Monday, September 29, 2008

Baby food that actually tastes good

There aren't very many pureed vegan baby foods that are high in protein (at least not that I can find) and the few that I did get a hold of tasted absolutely gross.  So I decided a few months ago that my best option was to just making it myself.  I never really thought about posting baby food becuase it doesn't seem all that interesting to me, but when my friends saw (and tasted) what I've been feeding Naimah they insisted that I share it with the world.  Here's one that has been a favorite:
1 small red potato, peeled and chopped
1/2 of a small, white-flesh nectarine, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup fresh spinach
1/3 cup lentils
2 1/2 cups water
Pour the water into the bottom saucepan, add lentils and bring to a boil.  Place the potato, nectarine and spinach into the steamer pot and cover with tight fitting lid for 10-15 minutes, or until the potatoes are very soft.
Place steamed veggies into a food processor.  Drain excess water from lentils before adding them. (The leftover water can be used to thin out the puree, and can also be frozen for future use.)  Puree the mixture, adding some of the lentil water until it's like a thick, pea soup kind of consistancy.
Below is a photo of the type of steamer pot I use:

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Fabu-lash Lavash

I was completely thrilled to discover that my second ever daring baker challenge was vegan!  No substitutions necessary, just a straight up Lavash Cracker from Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering The Art of Extraordinary Bread.  I strayed only slightly from the recipe in that I used whole wheat flour instead of unbleached all purpose flour, I added 1 tbsp of guar gum, and I sprinkled ground pumpkin seeds on it right before baking in the oven.
The instructions say to roll the dough paper thin, and this is probably the most important step, as I learned the hard way that if the dough is too thick it ends up being pita-like.  Still tasty, but I don't think it could really be called a cracker.  My second attempt turned out much better after I realized just how thin paper thin is supposed to be.
The other half of the challenge was to make a dip for the lavash.  I decided I wanted to try making something raw, and I came up with a delicious spinach & artichoke dip which was a hit with my friends - they couldn't believe that I made it by just tossing random ingredients into the food processor.  Seriously, there is no chopping or preparation of ingredients needed.  It's that simple.  Raw can be so easy, I really should eat more raw foods.

*UPDATE:  as someone pointed out, the artichokes aren't raw so I fudged that up.  Hmm maybe raw isn't so easy!

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

1 16 oz can white kidney beans, drained
1 small jar of artichoke hearts in oil, drained
1 cup fresh spinach
3 cloves garlic
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
pinch of salt & pepper
pinch of cayanne pepper

Blend everything in a food processor until smooth.

RIP Paul Newman

The founder of our beloved organic, vegan Newman-O's, Paul Newman has died at the age of 83 after a long battle with cancer. Read the full story here.
The official Newman's Own website is unavailable due to high traffic but there is a lovely write up there at the moment.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Platinum Waffles with Blackberry-Lime Syrup

With the absence of banana, sugar, and dark vanilla, these waffles are not a familiar golden brown, but instead, a delicate platinum hue.  It creates a stunning contrast for the rich color of the blackberry-lime syrup.


PLATINUM WAFFLES:

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
3/4 tbsp stevia
1 1/4 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp oil (canola, olive...)
3 tbsp ground flax
3 tbsp water
1/2 tsp white vanilla

In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sea salt, and stevia.  In a seperate bowl, mix together almond milk, vinegar, oil, flax, water and vanilla; add to dry ingredients and stir until blended.  Pour onto lightly oiled, hot waffle iron.

BLACKBERRY-LIME SYRUP

2 cups blackberries, strained
1 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup agave nectar

Simmer all three ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes or until thickened.  This is great on pancakes and waffles, and even ice cream!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Finest Foodies Friday

Each Friday the Leftover Queen posts five favorite food blogs.  How shocked am I that I was chosen as one of them on the Sept 5th edition?!  While most of the bloggers who are part of the Foodie Blogroll are not veg*n, it is an excellent network of food blogs where you can  look to get inspired and discover new dishes and cooking techniques.  I'm so glad to find out that people actually read my humble little blog :)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Chocolate That Soothes The Soul

Have you ever had one of those days where you were down in the dumps and only a heaping dose of chocolate can lift your spirits?  I had one of those days yesterday, so I baked Vegan Dad's very, very sinful Chocolate Chip Cookie Pudding Cake.  Ohhh yeah, that hit the spot!  I didn't use any stevia, or make any substitutions, (though in my haste to get it in the oven I forgot to add the vanilla at the end).  It was still scrumptious, and every bite made me wonder how anyone could be depressed when there is gooey chocolate pudding cake dancing on their tastebuds.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Change is good...

...that's what I keep telling myself after I accidentally saved some random blog template instead of backing up my template.  Big difference.  Duh!.  Oh well, like I said, change is good.  Anyways, on to more interesting stuff like food!  I had lots of vanilla cream left over from the eclaires that I had to use up, so I made trifles with strawberries and blueberries.  (I ended up liking this even more than the eclaires!) 

We have a new Thrifty's supermarket in or neighborhood that just opened a couple of weeks ago.  I usually just recycle flyers without giving them a second look, but I accidentally caught a glimpse of some recipes that they printed and I was very pleased to see that one of them was vegetarian!  And not only that but it sounded like it would be really tasty:  Tex-Mex Bean Burgers.  I whipped up a batch of them today and shared them with a friend, and we both agreed that this recipe is a keeper.  The patties might not hold up well on a barbeque as they are quite soft, but they were great in a frying pan on the stove.  We skipped the bun and ate it on a bed of lettuce, topped with some guaca-salsa.