Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Lemon & Green Tea Granola

I've been craving homemade granola for a bit now, and I finally took the time to make it this week. There's something so satisfying about freshly made granola, and it's so cheap and easy, you'd be crazy to not make your own.

I've been mildly obsessed with using more tea in my cooking (see the Tea Glazed nuts) and I wanted to try it in granola. It came out quite tasty, and I think you'll enjoy this. It's perfect with soymilk (or cow's milk if you prefer) or sprinkle it in your favorite yogurt.

I also think this recipe could be used with a hundred different variations - use different tea or different combinations of grains. No matter what you use, I'm sure you'll love this homemade granola.

Lemon  & Green Tea Granola II

Lemon and Green Tea Granola
3 1/2 cups Bob's 7-Grain Rolled Oats Mix
1/4 c flax seed
1/4 c wheat bran
zest of 1 large lemon (about 1 tbsp)
juice of 1 large lemon (about 2 tbsp)
Tea from 2 green tea bags cut open
1/2 c honey
3 tbsp melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a baking sheet with sides or a large roasting dish. In large bowl, combine all ingredients and stir well. Spread out in baking dish and place in oven. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring as little as possible, yet keeping it from burning, until nicely toasted. Do not overbake, as the more you bake, the less lemon flavor there will be. Cool. Enjoy with milk, stirred into yogurt, or however you enjoy your granola.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Wasabi Salmon with Lime

Without a doubt, salmon is by far one of my favorites. It's got such a lovely flavor, and it's great prepared thousands of ways. It's also reasonably healthy, being high in protein, low in fat, and high in Omega-3's.

I also am a huge fan of wasabi peas, which are basically dehydrated peas coated in wasabi powder. They are a relatively healthy snack as well, and have such a spicy little kick.

When I saw this recipe in March's Bon Appetit magazine I was immediately intrigued with it. I'm so glad I did, as it's super tasty, very easy to make, and fairly healthy. The wasabi peas give it such a unique flavor and texture, and I'll be sure to make this again.

Wasabi Salmon with Lime I

Wasabi Salmon with Lime
3/4 c wasabi peas
2 salmon fillets, about 1" thick
1 tbsp fresh lime zest
1 tbsp olive oil
fresh lime juice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Oil baking sheet and set aside. In food processor, grind peas until coarse crumbs remain. Place salmon, skin side down, on baking sheet. Season fish with salt and pepper. Press ground wasabi peas onto salmon fillets, covering tops completely. Sprinkle lime zest over salmon and drizzle with olive oil. Place into oven and bake until done in center, about 15 minutes.
Drizzle lime juice over fillets and serve.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Look - shiny things!

To try and distract you from the fact that there's been nothing new and fresh posted this week due to the craziness of school, I will instead let you look at these new little cards that came in the mail this week.

I ordered them from Moo and I'm so happy with them. I'm often scribbling down my website address on a scratch piece of paper to give to people and decided it was time to class it up a bit.

The 28 Minis

I'll be back on Monday with something delicious!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Thai Carrot and Ginger Soup

I had a list of ingredients scratched down on a tattered piece of paper that's been sitting in my "to make" recipe stack for a few months. I didn't have any amounts listed, but simply a list of things I thought would make a great soup. I finally pulled it out this morning and started to work on it.

If you read through the ingredients, you'll know this can't help but be tasty. The fresh ginger and coconut milk kick up the taste of the carrots, and the cumin adds a completely different layer of flavor.

Thai Carrot and Ginger Soup

Thai Carrot and Ginger Soup
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup onion, diced
1 (16 oz) bag baby carrots, diced OR
4 cups diced carrots
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (32 oz) carton good vegetable stock
1 (15 oz) can coconut milk
1 tsp cumin
2" piece of ginger root, peeled and grated

Heat oil in large saucepan. Add onion and saute for 1 minute. Add carrots and garlic, and saute for 5 minutes, or until carrots are almost tender. Add stock and bring to a boil. Add remaining ingredients, lower heat and cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Puree with hand blender or in batches in a blender until creamy. Return to pot and season to taste with salt and pepper.Serve garnished with sour cream and fresh cilantro.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Black Bean Pie

I was always in love with those little frozen pot pies when I was younger. That was the very essence of comfort food to me - warm goodness baked into a flaky pie shell. Although it's been years since I've had one of those, I do still crave those sometimes.

I've made this a few times and it never disappoints. Black beans were always my favorite bean, and combined with the melted cheese and the flaky pie crust, it makes such a winning combination. This recipe is super easy, and can also be premade and frozen.

Black Bean Pie 1

Black Bean Pie
1 tbsp olive oil
1 c onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 small can green chilies, diced
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained
1/2 c salsa
1 1/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp salt or Adobo seasoning
2 pie shells, unbaked
2 c shredded cheese

Black Bean Pie II

Preheat oven to 325. Heat oil in large pan. Add onion and green pepper, and saute until tender. Add chilies, beans, salsa, and seasonings. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer 10 minutes. Place unbaked pie shell in deep dish pie pan. Sprinkle 1/3 of the cheese mixture on bottom. Pour in 1/2 of the bean mixture. Top with 1/3 of cheese, and pour in rest of beans. Cover with remaining cheese and pie shell. Place into oven and bake 45 minutes, or until pie crust is golden brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Weekend Stir-fry

Wow - thanks for all of the compliments and comments on the "Behind the Apron" roundup. It was so much fun putting it all together, and it was lovely to have a chance to see who's behind some of my favorite food blogs, as well as some new ones.

Much like last week's "Clean out your fridge" Vegetable Soup, this is a perfect way to use up all of the week's leftover vegetables. I started this much like I did the soup - by digging out all of the veggies that were left in the crisper. Although I've put down what vegetables I've used, I'm confident you can use whatever veggies you have on hand.

