Mary Sheehan Coming Home To Cook

February 9, 2011

Vegan Blueberry Tea Bread

Filed under: home base,Recipes — admin @ 12:23 pm

The next time you need  a lovely tea bread why not bake one that is delicious and good for you!   Substituting unsweetened applesauce for refined sugar makes this bread  suitable for diabetics, vegans and those with gluten free diets. The natural sweetness of the apples is all you need.  And, the kids will love it!  Blueberries are a great source of Vitamins A,E and C, fiber,  beta carotene, anti-oxidants and magnesium.  I added a Tbl. of ground flax seed which are packed with Omega 3’s, one of the richest sources of essential fatty acids.  A sprinkle of sesame seeds added to the crumb topping adds iron, calcium, and B vitamins, important for vegetarian diets. And, it’s gluten and dairy free and has no eggs, which makes it ok for vegans. Enjoy with a nice cup of tea.

Blueberry Tea Bread    – Preheat oven to 180 or 350 (depending on your country!) sliced-cake

1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, 1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce, 1/4 cup canola oil, 3 cups gluten free bread flour, such as brown rice flour or a gf bread flour mix. 2 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. baking powder, 2 tsp. grated nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. allspice, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon.1 tsp. vanilla, optional: sprinkling of brown sugar.

Mix together flour, flax, baking soda and baking powder. In a small bowl combine applesauce, oil, vanilla and spices. Add 1/2 of the blueberries into the wet mixture and combine with dry ingredients. Fold in the rest of the blueberries.

Pour batter into 2 greased bread pans and sprinkle with sesame seeds and brown sugar, if desired. Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes.

December 3, 2010

Burren Winter

Filed under: home base,Recipes — admin @ 11:26 am

liscannor-stone-shedIt’s freezing here in Ireland!  The normally green Irish soil  is covered in snow and ice, yet the sun  shines brightly all day. It’s a magnificent winter wonderland. This is a picture of a friends shed with a  unique roof made of Liscannor stone.  This is a specific stone quarried in North Clare and there aren’t that many topping these beautiful stone sheds anymore.

It’s time to stay warm and start baking for the holidays. At the Boghill ctr. I made this delicious Applesauce Cake from their own  apples.  It’s a perfect Christmas cake as it has the flavors of nutmeg and fresh ginger. I made it gluten free and low fat. Using the applesauce cuts down on the amount of shortening necessary to make it rich and moist. Enjoy!

Heat your oven to 180 c or 350 f. Grease a 10″ round spring form pan. Line with parchment paper.                                                                 Blend together 1/4 cup melted butter (or shortening), 3/4 cup honey, 1 cup applesauce and 2 beaten eggs.                                                Sift 2 cups of gluten free flour – I used brown rice flour for this. mix together with 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg. 1 Tbl. fresh grated ginger root, 1/2 cup currants and 1/2 cup walnuts. (last 2 ing. are optional).                                                        Slowly add the liquid ingredients and pour into pan. Bake for 40 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.          I made my cream cheese icing from Coming Home To Cook and lightly glazed this cake as it is sweet and dosen’t need much.                Cream Cheese Icing                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Blend together 8 oz. soft cream cheese with 1/4 cup soft butter, 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract and 1 lb. powdered (icing) sugar.


February 28, 2010

Curried Lentils & Lemon Rice

Filed under: home base,Recipes — admin @ 3:32 pm

dc-025 You can create this easy, flavorful entree  in less than an hour. Always use the freshest curry and lemons. It’s full of the super spices that I often use in vegetarian cooking and it’s a complete protein. Enjoy!

Curried Lentils – gluten and dairy free

Cook 1 cup of brown lentils in vegetable stock seasoned with sea salt until soft. While they are cooking, saute in olive oil the following, diced: 1 leek, whites only (save greens for stock) ,1 stalk celery, 2 medium carrots, 6 small button mushrooms. Chop 1/4 cup coriander (cilantro) and add to vegetables as they are cooking. Add 1 tbl. curry powder, 1 tsp. cumin, sea salt and pepper to taste and 1 Tbl. dry red wine. Cook, stirring until all is well blended and the aroma of the spices fill the room. Add to drained lentils and warm on low heat until serving. If you think the lentils are dry, add a little vegetable stock. Mold into a 1 cup round.

Lemon Rice – gluten and dairy free

Boil 3 cups of salted water. Add 1/2 tsp. turmeric, 2 Tbl. chopped parsley and  1 1/2 cups jasmine rice. When the rice is alm0st absorbed add 1 whole squeezed lemon and white pepper to taste.  In a seperate pan boil 1/2 cup petite green peas. Drain and add to cooked rice.  Mold into a 1 cup round and garnish both with chopped coriander.

February 24, 2010

Decadent Bread Pudding

Filed under: home base,Recipes — admin @ 12:20 am


What to do with all those pesky bread ends?  Over those past few months I froze the ends  that were leftover from the morning  ritual of cinnamon raisin toast. I came up with this recipe that I know you will love. It is surprisingly moist and yummy and with a kick of coffee and chocolate, it can’t be beat!   And,  top  it off with this delicious warm caramel sauce.   Calories galore and my apologies to my gluten and dairy free readers. I will experiment with a comparable recipe for you soon.

