the onion and sundried tomatoes. I turned the tortellini enough to coat them in the sauce, and then added about half a package of organic arugula and left it on the burner long enough for the arugula to wilt down, but no more than that. I seasoned with salt and pepper and served with freshly grated Parmesan. So simple people.

Also, if you give a rats ass about Valentine's Day (which I don't, I think it's a simply vile holiday) then this is the perfect meal to make tonight. Why? Because apparantely the tortellini is the pasta of love according to these Wikipedia legends:

One says that this dish is born in Castelfranco Emilia. One night during a trip, Lucrezia Borgia checked into an inn in the small town. Over the course of the night the host became so captivated by Lucrezia's beauty that he couldn't resist the urge to peek into her room through the keyhole. The bedroom was only lit by a few candles, and so he could merely see her navel. This pure and innocent vision was enough to send him into an ecstasy that inspired him to create the tortellini that night.

Another separate but similar legend, originating in medieval Italy, tells how
Venus and Jupiter (the Roman equivalent to the Greek gods Aphrodite and Zeus) arrived at a tavern on the outskirts of Bologna one night, weary from their involvement in a battle between Modena and Bologna. After much food and drink, they shared a room. The innkeeper, captivated by the two, followed them and peeked through the keyhole. All he could see was Venus's navel. Spellbound, he rushed to the kitchen and created tortellini in its image.

So see, its the pasta of love and lust, and peeping through key holes, and this recipe is so simple and fast that it leaves plenty of time to hop on the good foot and do the bad thing all night long. So get to it.

Rating = So Damn Good

Monday, February 11, 2008

Soups On | 17 Bean Soup

This recipe actually comes to us from the back of a bag of 17 Bean & Barley Mix that I got at Trader Joe's last week. It's a perfect meal for this ass biting temperature that has just gripped the northeast. Did anyone happen to see the completely psychotic weather that we had yesterday? We went from bright and sunny, to rain, to complete white out blizard conditions, back to sun, then back to the blizzard conditions complete with thunder and cloud to ground lightning strikes. Definitely one of the weirdest weather days I have ever experienced. But a nice warm bowl of soup always warms the insides. This recipe was really good, and also really easy to make.

Personal Note: Dad, Laura told me that you've been making a lot of the healthy meals from the blog lately. I really think that you would like this one. I'm not sure if you have a Trader Joe's near you, but if you don't, I can pick up a bag and give it to Laura to give to you. Just leave me a post if you want me to get you some.

Ok, back to the blog.

17 Bean & Barley Soup Trader Joe's
2 cups 17 bean and barley soup mix
2 - 32oz containers of vegetable broth
1 cup onion chopped
1 rib celery chopped
1 carrot chopped
1 cup bell pepper chopped
1 tsp dried basil
1 clove garlic crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp italian seasoning
1 - 28oz can canned tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
1. Soak beans overnight in a large pot of water, then rinse and drain. Pour 4 cups of vegetable broth into a pot with the beans. In a separate pan, cook onion, celery, carrot, pepper, basil and garilc in olive oil until soft. Combine this mixture and remaining ingredients into the bean pot and cover with more broth. Simmer covered for about 1 hour to desired tenderness. Be sure to occasionally check the liquid level and add more broth if necessary. Salt and pepper to desired taste. Makes about 8 hearty servings.
Rating = Damn Good

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Jesus Promise aka "What Are You Giving Up for Lent?"

So last year I gave up chocolate for lent, it was tough, but most definitely do-able.

Well, it seems that this year the gastroenterologist has pretty much taken the goodness out of my life for four weeks of the Lenten period anyway, so this year will be even tougher than last year because not only do I have my Jesus Promise to contend with, I have the uber strict diet from the gastroenteroligist.

This year my Jesus promise is "NO PEANUT BUTTER". For those of you who don't know me. This is fucking huge. I eat peanut butter everyday, I'm not kidding here, everyday. In the morning before my run I have a tablespoon of peanut butter. At night before yoga I eat another tablespoon of peanut butter. There is not a day that goes by that I do not ingest peanut butter directly from the jar on a spoon and then into my mouth. I repeat, this is huge.

But I like giving something up, it makes me feel like I'm accomplishing something, no matter how small or remote.

CB gave up desserts, all desserts. This too is huge because he eats dessert everyday. After dinner, everynight he has some sort of sweet, be it a cookie or ice cream, or a piece of chocolate. He has something, so this is definitely a hard give-up for him.

