Thursday, September 29, 2011

Janice's Chicago Style Soy Dog

This "recipe" is for the Chefery Football Futbol Challenge. The team - The Chicago Bears!

The sandwich can be made with a soy hotdog or a turkey hotdog, a regular hotdog, or better still a nice Polish sausage! The nutrition facts were done for the soy dog as so many at CC Palate will choose one of those to save calories and sodium (I hear they have improved the taste too!).

If you use any other hot dog, be sure to use Calorie Count to find the nutrition facts for your dog of choice!

A Soy Dog Done in the Traditional Drag it Through the Garden Chicago Way

Ingredients:

1 Soy Hotdog
1 poppy seed bun
1 t mustard (approx)
1 T onion, fine chopped
1 T sweet relish
1 dill pickle, sliced lengthwise
1/4 tomato, half the tomato and make some nice half moon slices
2 Sport Peppers
Dash of celery salt

Directions:

assemble and eat!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Janice's English Muffin Bread

This is an excellent recipe. The wonderful flavor and texture of English Muffins, but in a bread you can slice. Easy and fast to make - the recipe makes two loaves so you can enjoy one and give the other to a friend! The nutrition facts, which are based on a fairly nice thick slice, are at Calorie Count!

English Muffin Bread

Ingredients:

1 1/4 C water
1/2 C Canola Oil
4 - 4 1/2 Cups of all purpose flour
1/4 Cup sugar
2 t salt
2 pkgs. active dry yeast
2 eggs
Cornmeal to dust the baking pans

Directions:

Heat water and oil in a small sauce pot until very warm but not hot (about 120 degrees is about right, a little warmer than body temperature).

Add 1 1/2 cups of the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast to a large bowl and stir. Add the eggs and warm water/oil and beat at a low speed until moistened, then beat a couple more minutes at a medium speed. Then add the rest of the flour stirring by hand - this will make a stiff batter.

Cover and let it rise in a warm location until it's light and doubled in size. Should take about an hour.

Use shortening and grease two 8 x 4 inch loaf pans. Sprinkle them with the cornmeal. Stir down the dough by beating vigorously by hand for about 30 seconds and spoon into the prepared pans.

Cover and let rise again until doubled in size. Doesn't take as long for the second rising, about 45 minutes or so.

Preheat the oven to 375 and bake the loaves for 15-20 minutes or until they sound hollow when tapped.

Remove from the pans and cool.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Football Games & Futbol Clubs Challenge #2.5

ok, here's the next challenge!

This is the time of year where many football and Futbol games are being played. Those of us that watch the games like to gather in groups and eat together! It's fun to create a menu to suit the competing team cities.

Your challenge is to pick the city of your favorite team and create a recipe that is would be considered a local specialty - put your own spin on it so that it can be served at a party as either a main dish or as an appetizer.

How to take up the challenge:

List your city and team choice below.

Email the recipe to me at ccpalate@gmail.com.

Goal: to have enough recipes posted so that we can use the Chefery Challenge Page to plan all of our football or Futbol gatherings!

So far I have one person taking up the challenge!

A supporter of the New Orleans Saints football team, Aline will soon submit her Crawfish Etouffe!

I'll be posting a New England Corn Chowder - not because I'm from New England and support the team, but because I LOVE the Chowder!

Submitted recipes and links to the posts will be on the Chefery Challenge Page.

Recipe Challenge! #3

Getty Images
Ok friends, here's the newest Chefery Challenge! -

Take this recipe for baking powder biscuits as your starting point.

Now comes the hard part. Convert the recipe to weights instead of measures. It's not cheating to look about for biscuit recipes that use measurements to get the weights.

Then, use the following ratio as your guide and make flaky biscuits that are healthier for you. In particular, I'd like to see what we can do to remove the partially hydrogenated fat out of the thing, but you are free to improve as you see fit:

for each 9 oz of flour, use 3 oz of fat, and 6 oz of liquid

Your choice as to what each of the three main ingredients will be – your fave flour(s), your fave fat(s), and your fave liquid(s) – all weighed in the proper ratio and baked up with the necessary other ingredients into a proper biscuit. 

Why? Well, weights will give you more consistent baking results than the old timey measuring that we all used to do. And the ratio will get us all thinking outside the biscuit a bit and I bet we get some terrific results!
Email your Challenge Recipe to me at ccpalate@gmail.com.

