Saturday, October 31, 2015

Drunken Pumpkin Chili

3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large carrots, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup pumpkin ale
1 can pure pumpkin puree (15oz)
1 can diced tomatoes (15oz)
2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
1 can black beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed
1 can cannellini beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Optional: sriracha, sliced scallions, cilantro, and/or avocado to garnish

Spray a large stockpot with some non-stick spray, heat to medium-high, then add the minced garlic, diced onion, diced carrots, and diced bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper, and cook for about 7 minutes, until onions begin to turn translucent.

Reduce the heat to medium. Add the cumin, oregano, cinnamon, and tomato paste. Stir to combine. Cook for another minute.

Add the pumpkin ale and stir to deglaze the bottom of the pan. Allow the pumpkin ale to cook and reduce for about 5 minutes.

Add the pumpkin purée, diced tomatoes, and minced chipolte peppers. Season with salt and pepper. Stir then cover the pot, and simmer on low. Allow the chili to cook for about 20 minutes.

Add the beans, stir, and allow the chili to cook another 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve with optional garnish.

Adapted From

makes 4 servings
345 calories  |  1g fat  |  62g carbs  |  16g protein

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Homemade "Twix" Bars

180 grams (6-8oz) Brazilian nuts
4 tablespoons rice malt syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

12 (8oz) medjool dates, pitted
1/4 cup almond butter
pinch of salt
1/4 cup water

1-1/2 cups dairy-free chocolate chips
2 teaspoons coconut oil

For the shortbread: Combine all ingredients in the food processor and process until a thick batter is formed. Transfer that mixture to a bread pan lined with parchment paper. Press into a 1cm thick layer. Place in freezer for 10 minutes (or more).

For the caramel: Place caramel ingredients in a food process and process until smooth and creamy. Remove the shortbread from the freezer, and top with the caramel filling. Freeze for at least 10 hours.

Note: Omit the vanilla extract if you need to speed up the freezing process. Due to the alcohol in vanilla extract, it keeps the mixture soft for a lot longer.

For the chocolate: Place chocolate chips and coconut oil in microwave safe bowl. Microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until mixture is liquefied. This should take about a minute and a half to two minutes.

Remove the pan from the freezer, and use a large knife to cut the cookie layer into 10 thin bars. Place bars, with lots of space between them, on a piece of fresh parchment paper. Drizzle chocolate over bars and use the back of a spoon to cover them. Place in freezer for 10 minutes. Once chocolate is set, remove from freezer. Turn bars over, and coat the bottoms with a thin layer of chocolate. Return to freezer to set. For storing, wrap individually with plastic wrap and keep in fridge.

Adapted From

makes 10 bars
390 calories  |  24g fat  |  42g carbs  |  6g protein

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Chili Verde

1 pound gold potatoes (about 3 medium), cut into 1/2" cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced small
3 jalapeños, seeded and sliced thinly
2 poblano peppers, seeded and chopped into 1/2" pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 pound tomatillos (about 10), papery skin removed, washed, chopped into 1/2" to 3/4" pieces
2 granny smith apples, cored, quartered, and sliced thinly
2 cup vegetable broth
1 cup loosely packed cilantro
3 chopped scallions
1 can of white beans, drained and rinsed
Juice of 1 lime

Optional: garnish with avocado slices

Place the chopped potatoes on a plate. Microwave for 2 minutes. Mix them up and microwave for another 2 minutes. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Saute the onion, jalapeños, and poblanos in oil for about 10 minutes, until everything is softened and the onions are slightly browned. Add the garlic, cumin, oregano, and salt. Saute for another minute, until the garlic is fragrant. Add the rice vinegar and tomatillos, raise the heat a bit to let the wine reduce and the tomatillos release their juices, about 5 minutes.

Add the apples, vegetable broth, scallions, 1/2 of the cilantro, and potatoes. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.

At this point, you may need to add a teaspoon or two of sugar to balance over-tartness. Add the beans, and simmer for 5 more minutes until everything is heated through. Add the remaining cilantro and the lime juice.

