Archive for May, 2012

Tempeh Quinoa Burgers and Stuffed Eggplant

May 30, 2012

The recipe from The Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health for tempeh-quinoa burgers (which you can see here at The Golden Yolk) sounds more complicated to make than it is. You need cooked quinoa, cooked sweet potato and a sauteed mixture of tempeh and vegetables. I was putting off making them, and then realized that I usually make quinoa and roast sweet potatoes anyway.

Here is what you do: combine cooked quinoa (1/2 cup raw cooked with 1 cup water) and cooked sweet potato (1/2-2/3 large, roasted or boiled with the quinoa) with a sauteed mixture of 1 cup diced onion, 2 cloves minced garlic,  1 cup minced red pepper and 8 ounces diced tempeh, plus some seasonings. In terms of the seasonings, I thought that the mixture tasted delicious with just the 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. oregano, 1/4 tsp. pepper and 4 tsp. soy sauce added. The 2 Tbl. ketchup (or tomato paste or salsa) and 2 tsp. Dijon mustard made the mixture more burger-ish, but wasn’t crucial. I skipped the cilantro, sesame oil and sesame seeds. For the burgers, shape about 8 patties and bake them on a greased baking sheet at 375 degrees for about a half hour.

I had a eggplant I needed to use and I had the idea of roasting it and stuffing it with some of the burger mixture. I halved the eggplant, rubbed it with olive oil and roasting it at 375 for a half hour. Then I mashed the roasted eggplant (scraped out of the skin)  into about half the burger mixture. Then I roasted the eggplant again with the stuffing inside the eggplant skins (375 degrees for a half hour). It was an excellent combination.

Wordless Wednesday: Too Good For Words Banoffee Pie

May 30, 2012


Dairy Menu Ideas for Shavuoth

May 23, 2012

Still looking for some good recipes for Shavuoth? Here are some ideas . . .


Spinach, Corn and Roasted Red Pepper Enchiladas (dairy, but convertible to lactose-free)

May 17, 2012

I think about you, dear readers, I really do. So, when I made these very dairy enchiladas, I thought about those of you who are lactose-intolerant. The recipe calls for eight tortillas and I had a package of ten. With the extra tortillas, I also made some lactose-free enchiladas.

It was an excellent experiment. Crumbled tofu is a perfect substitute for the small amount of cottage cheese in the recipe, and the enchiladas taste fine topped with plain sauce and no cheese. Although, if you wanted to have “cheese” on top, I noticed an interesting product in the local health food store: Daiya cheese style shreds. They are OU pareve. I haven’t tried this product yet (If you have, let me know if you like it).

So make the dairy version offered below, or convert it to lactose-free–your choice.

dairy-free broccoli, corn and red pepper enchiladas with tofu

This recipe is adapted from Simple Vegetarian Pleasures by Jeanne Lemlin. It is similar to a recipe I was given several years ago (and posted about here), except that recipe was a lot cheesier. That recipe always came out like lasagna, which was yummy in its own way. This is a little lighter.

Jeanne Lemlin has at least two other enchilada recipes that sound good and easy: mushroom and bean enchiladas and these zucchini bean enchiladas.

If you are thinking about dairy menus right now, I like to serve a Mexican themed meal, with salad, chili, yellow rice, guacamole, taco shells, some salmon and pasta or enchiladas.


Double Chocolate Mocha Bean Cookies (Gluten-Free)

May 16, 2012

When I hear the words bean and dessert, I am also expecting to hear the word vanilla or coffee or cocoa (none of which are real beans, by the way). Of course real legumes appear in desserts, especially peanuts and, in Asian cuisine, azuki beans. But, for the most part, you can be sure of a shocked reaction when you tell people the yummy chocolate cookie they are eating includes mashed black beans.

Besides black beans, these cookies include the more usual dessert “beans.” There is coffee, vanilla and cocoa, and those flavors completely drown out the vegetal flavor of the black beans. The chocolate flavor is so dominant that you would also be hard pressed to guess the sweetener was a small amount of honey.

The texture is rather like cheesecake, or brownies. You could make a pan of brownies with the batter instead of cookies, but I like the pre-portioned aspect of cookies.

My family inhaled these cookies, never once asking (or presumably guessing) the secret ingredient. They have no idea how much fiber, protein and antioxidants they got along with their sugar rush.


Miso Happy

May 16, 2012

Is there anything as cheering on a gray, rainy day as a bowl of miso soup? It is so healthy and energizing.

This isn’t authentic miso soup, but more of a simple cheat. All the same, it strongly reminds me of the kind of soup I have had in restaurants.

It is really pretty easy. Combine miso, water, a little soy sauce, cubed tofu, sliced scallions and sliced mushrooms. Heat to not quite boiling. Put a spoonful of fried onions in a ceramic bowl, add the soup.

Miso is very versatile–no need to save just for soup making (although I hear that a little bit added to French Onion soup is fabulous). You can use it in dressings, spreads and marinades for fish, poultry and vegetables.

