Archive for January, 2010

Old Fashioned Weekend Warm Up

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

hot-choc-010When the temps drop into the single digits it’s time to warm up with a hot chocolate and this lovely steamed bread, made in a can. Canned Bread? Yup, and it’s so easy, delicious and full of good stuff. Just put the batter in a greased coffee can(see pix below) , put can in a pot  of boiling water, 3/4 of the way up the can. Cover with aluminum foil, lower the heat to a gentle simmer and steam for 2 hours or until a tester comes out clean. It’s really good with a dollop of cream cheese.  This recipe is a combination of  Date Nut Bread and Boston Brown Bread and it’s from my cookery book                     Coming Home To Cook.

Steamed Fruit Bread – gluten free In a large bowl mix together 2 1/2 cups gluten free bread flour or my recipe for gf flour in book. If using gluten flour use – 11/2 cups whole wheat flour and 1 cup plain white flour. Add 1 cup cornmeal, 11/2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. baking (bread) soda, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 cup raisins, 1 cup chopped dates, 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, 1/4 cup sesame seeds, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, 3/4 cup dark molasses, 1/2 cup honey, 2 cups buttermilk. Mix well and spoon into greased cans. Place in water, cover with foil, cover the pot and steam for 2 hours.  Let cool on a wire rack. To remove, turn the can over, tap on bottom and bread will slide out. Enjoy!gf-bread-005gf-bread-006gf-bread-011

Cuban Black Beans with Super Spices

Monday, January 25th, 2010

january-066Traditional Cuban Black Beans are made with a piece of salt pork or ham hocks.  But, with the correct seasoning and a rich vegetable stock this vegetarian version  hits the spot.  It’s great with yellow rice flavored with turmeric. These 2  recipes have 5 of the 7 super spices: turmeric, cayenne pepper, paprika and cumin. Turmeric is a bright yellow spice that is an antioxidant and cancer fighter, as well as promoting brain health by protecting against cognitive decline. Cayenne and paprika enhance metabolism, increases satiety and stimulates fat burning. Cumin  also has cancer fighting properties, aids in digestive disorders and has antiseptic value in fighting the common cold. Garlic has cancer protective benefits.

Cuban Black Beans with Yellow Rice – gluten and dairy free

Rinse l lb dry black beans and cook in 4 cups vegetable stock . Add
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed and  l medium yellow onion, chopped.
Add 2 tsp. paprika,  3 tsp. ground cumin, 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper, 2 bay leaves and sea salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer until beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours, adding more stock if necessary – beans should be thick but there should be enough stock for a nice gravy.
Yellow Rice
In a heavy pot, heat 1 Tbl. olive oil. Add 1/2 cup diced shallots. When they are softening, add 2 tsp. turmeric and 2 cups water or stock. Bring to a boil and add 1 cup white basmati rice. Cover with lid, lower heat and simmer until rice is cooked, about 25 minutes. Add sea salt & pepper to taste. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro (coriander) .
Optional: serve with shredded monterey jack cheese and/or a dollop of sour cream.

Gluten Free Banana Blueberry Bread

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

banana-bread1 This is a really light, moist quick bread that is gluten and dairy free.  There’s a lot of  options to help you with gluten free baking in most health shops.  In Coming Home To Cook I have my favorite gluten free flour recipe which is a combination of white rice flour, potato flour, soy flour and tapioca flour.  For this bread I decided to buy a gf bread flour mix. It is a combination of these flours: garbanzo bean, potato, tapioca, white sorghum and fava bean. So if you don’t want to have a lot of ingredients hanging around, buy a bag  that is already mixed.  I simply substituted the gf flour mix for the traditional white and whole wheat in my favorite recipe.  Some recipes and packages tell you that you need xanthum gum, which is a stabilizer used in place of  gluten, but this bread came out perfect without it. Here’s how:                            Preheat oven to 325. Oil a large bread tin.

Blend 1/2 cup soy margarine or 1/2 cup canola oil  with 1/2 cup white sugar. Beat in 2 eggs, 3 large very ripe bananas, 1 tsp. vanilla extract. In another bowl blend 2 cups of gluten free bread mix with 1 tsp. baking soda and 1/2 tsp. salt.    Mix wet and dry ingredients together. Add 1 cup of fresh blueberries, blending well. Pour into the bread pan, top with chopped pecans. Bake for 45 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack, and remove from pan.     Enjoy!

Helpful hint: Freeze overripe (black) bananas. When ready to use, defrost, peel, drain juices and use in recipe.

Eggplant Timbales

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

january-0512Eggplants, otherwise known as aubergines, are rich in calcium, vitamin A, iron and have plenty of good fiber. Stuffed, rolled, stacked, diced, layered and pureed they are versatile in an array of ethnic vegetarian dishes.  I made these timbales or stacks with a homemade tomato sauce and fresh mozarella cheese. To keep this dish light and low fat I used low fat ricotta,  baked the eggplant (which is much lighter than frying) and I made it gluten free by using rice flour and gluten free bread crumbs.  They’re perfect with my slamming good garlic bread recipe from Coming Home To Cook and a fresh green salad. Here’s how:

Eggplant Timbales – gluten free

Peel 1 large eggplant. Slice into 1/4″ rounds.  Fill 3 separate bowls with 1 cup flour, 2 eggs beaten with 1/2 cup milk and 1 cup breadcrumbs. Dredge eggplant in flour, eggs, then breadcrumbs and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake at 350 (180), Cook for 10 minutes on each side until crispy. Set aside.

Make your favorite tomato sauce.

In a skillet, lightly saute in 2 Tbl. olive oil – 1 cup chopped mushrooms, 1/2 cup diced onions, 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, 2 chopped garlic cloves, sea salt and pepper to taste.  Let cool.

Mix together 2 cups of lowfat ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup grated fresh romano cheese and 1/3 cup low fat cream cheese and add to the mushrooms.

Slice thin pieces of fresh mozzarella cheese from a large ball.

To assemble:

Pour enough tomato sauce to cover the bottom of  a baking dish. Layer 1 slice eggplant, spread it with ricotta mix, 1 slice of mozzarella and repeat to make a 3 layer stack. Top with tomato sauce and bake for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

pineapple-cake5Comfort yourself and your family with  a warm dessert on a cold winters night.  This is an old American cake recipe that’s made in a cast iron skillet or you can use a spring form pan. Don’t have either? A 9″ cake pan is ok, too. There’s nothing complicated about this recipe.  Just follow the steps and you will have a perfect cake that will look beautiful and taste delicious. Good luck! Here’s how:                                                                                                                                   Preheat oven to 400.   Melt 1/4 cup butter with 1 cup brown sugar. Peel, core and slice into rings – 1 fresh pineapple.  In a cast iron skillet, pat down sugar/butter mixture. Sprinkle 1 cup of whole pecans and top with pineapple rings.     Now make the cake batter, which for this recipe is called  Cottage Pudding:                                                                                                          Sift together 1 1/2 cups white flour, 2 tsp. baking powder and 1/2 tsp. salt. Blend with 1/2 cup white sugar. Seperately mix together 1 egg with 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup melted butter. Mix together dry and wet batter. It will be thick. Pour into the pan, covering the pineapple. Bake for 20-25 minutes. winter-2010-192Let cool on a wire rack.  With a knife or spatula, loosen the cake from the sides of the pan. Place a flat plate over the pan, completely covering it. Slowly turn over and the cake will come out of the pan onto the plate. Put another plate on the bottom of the cake and turn over again, so the pineapple side is up. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollopof whipped cream.  For more delicious recipes check out my vegetarian cookbook Coming Home To Cook.  Happy Cooking!puc1