Ladle into bowls, garnish with avocado slices and/or scallions.

Adapted From

makes 3 servings
487 calories  |  12g fat  |  87g carbs  |  15g protein

Simple Italian Bread

1 tablespoon cane sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 cups warm water (about 110°F)
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
5 1/2 to 6 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
optional: cornmeal

Mix sugar and yeast to warm water and let dissolve for 1 minute. Gradually add salt and flour to liquid and stir until dough pulls from sides of bowl. Turn out onto floured surface to knead.

Kneading technique: Fold far edge of dough back over on itself towards you. Press dough away with heels of hands. After each push, rotate dough 90°. Repeat process in rhythmic, rocking motion.

Knead dough for about 3 minutes. Continue to sprinkle flour on dough as needed to keep it from getting sticky. Let dough rest while you scrape out and grease mixing bowl. Knead dough again about 3 more minutes until bouncy and smooth.

Place dough in bowl and turn over once to grease the top. Cover with damp towel or plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in bulk (1 to 2 hours). Especially if it is cool out, it is recommended to place dough bowl in microwave, or another place free of drafts.

After an hour or two, turn out onto lightly floured surface. Gently deflate the dough and briefly knead out gas bubbles, just for a minute or so. Cut in half and shape into 2 Italian or French-style loaves. Place on baking sheet generously sprinkled with cornmeal.

Cover with damp clothe and let loaves rise for 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 450°F for 15 minutes. Pour 2 to 3 cups of boiling water into a roasting pan. Carefully place on the lowest rack of the oven. Place bread on an oven rack above the pan, and bake 20 minutes. Turn the heat off and allow the bread to remain in the oven for 5 more minutes. Remove and let cool for at least 5 minutes before trying to slice. Allow loaves to completely cool before wrapping for storage.

Adapted From

makes 2 loaves, about 16 slices each
75 calories  |  0g fat  |  16g carbs  |  2g protein

Peanut Butter Cups

1 cup semi-sweet dairy-free chocolate chips
1 teaspoon coconut oil
½ cup natural smooth peanut butter
½ cup confectioners sugar
⅓ cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons earth balance butter

At 30 second intervals, melt chocolate chips with coconut oil. Stir until smooth. This will probably take about 2 minutes.

Spoon chocolate into silicone cupcake liners, about 1 teaspoon per cup, maybe a bit more. Use the back of a spoon to gently press the chocolate up the sides of the liners. Ensure that the bottom is even. Repeat with all 12 liners, then let set in the freezer for 15 minutes. Set remaining chocolate aside for later.

Meanwhile, combine peanut butter, sugar, graham cracker crumbs, and butter to make the filling. Remove chocolate cups from freezer, spoon about 2 teaspoons of the mixture into the chilled chocolate cups until peanut butter filling is evenly distributed. Use your fingers or the back of a spoon to press the filling down evenly. Coat with about ½ teaspoon of chocolate (use the remaining melted chocolate) and set in the freezer for about 10 minutes.

Once set, all you need to do is pop them out of the cupcake liners.

Adapted From

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Tuscan Kale and Carrot Soup

1 bunch multicolored carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
4 cups vegetable broth
1 can diced tomatoes, in juice
1 bunch tuscan kale, thinly sliced
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoon chopped chives
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Bring carrots, broth, tomatoes with juice, and 2 cups water to a simmer in large stockpot over medium heat. Simmer until carrots are fork-tender, about 15 minutes.

Place kale on top of soup, in stockpot. Cover pot and steam kale 5 minutes.

Stir in kale, and add beans and vinegar to soup. Return to a simmer for another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Stir in chopped basil and top with chives just before serving.

Adapted From

makes 4 servings
175 calories  | 0g fat  |  28g carbs  |  9g protein

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Agave Whole Wheat Bread

1 cup warm water (~110°F)
2-1/4 tsp active dry yeast (one 7g packet)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk, room temperature
1/4 cup agave nectar 
2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
2-3/4 cups unbleached artisan bread flour 
2-3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon salt 

Pour water into a large bowl and sprinkle yeast over top. Let sit until yeast dissolves, about five minutes.Stir in milk, agave nectar, oil, and salt. Add all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour, one or two cups at a time. Stir between adding flour, until dough forms.