The sauce is somewhat spicy, due to the addition of the chili garlic sauce. If you're heat sensitive, I'd cut back a tad on the amount added. On the 28 Cooks' heat scale, this rates about a 3 out of 5.

Weekend Stir-fry

Weekend Stir-fry
2 c eggplant, diced
1 c carrots, diced
1 c celery, diced
1 c green pepper, diced
1/2 c scallions, white part only, diced
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp chili-garlic sauce
1/2 tsp ginger, minced
1 tbsp warm water
1/2 tsp cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tbsp water

Saute vegetables in small amounts of sesame oil in a wok over high heat until done to desired texture. (I did the vegetables that take the longest to cook, such as carrots, celery, and green pepper, in the wok together. I then placed them in a covered dish while I did the softer vegetables) Combine soy sauce, oyster sauce, chili-garlic sauce, ginger, and 1 tbsp warm water in small bowl. Add to wok, and stir until it comes to a boil. Add cornstarch dissolved in water to wok, and stir for a few seconds until sauce starts to thicken. Remove from heat, add vegetables, and stir well to combine. Serve over rice or couscous.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

"Behind the Apron" Final Roundup!

Well, here it is - time to show you all of the food bloggers who've participated in this roundup. My intention was to get an idea of exactly who is behind some of my favorite food blogs. I was overwhelmed with how many food bloggers participated, and I think you'll love seeing exactly who creates all the magic on some really excellent blogs. Many of my favorites joined in, and there were also a few I hadn't visited yet, but will surely be on my daily rotation.

Before I let you see the rest, it's only fair that I take a minute to come out from "behind the apron" and introduce myself. I am a 29-year old female that lives in the eastern part of Pennsylvania. I'm originally from Anaheim, California, and have lived and traveled in a quite a few countries in my years, including Guatemala, Kenya, and Bulgaria. I'm currently attending school full-time at Millersville University, pursuing my Masters degree in Social Work.


Here's a picture of me, standing in my parent's kitchen. My setup at home isn't nearly as nice as this, and I do love the chances I get to cook here.

I've been a vegaquarian for almost 2 years. I initially started giving up meat as a way to focus on eating more vegetables, and over the past 2 years, I've seen some wonderful health benefits that have made me stick to it. It's also given me a chance to seek out new ways to try and prepare vegetables, as well as coming up with hearty and satisfying meatless dishes.

I've always wanted to open my own restaurant, and am hoping that at sometime in the future, it may become a reality. I'm still steadily learning more about cooking and photography, and have truly enjoyed hosting 28 Cooks. I appreciate all of my loyal and faithful readers who stop by daily, and I love reading your comments.

I know for some of the food bloggers, it was hard to come out from behind that shroud of anonymity that goes with the Internet, but I'm thankful that so many of you participated. So without further ado, here's the list of some really excellent food blogs, and a chance to see who's "Behind the Apron."

*Cooking Delights
*Cumin and Coriander
*Albion Cooks
*My Journey: Adventures as a Vegan
*Jumbo Empanadas
*The Culinary Chase
*Everybody Loves Sandwiches
*The Real Epicurean
*Writing at the Kitchen Table
*Confections of a Foodie Bride
*Dine and Dish
*Cook Chinese
*Sim Cooks
*Mele Cotte
*Pip in the City
*Daily Bread Journal
*Life Among the Trees
*Chef Girl
*Melissa's Vegan Blog
*Definitely Not Martha
*The Bakehouse
*Eden in the Kitchen
*Blue Kitchen
*Eat Peace Please
*The Veggie Voice
*Flippantly Vague Musings of a Quirky Vegan
*Where's the Revolution?
*Vegan Eats and Treats
*So Epicurious It Hurts

Thursday, February 01, 2007

"Clean-out-the-Fridge" Vegetable Soup

Having a refrigerator full of either the beginnings or the ends or recipes is a hazard of being a cook. My refrigerator is always chock full of herbs and vegetables, waiting for their use in some upcoming recipe. But often, due to time constraints or just not getting around to using them, inevitably some of it winds up in the trash can.

As I was thinking earlier this morning about what I wanted to make, I knew I wanted to make a nice warm soup that would be perfect for the cold weather we've been having. I started thinking about what vegetables I wanted to get at the grocery store, and what herbs and seasonings I wanted to use. I was deep in thought when it hit me - I have a pantry and refrigerator full of perfectly good stuff that I could make something decent out of.

So I skipped the store, came straight home, and started pulling out all of the dormant vegetables I had. I just started chopping, sauteing, and mixing it all together, and this lovely and warming soup was born.

The best thing about this recipe is I'm sure you could use absolutely whatever you had on hand, adding whatever vegetables you needed to get rid of. It's also ridiculously easy, and positively low in fat and calories. I also threw in some rice, but feel free to leave it out, or add the grain of your choice.

"Clean-out-the-Fridge" Vegetable Soup

"Clean-out-the-Fridge" Vegetable Soup
1 c onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 c baby carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
2 vegetable bouillon cubes, crumbled*
1 1/2 tsp italian seasoning
3/4 tsp fennel seed, crushed
1/4 tsp ground savory
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
6 cups water*
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt/pepper to taste

In 2-3 tbsp of olive oil, saute onion, bell pepper, carrots, and celery for a minutes in large saucepan over medium high heat. Cover with lid, and cook vegetables for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and bay leaf, and saute another 2 minutes. Add bouillon cubes and remainder of spices. Stir in can of tomatoes and 6 cups of water, and bring to a boil. (*If you do not have vegetable bouillon cubes, simply use 6 cups of vegetable stock) Add rice, and return to a boil. Cover with lid, and simmer until rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar, simmer an additional 2 minutes, season with salt and pepper, and serve.