Sunday, October 23, 2016

A Dish You Want To Eat On Repeat

For you gluten-free eaters, this is one you will come back to time and time again. If you have hearty eaters you can successfully top the dish with cooked shrimp and a little crumbled feta. Nick and I love it topped with fried tofu.

Quinoa, Cranberry, Chickpeas and Cashews with Curry Cumin Dressing
Yield: 6-8 servings

½ cup tri-color quinoa
½ cup dried cranberries
Brown rice pasta spaghetti-style (use an amount that is about the circumference of a penny)
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon Bragg
1½ teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 can (14 ounces) chickpeas, drained
½ cup roasted cashews

     1.      In a medium saucepan combine quinoa with cranberries and 1 cup of water, bring mixture to a boil, cover, reduce heat to simmer and cook for about 15-20 minutes.
     2.      In a medium pot, bring water to a boil. Break pasta in half and cook according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl cover and set aside.
     3.      In a medium bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, Bragg, curry and cumin.
     4.      Add hot cooked quinoa to the pasta. Add half of the olive oil mixture to the quinoa/pasta mixture and toss to combine. Just before serving add the chick peas, cashews and toss with the remaining olive oil mixture.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Decadent Chocolate Bread Pudding

This bread pudding is divine! It’s also a great way to utilize any leftover French or Italian bread. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. To keep the milk from burning and/or scorching and sticking to the bottom of the pan, rinse the pan with cold water (don’t dry it) right before you add the milk.

Yields 8 servings

3 cups milk
5 cups bite-sized pieces French or Italian bread
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 egg
⅓ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt

1.      Preheat oven to 350°F.
2.      In a medium pan over moderate heat, heat milk until warm.
3.      Coat a 2-quart baking pan with cooking spray. Place bread cubes in prepared pan. Distribute chocolate chips over bread cubes. Add warm milk to the bread/chocolate mixture and let the mixture rest for about 15 minutes.
4.      In a medium bowl, combine egg, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Whisk until well blended. Pour egg mixture evenly over bread cubes.
5.      Fill a 3-quart baking pan with about ½ inch of water. Carefully set the 2-quart pan into the 3-quart baking pan.
6.      Bake uncovered for 45 minutes. Serve hot from the oven.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Surprising Vegetable Turns Out An Amazing Tasting Cake

I challenged my culinary creativity and decided to fold spaghetti squash into cake batter. I’m known for adding vegetables to pancakes, waffle and cake batters with satisfying results. So I reasoned with myself, if I incorporated this fun and unusual vegetable (once cooked, the flesh of the spaghetti squash separates into strands that resemble spaghetti), would it turn out a great tasting cake? Taste-testers loved the cake! I use ginger preserves by James Keiller & Son because I love the pronounced, authentic ginger flavor.

Yield: 6 servings

1 cup cooked and finely chopped spaghetti squash
¼ cup neutral cooking oil
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
⅓ cup sugar
⅓ cup packed brown sugar
⅛ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon powdered ginger
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup ginger preserves
4 ounces light cream cheese softened

1.   Preheat oven to 350°F.
2.   Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Filled a rimmed baking dish with about 1-2 inches of water. Place squash halves face down; the halves should be immersed about halfway in the water. Bake for about 30-45 minutes or until fork-tender. Remove squash halves from water bath. When they are cool enough to handle, turn them face side up and transfer to a platter. Once cooled, use a fork to rake out the spaghetti-like strands.
3. Generously oil an 8-inch round cake pan with cooking spray.

    4.  In a medium bowl, combine oil with egg, milk and vanilla. Add       spaghetti squash and stir until well blended.
    5.  In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, brown sugar, salt,           cinnamon, ginger and baking powder. Add squash mixture to flour mixture and combine until moistened and well blended. Transfer cake batter to prepared pan.
    6.  Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
    7.  When cake has cooled transfer to a platter.
    8.  In a small bowl, combine ginger preserves with cream cheese. Spread icing evenly over cake. Serve immediately.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup Slides Down Like Pure Golden Honey

This soups texture is silky-creamy, velvety-smooth and it promises to slither its way down ones throat like golden honey or a smooth single malt scotch! When the season for butternut squash rounds the corner, this soup is always on my list of must-haves. 

Curried Butternut Squash Soup
Yield: 14 servings 

4 tablespoons butter
3 leeks, white part only, thinly sliced
2 large onions, diced
2 teaspoons curry powder
4 large Idaho baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
2½ 32-ounce containers chicken broth
2 teaspoons salt
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Rosemary sprigs (garnish)

  1. In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat and sauté leeks and onion until glossy. Add curry powder and sauté until fragrant, a minute or so; add chicken broth, potatoes and butternut squash, bring mixture to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour or until vegetables are fork tender. Allow soup to cool slightly. 
  2. In a food processor or blender, purée soup in batches; transfer puréed batches into a large bowl. After final batch is puréed, transfer soup back into the original large pot, simmer until serving time. Serve hot.