We'll see how it goes. 9 hours down 39 days and 15 hours to go.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Most Clicked Chocolate Cake

So, I'm still having some lingering effects from the "Mexican Stomach" issues that I got while visiting Cozumel in November. I spent the afternoon on Friday at the gastroenterologists office discussing the problems I've had in my stomach and esophogas since my visit to Mexico, and being examined for various ailments. The remedy for my problem is a combination of diet and prescription drugs for four weeks. Drugs I can handle, but the diet is going to be a killer; no chocolate, peppermint, coffee, or ALCOHOL, for four weeks. No wine with dinner for four weeks, no hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps for four weeks, no Wednesday martini for four weeks. As you can see I took the news quite well. I decided the four weeks would start on the following Saturday, and immediately went home and made this cake.

The most downloaded cake recipe ever.

It's got chocolate and coffee in it, two of the things I am now going to have to go without for four weeks. I made it for my mom's birthday, which is actually today, but we celebrated on Saturday and thank Jebus it was a terrific cake becuase it is gone and will not linger on the cake platter enticing me to eat it for days. It's gone, and so too is the alcohol, chocolate, coffee and peppermint for four weeks. I really do want my esophogas to heal and my stomach to get better, so I guess it's a small price to pay for that, but phooey, it still sucks a little.

Double Chocolate Layer Cake

For cake layers
• 3 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate such as Callebaut
• 1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
• 3 cups sugar
• 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
• 2 teaspoons baking soda
• 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
• 3 large eggs
• 3/4 cup vegetable oil
• 1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
• 3/4 teaspoon vanilla

For ganache frosting
• 1 pound fine-quality semisweet chocolate such as Callebaut
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
• 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter

Special equipment
• Two 10- by 2-inch round cake pans

Make cake layers:Preheat oven to 300° F and grease pans. Line bottoms with rounds of wax paper and grease paper.

Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat
eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored (about 3 minutes with a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a hand-held mixer). Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well. Divide batter between pans and bake in middle of oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Cool layers completely in pans on racks. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks. Carefully remove wax paper and cool layers completely. Cake layers may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.

Make frosting:Finely chop chocolate. In a 1 1/2- to 2-quart saucepan bring cream, sugar, and corn syrup to a boil over moderately low heat, whisking until sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from heat and add chocolate, whisking until chocolate is melted. Cut butter into pieces and add to frosting, whisking until smooth.

Transfer frosting to a bowl and cool, stirring occasionally, until spreadable (depending on chocolate used, it may be necessary to chill frosting to spreadable consistency). Spread frosting between cake layers and over top and sides. Cake keeps, covered and chilled, 3 days. Bring cake to room temperature before serving.

Rating = So God Damn Good

Friday, February 01, 2008

Tempeh Fajita | I'm Fucking Matt Damon

Well, that title grabbed you didn't it. I cannot stop watching this Youtube video now that one of the Beanies posted it on our website. It's Sarah Silverman I'm Fucking Matt Damon on Jimmy Kimmel and it is hilarious.

on a bed, on a floor, on a towel by the door, in a tub, in the car, up against the mini bar..I'm fucking Matt Damon....

Who's that knockin at my door?"

I'm dying people. It is too funny.

Oh, yeah, and here's a really good recipe I got for Tempeh Fajitas from Delicious TV, a local vegetarian cooking show. This show is really helping me find new and delicious meat free recipes. Toni, the host explains everything in detail which is what I need. Her show isn't as flashy as the food network shows, and sometimes she's not looking at the right camera, but overall the show has been most helpful to me as I try to navigate the world of tofu, tempeh and texturized vegetable protien.

Tempeh Fajitas
8 oz. block tempeh, any variety
4 T. fajita seasoning (reserve 2 T. for cooking)
2 T. vegetable oiloil for cooking
6 sweet peppers, a combination of green, yellow, orange, and red
2 medium-sized yellow onions
1 Jalapeno pepper
1 package Fajita wraps

To Prepare:Cut tempeh block in half lengthwise then slice into 1/4- to 1/2-inch wide strips. Place in a lidded plastic container, add two tablespoons of the vegetable oil and two tablespoons of the fajita seasoning. Cover container and turn to coat. Tempeh will be completely marinated and ready to cook in approximately 35 minutes, but improves if marinated up to 6-8 hours.

Heat oil in a large skillet (preferably cast iron). Cook marinated tempeh until golden brown, then add roughly chopped seeded peppers and onions.

Turn up the heat while you stir fry to lock in flavors and cook for about 10 minutes or until peppers start to blacken. If necessary add more oil while cooking and season with reserved spice to taste.

Serve tempeh mixture tucked into warmed fajita wraps with salsa and guacamole.

Rating = Damn Good