Janice's Applesauce Brownies

These are fantastic, really more of a cakey brownie, so I suppose you could call it applesauce cake if you want. A bit better for you than traditional brownies and kids love them! The nutrition facts are at Calorie Count!

Applesauce Brownies

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs
1 T pure vanilla extract
1 cup applesauce
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda

Optional: 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly grease and flour an 8x8 inch baking pan.

In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter. Remove from heat and add the sugar, eggs, vanilla, and applesauce. Beat well by hand with a wooden spoon.

In a small bowl, mix the flour cocoa, baking powder, and baking soda.

Stir the dry mix into the liquid mix. If using pecans, add them here and stir.

Pour into the prepped pan and bake for about 25 minutes or so. Stick a knife in the middle to test for doneness. If it comes out clean, it's done. Another method to check is to lightly touch the center. If it sinks or feels liquid, it's not done. If it springs back to the touch, it's done!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Janice's Cornbread

Super delicious and easy to make! The nutrition facts can be found at Calorie Count!

Cornbread

Ingredients:

1 Cup all purpose flour
1 Cup cornmeal
3 T sugar
2 t baking powder
1 t salt
1 egg
1 Cup milk, low fat
1/4 Cup Canola oil

Directions:

By hand, mix all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

In a small bowl, mix all the liquid ingredients.

Add the liquid to the dry and stir just until the dry particles are moistened.

Pour into a well greased 8 inch square pan and bake at 400 F for about 25 minutes or until golden brown and the center is firm when lightly pressed.

Best served warm, but also great left over!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Grammie Vee's Chili

Grammie says - This actually sounds like more work than it really is - much of it can be started the night before so all you have to do is mix it all together in the morning. I have been making chili like this for over 40 years and everyone that eats it loves it. The recipe makes a lot of chili so make sure to freeze or can it for quick meals later!

The nutrition facts are at Calorie Count!

Grammie Vee's Chili

Ingredients:

2 pounds dry beans (you can use your favorite or a combination of varieties).
1 Quart beef broth or stock
2 32 oz cans diced tomatoes
4 Medium to large yellow onions (what we call cooking onions) diced
1 Garlic head seperated and finely chopped
3 Packages 6 Gun Chili Mix
2-3 Pounds extra lean ground beef or extra lean beef (like round steak) cut in small cubes. I usually just use the ground beef because it is easier.
1-2 T Cumin or to taste
Johnny's Seasoning Salt to taste

Options:

Peppers - hot or sweet chopped up
Olives
Celery
Anything else you think of you like in chili

Directions:

I usually set the beans to soak the night before I plan to start the cooking (i.e. if going to cook the chili on Saturday, I will start the soaking Thursday night then wash and rinse Friday morning and put to cook Friday night).

Open all three packages of the chili mix and throw the package with the directions on it away.

Soak the beans for a day rinsing and washing about every 8-12 hours.

In VERY LARGE crockpot (I have a 7 quart and usually run it over) put in soaked, washed and rinsed beans, the beef broth/stock (add enough water so beans are well covered - you may need to add more water before going to bed as the beans will absorbe a lot of it), 1/2 the garlic, 1 Tablespoon Johnny's Seasoning Salt, 1-2 Tablespoons cumin (I love cumin and usually make a well rounded tablespoon full) and all three red packages from one of the chili mix package. The littlest red package is cayenne and gives the chili just a little bit of a "back taste" but not that bad. For people that can't take even that much heat sour cream and cheese will tone it down. If you do not want any heat at all, just don't use any of the littlest packages. The only cayanne I use is what I put in the beans, I don't use the other two little packages of cayenne. Some of the guys will add to the other two little packages to their personal bowls or other foods; so it doesn't go to waste. Turn on high for 2-3 hours until bedtime. At bedtime turn down to low.

I usually get my meat mixture ready the night before so I can just throw it in before going out the door to work. Brown the beef with a little salt (not too much though as the seasoning packet has salt), add in the balance of the garlic and all four chopped onions and countinue to brown until onions are nice and carmelized. Add in the two larger red packages from the other two chili mix packages (total 4 red packets) and stir to distribute evenly. Then add all three white packets (masa) and stir until evenly distributed.

