Friday, March 19, 2010


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FUSION: Savory Beans

An adapted recipe from The Allergy Self-Help Cookbook. Serve these beans over rice, and you will be happy.

4 TBSP olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
2 large ribs celery, thinly sliced
4 carrots, thinly sliced
2 TBSP Bragg's Liquid Aminos
4 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried oregano
4 cloves garlic, crushed
dash of ground red pepper
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
4 cups (or two 15-oz cans) cooked kidney beans (or pinto beans)
4 TBSP water
2 cups chopped tomatoes

1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook for 12 minutes or until tender.
2. Stir in the Bragg's, basil, oregano, garlic, red pepper, and 1/2 cup of the parsley.
3. Add the beans, water, and tomatoes. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until heated through. Top with remaining parsley and cook for 2 more minutes. Serve!


I made this recipe from Simply in Season using whole spelt flour, and we loved them. Check it out: Apple Spice Waffles.

DESSERT: Chocolate Frosting, perfect with that Emergency Chocolate Cake

I don't remember which cookbook I copied this from in the grocery store, but this recipe is our official favorite.

8 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup sweetener of choice
1 12.5-ounce package firm silken tofu
3/4 teaspoon vanilla

1. Melt chocolate in a bowl over a steaming pot of water (or in the microwave, if you'd like). Let it cool a bit.
2. Combine chocolate, sweetener, tofu, and vanilla in a food processor and blend until smooth. Sweeten to taste.
3. Spread on cooled cake immediately.

NEW COOKBOOK: Adventures

I finally got my own copy of the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook--my favorite Christmas present this year. We have loved eating their Classic Egg Salad, Aglio e Olio, and Baked Ziti.

And when our housemate turned 30 this year, and the cake I baked for her birthday turned out to be a total disaster, the cookbook saved that day with this recipe: Emergency Chocolate Cake.

I want to carry this book with me everywhere.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

FUSION: Spicy Pearsauce

Applesauce has been made for centuries in the countries of Europe. This fall, while we were putting up jars of applesauce for the winter, we also experimented with pearsauce. This ended up being my favorite recipe.

4 quarts of boiled and sauced pears (we used a machine, but once the pears are boiled until soft, you should be able to squish them with a potato masher)
1/2 container of apple juice concentrate
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves

There are three jars of pearsauce left in our cupboard. I plan to eat one per month, and that is how I will survive until spring's fresh fruit arrives.


I didn't know that deviled eggs originated in the Midwest, just like me! We ate a dozen of these eggs during one of our Friday night get-togethers this last fall. This variation adds a surprising ingredient to the mix.

1. Boil and cool 6-7 eggs. Cut them in half and place the cooked yolks in a mixing bowl.

2. Create filling by combining the eggs yolks with:

3 TSBP mayonnaise
1/4 cup carrot puree
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 tsp mustard
dash of black pepper
dash of cayenne pepper

3. Squeeze the filling back into the patiently waiting egg whites. Set them on the table and try not to eat all of them at once.


Out of all the recipes I tried in the month of September, the only new recipe I saved for my collection was Sambousek (my pitas were delicious but incredibly pocket-less). Here's my recipe for Saudi Arabian turnovers.

1 pound ground beef
2 grated onions
salt and pepper
1 tsp cumin

3 cups flour
2 tsp dried yeast
1 tsp fennel
1 tsp poppy seeds
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
3.4 oz oil
up to 8 oz water

1. In a large bowl, combine flour, yeast, fennel, poppy seeds, salt and pepper.
2. Add oil to the flour mixture and mix until crumbly.
3. Add just enough of the water to the flour mixture to create a dough. Knead until smooth. Set aside, covered and warm, for 1 hour.
4. Cook beef, onions, cumin, salt and pepper in a frying pan over low heat until beef is browned.
5. When the dough is ready, roll it out and cut it into circles with an 8- to 10-cm diameter. Place 1 TBSP of beef filling in the center of each circle. Fold in half. Seal by pressing the edges, then rolling them upward in a clever pattern.
6. Heat more oil in a large frying pan and fry the sambousek on each side until lightly browned.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Update on the Saudi Arabian food

Well, my first attempt at making my own pita bread was successful in that it was very tasty. However, my pita did not have pockets. So we wrapped our falafel up like a taco and enjoyed them. Next week, I'll try again, this time not flattening the dough so much.