Knead dough on a floured surface until it is smooth and springy, about 10 minutes. Form dough into a ball and place in a large bowl lightly coated with oil. Turn dough to coat with oil. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Transfer dough to floured surface. Divide dough in half and form into two balls. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Grease two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans. Gently press and shape each ball into a 9 x 9-inch square. Fold into thirds, like folding a letter. Pinch the seam closed and place loaf seam-side down in prepared pan. Cover and let rise for 40 – 60 minutes, until it rises above the edge of the pans.

Make three angled slashes on top of each loaf with a knife and place in oven. Immediately reduce heat to 375°F and bake until loaves are golden-brown and sound hollow when tapped, about 30 minutes. Remove from pans and let cool completely on wire rack.

Adapted From

makes 2 loaves, about 16 slices each
90 calories  |  1g fat  |  18g carbs  |  3g protein

Monday, October 5, 2015

Amish Country Loaf

2 cups water, about 110°F
1/4 cup cane sugar
1-1/2 tablespoon active dry yeast
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 cups artisan bread flour (Bob's Red Mill)

In a large bowl, combine sugar, water, and yeast. Set aside for 5 minutes, until yeast is bubbly.

Add salt and oil to mixture and stir to combine. Add flour one cup at a time. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Place dough in an oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

After 1 hour, punch down dough. Knead for a three minutes. Divide in half and shape into two loaves, Place loaves into oiled 9 x 5-inch loaf pans. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes. While bread rises, preheat oven to 350°F.

Bake at 350ºF for 30 minutes or until loaves are golden brown. Remove from pans and let cool completely on wire rack.

Adapted From

make 2 loaves, about 16 slices each
105 calories  |  2g fat  |  19g carbs  |  3g protein

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Szechuan Eggplant

Szechuan Sauce
6 tablespoons vegetable broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons cane sugar, or to taste
2 teaspoons cornstarch

3 Asian eggplants, cubed
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons oil for stir-frying, or as needed
3 tablespoons sweet chili sauce, or to taste
1 teaspoon sesame oil

First, prepare the sauce. In a small bowl, combine the broth, soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar. Whisk in the cornstarch. Set aside.

Heat a wok over medium-high to high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil. When the oil is hot, add the eggplant. Stir-fry the eggplant until it is softened, about 10 minutes, then remove and drain on paper towels.

Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the empty wok. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and chili sauce. Stir-fry until aromatic. Add the Szechuan sauce mix in the middle and bring to a boil, stirring quickly to thicken. Add in the eggplant slices. Cook for a few more minutes and stir in the sesame oil. Serve hot over steamed rice.

Adapted From

makes 2 servings
316 calories  |  23g fat  |  27g carbs  |  4g protein

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Kale, Mushroom, and White Bean Stew

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 carrot, diced
1.5 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch of kale, chopped (about 4-5 cups)
4 cups veggie broth
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can cannelli beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon rosemary, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
salt & pepper
fresh basil, for garnish

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions with a bit of salt and saute until translucent. Add garlic, carrots, mushrooms and rosemary and cook, stirring occasionally until the mushrooms release some of their moisture, 3-5 or more minutes.

Deglaze the pan with the rice vinegar, stirring to pick up the onions that might be stuck to the bottom of the pan. Cook for another minute. Add balsamic vinegar, tomatoes, beans, broth, and cumin. Reduce heat and simmer on low for 10 minutes.

Add kale and simmer for 5 more minutes.

Taste and adjust seasonings. Recommended to add a generous amount of salt, and few grinds of pepper.

Optional toppings: chopped fresh basil, cracked black pepper, or sriracha.

Adapted From

makes 4 bowls
240 calories  |  4g fat  |  37g carbs  |  11g protein