Assembly - The best thing to do is use a HUGE roaster pan or steel bowl to mix everything up. Pour in the beans, stir in the meat mixture, then empty the two cans of diced tomatoes in and stir until well mixed. Refill the crockpot as much as you can and put the balance into a container with a lid and refrigerate until after your dinner. After you and your family have eaten 1/2 the pot for dinner, you can add the reserved chili cook for an hour or two more then put into a covered container and refrigerate. OR... If you are going to can your chili, you can just go straight from this point into the jars and pressure canner. The chili also freezes quite well.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Janice's Cheese Popovers

Delicious, savory, and quick to make! The nutrition facts are at Calorie Count! I don't have a picture as it has been a long time since I've made these delicious things, but I'll do them soon and post a pic!

Cheese Popovers

Preheat the oven to 425 F

Ingredients:

1 Cup all purpose flour
1/2 t salt
1 Cup milk, low fat
1 T butter, melted
2 eggs
1/4 Cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

In a small mixing bowl combine the flour salt, milk, butter and eggs. Beat until smooth. Stir in the cheese.

Grease one of those small muffin cups (I've got one that does 6) or grease half of the cups in a regular sized muffin pan, and fill to 2/3 full.

Bake at 425 F for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 F and continue to bake 35 minutes longer - or until they are a pretty brown.

Prick each popover with a knife when there's five minutes of baking left to go - this allows the steam to escape and is what creates the popover texture and look.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Buggy's Scones

If you think in terms of ounces and pounds instead of grams, you can translate those grams into ounces with the Calorie Count Unit Converter Tool. The nutrition facts for these light and beautiful scones can be found at Calorie Count!

Buggy's Scones with her delicious Moose Stew!
Scones

Ingredients:

1025 grams  flour
60 grams baking powder
10 grams salt
200 grams canola oil
625 grams skim milk
5 grams zest of 3 key limes
20 grams juice of limes
50 grams sugar



Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 425 F.

Put dry ingredients in to a large bowl. Mix.

Add the remaining ingredients. Mix just until combined.

Roll out on lightly floured surface. Use a 2 1/2 inch cookie cutter. Place on cookie sheet.

Bake for 10-13 minutes, until light golden.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Janice's Italian Beef Stew

The nutrition facts for this comforting fall and winter stew can be found at Calorie Count!

Italian Beef Stew

Ingredients:

(Makes 8 servings)

3 pounds sirloin, cubed
5  tomatoes, squished
1 medium  onion, chopped
2 c  carrots, cubed
3 medium  red potatoes, cubed
½ c  celery, sliced
2 t  basil
1 t  oregano
½ t  black pepper
1 T  olive oil
1 bay leaf

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Trim all visible fat from the sirloin and cube, place in oven suitable pot with an oven proof lid. You could brown the meat, but I usually don’t.

Squish and add the tomatoes. You can use 1 or two cans of crushed tomatoes if you like, but Italians just squish those tomatoes up by hand! The number is an estimate; you want to have just enough liquid to come up about 2/3 of the way up to the top of the ingredients – the beef will add its own liquid to the mix.

Chop the onion, carrots, potatoes (peeling is optional), and celery and stir into the pot.

Add the spices and stir.

Add the olive oil (this is replacing some of the fat you trimmed off and it’s much better for you than the animal fat) and stir gently. Insert a bay leaf into the center.

Cover and cook in the preheated oven for at least 2 1/2 hours. Stir after 1 1/2 hours. Stir and taste after 2 hours, test to see if the veggies are cooking well, and adjust seasonings if necessary. Remove the bay leaf and serve.

Mushroom Bourguignon

Ok, I made this dish after first thinking, hmmmm, I really would love some Beef Bourguignon...then I realized, hey, that's a very heavy meat centric meal and I am not one that eats low carb high protein, so maybe I could bourguignon something else. I waffled and considered. Then I wrote the stew blog for Calorie Count and needed a picture to post with it. A search brought up the most delectable looking stew ever. Turned out, it was a mushroom stew. Win! Now, mushroom bourguignon is a much done before me dish, although I had never heard of it before. Never one to just follow a recipe, I took the idea and came up with my own version. The nutrition facts are here, the serving size in the nutrition facts is about 8 oz which is meant to be a single bowl served up as stew with a nice biscuit or two. If you use it as a garnish for steak or a topping for mashed potatoes your serving will be smaller and lower in calorie! On the other hand, just go ahead and eat a bowl cuz it's good.

Mushroom Bourguignon

Ingredients:

1 T grapeseed oil
3 pounds fresh mushrooms – assorted types
1 cup chopped onion
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
2 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 carrot, finely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, chopped or pressed
2 cups good Burgundy wine
1 1/2 t thyme
¼ t fresh cracked black pepper or to taste
2 generous teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions with some notes on what I did:

Clean, stem, and cut the mushrooms into large chunks.