Bread Pudding

Heat oven to 350 (180) degrees. Cut 16 pieces of cinnamon raisin bread into small squares. Place in a 8″ square baking pan.                                                    Warm 2 cup milk. Dissolve 2 Tbl. instant coffe into milk.  Beat 6 eggs and add to milk . Beat in 3/4 cup white sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Pour liquid over the bread, covering it. Chop 4 oz. of  unsweetened chocolate and press into bread. Place the pan into a larger pan 1/2 filled with water.  This is called a hot water bath and is often used for baked puddings and cobblers.  Bake for 1 hour or until top is browned and liquid is absorbed.

Caramel Sauce

Heat 3 Tbl. butter in a heavy pot. Pour in 12 oz. of evaporated milk, 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla extract.  Cook on low heat.  In a separate bowl, spoon out a little of the milk mixture  and whisk in 2 Tbl. cornstarch until it is completely dissolved. Pour milkpuddin-0121back into pot and lower heat.  Cook until it starts to thicken and remove from heat. Pour warm over pudding. Enjoy, you can go back to the diet tomorrow :))

February 19, 2010

Nutty Croquettes & Cranberry Glaze

Filed under: home base,Recipes — admin @ 12:18 am

green-plateAlthough somewhat labor intensive this savory entree is well worth your time. Packed with essential nutrients and protein from a variety of good grains, nuts and vegetables, they are just delicious. And, they are vegan and gluten free! Serve with a smooth, warm cranberry glaze and sit back and wait for the compliments. This is truly a special vegetarian dish.


In a big bowl mix together the following cooked grains:   1 1/2 cups cooked millet, 1 cup  red quinoa, 1 cup quinoa, 2 cups jasmine rice. Toast in a 350 (180) oven 1 cup of hazelnuts. When browned, chop in processor. Add to grains. Heat 2 Tbl. olive oil and saute 1/2 cup finely diced onion, 1/2 cup diced celery, 1 cup chopped mushrooms and 1 cup diced carrots  until browned and add to grains.  Chop 1/4 cup coriander (cilantro). Add sea salt and pepper,  1/2 cup currants and 3Tbl. tamari to grains.  In a processor, blend 2 cups of white beans to form a paste. This is used to hold the mxture together, replacing the eggs. Form into oval shaped croquettes. Heat 2 Tbl. olive oil and brown croquettes on each side. Then put on a baking sheet and cook in oven 20 minutes.

Cranberry Glaze

Heat 1 Tbl. olive oil and saute 1/4 cup chopped shallots. Boil1 cup of fresh cranberries in 1 cup water until  soft. Strain cranberries through a fine mesh sieve. Add enough water to make 11/2 cups.    Transfer to a small skillet, add 3 Tbl. honey and 1 tsp. chopped rosemary, sea salt and ground black pepper.  Take out a little juice and add 2 Tbl. arrowroot and whisk until smooth. Return to skillet and cook until it thickens.  Enjoy!


February 3, 2010

Savory Courgette Cakes

Filed under: home base,Recipes — admin @ 7:05 pm

latkes-016Cooks are always keeping their eyes open for new recipes.  One of the many reasons I love living in Co.Clare, on the west coast of Ireland is that there are so many people there, who make their living by doing interesting things.  Photographers from Holland, Traditional musicians from Ireland and abroad, potters and artists from England, artists from Germany are among the cherished few.  I often share recipes with my friend from Israel who is an amazing Pastry Chef.  I tweeked it a little by adding olives and a gluten free flour. Make it your own and serve topped with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt, accompanied with soup and salad or as a side dish with your favorite entree from my cookery book Coming Home To Cook.

Courgette Feta Mint Cakes – gluten free

Shred 2 cups of courgettes (zucchini). Drain well by squeezing the water out through a fine mesh collander. When dry, put in bowl and add 2 beaten egg yolks, 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, 1/4 cup chopped scallions, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 11/2 tsp. chopped fresh mint, 1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives, 1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour and sea salt and pepper to taste.  Beat the egg whites until foamy and slowly fold into the batter.  In a skillet, heat enough olive oil to just cover the bottom of the pan. Form the batter into 2″ cakes and fry on both sides until crispy and brown. Enjoy!

January 31, 2010

Old Fashioned Weekend Warm Up

Filed under: home base,Recipes — admin @ 12:15 pm

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

January 25, 2010

Cuban Black Beans with Super Spices

Filed under: home base,Recipes — admin @ 11:19 pm

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.

January 23, 2010

Gluten Free Banana Blueberry Bread

Filed under: home base,Recipes — admin @ 9:01 pm

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.

January 20, 2010

Eggplant Timbales

Filed under: home base,Recipes — admin @ 9:58 pm

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!

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