Miso-glazed cod is a classic, but you can use miso on salmon, too. I concocted a marinade with 2 Tbl. white miso, 2 Tbl. Mirin, 1 Tbl. honey, the juice of half a lime, a few shakes of dried ginger and a pinch of white pepper. This is enough marinade for a pound of fish. Roast at 425 for 25 minutes.

Here is another thing you can do with miso that is extraordinarily easy: combine peanut butter (2 Tbl.), miso (2 tsp.), and honey (to taste, maybe a teaspoon or two). Spread this on toast and top with sliced apple, pear or banana.  This sandwich idea (with the apples) originally came from Serendipity. The recipe was published in The Serendipity Cookbook, which is out of print. I don’t have a copy of that book and can’t find the recipe online, so my version is from memory. Actually, I think I remember first learning about it from this episode of this show, where the owner of the restaurant Serendipity, Calvin Holt, demonstrated how to make the sandwich. I think the original sandwich involved alfalfa sprouts, but I can’t precisely remember.


Quinoa with Garlic Roasted Sweet Potatoes

May 14, 2012

This started off as Melissa Clark’s recipe for Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Garlic (from Cook This Now).  The basic idea of that recipe is roasting  (at 425 degrees for about a half hour) sweet potatoes (1 1/2 lbs., peeled and cut in 1″ cubes) after tossing them with 3 Tbl. olive oil, 1 tsp. kosher salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, 6 whole unpeeled garlic cloves and a broken cinnamon stick. I decided to toss the cooked sweet potatoes (after removing the bits of cinnamon stick) with a batch of cooked quinoa, toasted almonds, dried cranberries and diced prunes. I also added in some lemon juice. When heated through, the ingredients melded together. The dish reminded me of both couscous and tzimmes at the same time.

My only issue with the original dish and my variation is the intensity of the roasted garlic. I think a little less garlic would be better, or maybe it would better to mash one roasted clove and stir it into the dish and leave the remaining roasted cloves on the side for adding as desired.

Quinoa a la Jardinera

May 14, 2012

We tend to prefer quinoa in  salad form. Even when I make a quinoa pilaf, we like it even better the next day served cold as a salad.

In my ongoing quest for a more exciting quinoa pilaf, I pulled off the shelf a book by the late Felipe Rojas-Lombardi: The Art of South American Cooking. Since quinoa is native to South America, it isn’t altogether surprising that Chef Rojas-Lombardi’s tome has a few interesting quinoa dishes.

His Quinoa a la Jardinera is a particularly nice pilaf style preparation. Warm quinoa is tossed with a colorful confetti of sauteed diced vegetables, including red and green bell peppers, red onion or scallion, carrots, and celery. Other vegetables, such as corn and peas, can be also added. You can tell from the original instructions that the recipe comes from a high-end restaurant chef rather than a home cook–the vegetables aren’t just to be chopped or minced, they are to be cut in a 1/8″ dice.

(Chef Rojas-Lombardi had an interesting background. Originally from Peru, he worked as James Beard’s assistant, was a founding chef of the gourmet food store Dean & Deluca, and then went on to become executive chef at the Ballroom. His restaurant featured tapas, and he is credited with starting the tapas trend in U.S. restaurants.)

The pilaf’s flavor is enlivened with an interesting mix of ginger and herbs. The herbs are particularly important because quinoa on its own has a pretty subtle flavor. When I first served this to my husband, he liked it, but thought it lacked the “big flavor” of quinoa salads I have made in the past. I add more dill (better), and served it the next day cold as a salad with some grape tomatoes tossed in. On the side, I served some guacamole and tortilla chips. Now, that combination–the fresh acidity of the tomatoes, the pungent garlic creaminess of the guacamole, the crunch of the tortilla chips, the subtly chewy-crunchy texture of the quinoa with the backnotes of herbs and ginger–now that had really big, big flavor.


Rum Raisin Oatmeal Cookies (with coconut and chocolate chips)

May 11, 2012

I can’t believe I waited so long to make these cookies. The recipe comes from an old book called City Cuisine, a cookbook by two chefs that later became famous as Too Hot Tamales: Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken. If you google rum raisin oatmeal cookies, you will find plenty of recipes, but this was the first cookie recipe that I had seen that called for this technique. It really adds a tremendous dimension of flavor to soak the raisins in liquor before baking. Coconut and chocolate chips take these over top.

I replaced the butter in this recipe with safflower oil, although coconut oil would also be nice.


Rainbow Swiss Chard with Rum Raisins and Toasted Almonds

May 11, 2012

Chard, with raisins and nuts might sound a bit odd, but it is a traditional combination. Mirielle Johnston’s Cusine of the Sun: Classical French Cooking from Nice and Provence gives a a recipe for Tourte de Blettes, a pie which combines spinach or Swiss chard with rum raisins, pine nuts and apples (if you want to see a variation on this particular recipe, take a look here at Saveur). This is served as dessert!

Melissa Clark’s Cook This Now has a recipe for red Swiss Chard with golden raisins and pine nuts which is meant to be a side dish. Here is what you do: in a very large skillet or big pot, heat sliced garlic with oil just until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 second. Add handfuls of sliced Swiss chard and cook down until wilted, add salt and pepper, plus some golden raisins that have been soaked in rum, plus some toasted pine nuts.