Heat the grapeseed oil over medium high heat in a large pan. When the pan is very hot, add the mushrooms and onions. Sear quickly removing as they turn a gorgeous brown. To properly caramelize them and enrich the flavor of the bourguignon, saute about 25 minutes. Do not over stir or they will not brown. Place the pretty brown things in a bowl.

In a large heavy saucepan, place the butter and pure olive oil and heat over medium. Saute the carrot until it begins to soften, add the garlic and saute for another couple minutes. Add the flour and stir quickly to incorporate.

Add mushroom onion mixture and stir. Add wine, broth, carrot mixture, all seasonings, and the Worcestershire sauce, stir until well mixed, and bring to a simmer.

Cook over low heat until mushrooms are tender and sauce thickens and takes on a rich dark color. Stir occasionally for about 40 minutes.

Taste and adjust seasonings. I kept mine simple so the flavor of the mushrooms stayed prominent. You may prefer a more complex dish, if so, get creative with the flavors you love.

Stir in parsley and serve.

Notes on the great flexibility of this recipe:

Great over egg noodles, rice, mashed potatoes, on top of slices of baguette toasty with melted Swiss cheese, in a tortilla, or simply speared with each piece of a very good steak. Another wonderful idea for this is to add beef broth to thin it a bit and add seared chunks of lamb to make a lamb stew.

If you don't cook with wine, just use beef broth! If you are a vegetarian, use veggie broth.

If you don't cook with butter, use just the pure olive oil in the second saute.

Want the complete bourguignon experience? Skip the chopped onion and dump in some frozen or fresh pearl onions when you add the wine and seasonings.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Laura's Thyme for Veggie Soup

The nutrition facts for this tasty and healing soup can be found at Calorie Count!

Thyme For Veggie Soup

Ingredients (with variations so that it can be vegetarian or vegan)

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 onions, finely chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 quarts (8 cups) beef, chicken or vegetable broth
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, sliced
2 turnips or potatoes, diced
1 cup barley (not quick-cooking)
1/4 tsp celery seed
1/4 tsp thyme
1 29-oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup fresh or frozen peas and/or corn
1 cup fresh or frozen lima or green beans
1 cup greens (Swiss chard, spinach, Napa cabbage, etc)

Directions

Saute onions and garlic in olive oil until lightly golden.  Stir in broth, carrots, celery, turnips or potatoes, barley, and any other hard vegetables preferred.  Add celery seed and thyme.
Simmer for 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
Stir in tomatoes, peas or corn, beans and greens.
Simmer for another 15-20 minutes before serving.

Option:  Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

Variations:  Any kind of preferred vegetable can be added or substituted.  1.5 cups soup pasta can be added along with the tomatoes, etc, as can 1-2 cups shredded/cubed cooked beef or ham.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Janice's Bulgur with Fresh Basil and Tomatoes

Loved this! If you've never tried bulgur, this is an tasty recipe to start with. The nutrition facts can be found at Calorie Count! Hint - this dish was super awesome the next day. When freshly prepared it was slightly juicy and tasty with more of a consistency you would find in grits (only with flavor). The next day the juice completed the absorbing but it was still moist and the texture was more like rice. Just wonderful!

Bulgur with Fresh Basil and Tomatoes

Ingredients:

2 T olive oil
1/2 small onion, chopped
4 small or two large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup fresh basil, rinsed and torn
1 cup bulgur
1 cup tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 t honey (then to taste)
1 T tomato paste
fresh cracked black pepper to taste
1/4 t cayenne
2 T fresh parsley, chopped

Directions:

Heat oil in a medium pan until shimmering. Saute onion til it begins to caramelize (about 6-8 minutes), add the garlic and saute another minute or two. Stir in the chopped tomato and cook a few more minutes.

Stir the bulgur. Add the broth and remaining seasonings except the parsley, and cook on low covered for about a half hour or until all liquid is absorbed.

Remove from heat and leave covered for 10 minutes or so. Stir, plate, and sprinkle with parsley.

Notes:

If you prefer, use as many pearl onions as you want instead of chopped onion!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Crazypotato98's Roasted Ratatouille

Ratatouille can be made on your stove top, in your oven, or on your grill! The ingredients vary to personal taste - so when Crazypotato98 says "squash" - you use the type you love! The nutrition facts can be found at Calorie Count.

Roasted Ratatouille

Ingredients:

3 ½ cups  eggplant, cubed
1 cup  squash, cubed
8  pearl onions, halved
1  yellow sweet pepper, cut into 1-inch strips
2 tbsp  fresh parsley, snipped
1 tbsp  olive oil
2 cloves  garlic, minced
1/8 tsp  salt
1/8 tsp  black pepper
2 large  tomatoes, chopped
1 ½ tsp  lemon juice

Directions:

Coat a 15x10x1 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Place eggplant, squash, onions, sweet pepper, and parsley in the pan.

In a small bowl, stir together oil, garlic, salt, and black pepper. Drizzle over vegetables; toss to coat.

Roast, uncovered, in a 450 oven about 20 minutes or until vegetables are lightly browned, stirring once. Stir in the tomatoes and lemon juice. Roast, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes more or until tomatoes are very soft and starting to juice out.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

BluejeanSue's Corn with Bacon & Caramelized Onion

5 stars/2 thumbs up, scrumptious. and simple to prepare. The nutrition facts are at Calorie Count!

Corn with Bacon & Caramelized Onion

Ingredients:

4 ears fresh corn
6 bacon slices, chopped
2 medium size sweet onions, cut in thin strips
2 Tbl light molasses
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Directions:

Cut corn from cob; set aside in a bowl.

Cook bacon in a heavy skillet until crisp; remove bacon. Leave 1 Tbl drippings in pan for the next step. Crumble the bacon and set aside on plate or bowl.

Add onion to reserved drippings in skillet; cook over medium-high heat stirring often, about 15 minutes or until onion is caramel colored. Do not cut this step, the onions need to turn a beautiful deep brown and become sweet and soft...in fact, cut up even more onions than you think you need so you can "test" them repeatedly to make sure they are tasty.

Add corn and cook, stir often, 8 minutes. Stir in in molasses, salt and pepper. Place in serving dish and sprinkle with the crumbled bacon.

Note:

If you only have dark molasses, that's fine, just use a little less!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Pat's Grilled Baba Ganoush

Remember with Baba Ganoush, a lot is open to your taste preferences. Some like more lemon, some more tahini paste........Enjoy! The nutrition facts for this wonderful dish can be found at Calorie Count!

Pat’s Grilled Baba Ganoush

Ingredients:

1 eggplant
1 t olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice – or more to taste
1/4 cup tahini – or more to taste
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

Heat the grill. When the grill is hot, slice the eggplant to about 1/2 inch thick, brush with a bit of olive oil, and grill until soft (about 10-14 minutes), allow to cool and then chop.

Place eggplant, lemon juice, tahini, sesame seeds, and garlic in an electric blender, and puree – or place in a large bowl and blend with an immersion blender. Remove to a bowl and season the mix with a bit of salt and pepper. Slowly stir in olive oil, taste and adjust seasonings. Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate a few hours before serving.

Experimental Ratatouille

This is one of my experimental recipes. I've found a bunch of ratatouille recipes on line and in cookery books. I kind of liked the layered idea in this one. It may be that I'll just pan saute the whole thing, but I'd like to see what you all think first!

not mine, but I thought it was pretty ratatouille!
Experimental Ratatouille
Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 eggplant
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 t thyme
Crushed red pepper to taste
Black pepper to taste
1 t basil
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 zucchini, sliced thin
1 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced thin
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped
2 T Romano cheese - optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray Pam inside a 1 1/2 quart casserole.

Cut all vegetables except the eggplant and measure your spices to make assembly a snap.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium high skillet over medium heat. Saute onion until soft. While the onion is saut̩ing, quickly dice the eggplant and add the diced bits to the pan as they are chopped until the entire eggplant is in the pan. Exposure to air is not a friend of eggplants and one reason it is often bitter or soggy. Add the chopped garlic and stir until the eggplant is soft (10 minutes or so). Add parsley and other seasonings Рstir well.

Spread eggplant mixture evenly across bottom of prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle with some of the cheese.

Add alternating layers of zucchini and cheese, mushrooms and cheese, bell pepper and cheese, and finally tomatoes and cheese on top of the eggplant.

Bake, covered, in preheated oven for 30 minutes, remove the lid and allow the cheese to brown and the juices to evaporate a bit.

Top with a sprinkle of Romano cheese and serve with couscous.

Eggplant Curry

This is a curry I found doing a recipe search at Calorie Count! The nutrition facts can be found here.

Eggplant Curry

Ingredients:

1 large  eggplant
2 tbsp  vegetable oil
1 tsp  cumin seeds
1 medium  onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp  ginger garlic paste
1 clove  garlic, minced
1 tbsp  curry powder
1  tomato, diced
½ cup  plain yogurt
1  fresh jalapeno chile pepper, finely chopped
1 tsp  salt
1/8 cup  cilantro, finely chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Place eggplant on a medium baking sheet. Bake 20 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until tender. Remove from heat. Cool, peel, and chop.

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Mix in cumin seeds and onion. Cook and stir until onion is tender.

Mix ginger garlic paste, curry powder, garlic and tomato into the saucepan, and cook about 1 minute. Stir in yogurt. Mix in eggplant and jalapeno pepper, and season with salt. Cover, and cook 10 minutes over high heat. Remove cover, reduce heat to low, and continue cooking about 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro to serve.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Janice's Louisiana Style Eggplant

Excellent low calorie and super healthy way to enjoy eggplant! The nutrition facts can be found at Calorie Count!

Louisiana Style Eggplant

Ingredients:

1 eggplant
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
1 (15 ounce) canned crushed tomatoes
8 oz water or veggie stock
2 bay leaves
1 red bell pepper, chopped 
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/2 t fresh cracked black pepper
1/2 cup grated white cheddar or Swiss cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs
optional - if the pre-baked mixture is too thin, add some prepared or instant roux

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cut eggplant in cubes (no need to peel) and boil for eight minutes. Drain into a colander. 

In a large skillet, saute bay leaves, red bell pepper, celery and onion until softened. Put the sauteed mix in a bowl. Wipe the skillet with a paper towel so it can be used for the next step.

Melt the butter over medium heat in the wiped clean skillet, when bubbly, add the flour and stir well until incorporated. Add canned or fresh tomatoes and water or stock; stir to incorporate. Add the sauteed mix. Taste and adjust seasonings. Add roux if needed. I like to use Tony Chacheres Instant Roux. The roux also has some seasonings so taste the liquid after the roux incorporates. You may want to add some of your favorite Louisiana seasoning at this point too - it all depends on if you are a spice person or prefer to let the veggies shine.
 
After the sauce thickens, stir in the eggplant. Pour into a Pam sprayed or non-stick casserole and sprinkle with cheese and bread crumbs.

Bake for 1/2 hour at 350 degrees

Serve with brown rice!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Ninav on How to Turn Zucchini into Pasta!

Instead of pasta, my friend Ninav from Calorie Count loves to substitute zucchini! Her method is so simple and accessible that it is a fantastic way to make a lovely work night meal. Zucchini has only 20 calories per cup, a lot fewer calories than pasta -so enjoy this as often as you like!

How to Turn Zucchini into Pasta

Use either a julienne peeler or a vegetable peeler and make wide strips of "noodles".

Lightly sprinkle with salt and let it sit for 10 min.

Then rinse, squeeze off the excess water.

Eat it raw, microwave, or sauté it for a few minutes to heat it up.

Try it! You'll be surprised!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Janette's Vegan Chocolate Cake

Chocolate is extremely healthy. Those are my favorite words to say to myself when sampling a delicious moist cake such as this one. Enjoy a slice this weekend!

Vegan Chocolate Cake

This recipe yields either 12 cupcakes, or 3 six-inch diameter cakes. The nutrition facts can be found at Calorie Count.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. (I used a convection oven.)

Dry Ingredients:

Mix the following dry ingredients in a bowl:
3/4 cup white whole wheat flour (I use King Arthur brand.)
1/2 cup Ghirardelli brownie mix (Well, I wasn't about to throw it away!)
2 Tablespoons corn starch
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup natural Demerara sugar
1/2 cup Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips

Wet Ingredients:

Mix the following wet ingredients in a separate bowl:
1 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons maple flavor Agave nectar, or 2 teaspoons Vanilla extract (I used the maple flavor Agave nectar)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Directions:

Combine wet and dry ingredients and pour immediately into prepared cake pans, or a muffin pan with 12 cupcake papers. It will take approximately 20 to 25 minutes for cupcakes, and 30 to 35 minutes for cakes. Insert a toothpick in the middle to make sure they are done. Do not try to turn them out of the cake pans and put them on a cooling rack, unless you want a disaster. Allow to cool slightly before cutting. They taste wonderful when the chocolate chips are still melted!