My spice rack has welcomed five new jars of spices to the mix.

And we are happy.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Inspiration for Experimentation

After having seen Julie & Julia twice this weekend, I've been inspired to try something new with food. Friends and I discussed various world cuisines as we left the theater--which we like, which we don't like--and I decided to pick a country and spend a month learning about its food. So I'm going to spend September researching Saudi food, and I'll try cooking things like al-kabsa and sambousek (and eat my fill of falafel and hummus and baba ganoush). I've found two cookbooks and a few recipes online. My first task is to try making my own pita bread. I'll let you know if I find any of the recipes super delicious.

I have never been to Saudi Arabia, and at this point in my life, I don't know a single person from that country. Nevertheless, I think I will learn to love the food.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


I think that if I post any more recipes from Simply in Season, I just may be in trouble. This is my variation on their recipe.


¾ cup spelt flour

¾ cup kamut flour

1/3 cup fructose or sweetener of your choice

1 TBSP baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp salt

1 ½ cups blueberries

1 tsp lemon peel

1 egg

½ cup soymilk

¼ cup Earth Balance margarine


¼ cup fructose or sweetener of your choice

1/3 cup spelt flour

1/3 cup walnuts or other nuts (chopped)

2 TBSP Earth Balance margarine

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1. 1. Combine the flour, sweetener, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl.

2. 2. Gently fold in the blueberries and lemon peel.

3. 3. Whisk together the egg, milk, and margarine in a small bowl. Add to flour mixture and stir carefully. Batter will be stiff. Spread into greased 8 x 8-inch baking pan.

4. 4. Mix together the ingredients for the topping until crumbly and sprinkle over batter.

5. 5. Bake in preheated oven at 425˚F until top is light golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Try it with warm milk poured on top.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

GREEK: Cinnamon Stewed Chicken

This is a recipe from Cat Cora's visit to Oprah. I didn't see the show, but I found the recipe recently when I wanted to use up some orzo I had in the cupboard.

  • 1 chicken (2 1/2 to 3 pounds), cut into 8 pieces (legs, breast and thighs)
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 cloves garlic , peeled and minced
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion , peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp. dried Italian herb seasoning
  • 1 cup orzo , cooked according to package directions
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preboil water with sea salt.
2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. A wet chicken will cause the oil to splatter while the chicken is sautéing. Mix the cinnamon, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the chicken pieces on all sides with the seasoning.
3. Heat the olive oil in a large, nonreactive, deep skillet over high heat. A 12-inch skillet with sides about 2 1/2 to 3 inches high will allow you to brown all the chicken at once. If you don't have a skillet large enough, brown them in two batches using 1/2 the oil for each batch. What's important is that the chicken isn't overcrowded, which would cause them to steam rather than brown.
4. Add the chicken to the oil and brown for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Turn the pieces using a metal spatula, as they have a tendency to stick to the pan. Remove the pieces when they are well browned on all sides.
5. Mince three of the garlic cloves. Lower the heat to medium-high, and add the onions and minced garlic. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the onions have softened and are a rich golden brown. Add about 1/2 cup of the water and scrape the bottom of the pan with a spatula or spoon to deglaze the pan, loosening any particles stuck on the bottom.
6. When the water has evaporated, add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of water, tomato paste, Italian seasoning and remaining 2 garlic cloves, minced.
7. Return the chicken to the pan. The liquid should cover about 3/4 of the chicken pieces. Cover the pot and simmer over medium-high heat for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and thoroughly cooked. If the sauce becomes too thick, it can be thinned with a little more water. Season the finished sauce with kosher salt and pepper to taste. Serve over orzo, cooked according to package directions, and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


I wanted to make an Applebee's version of this recipe, so I found one at Recipezaar. To save time in the future, I will probably use a frozen Asian vegetable mix and may even buy the chicken already breaded, but it is oh, so good freshly made. The orange flavor is not too sweet or overpowering as it is in some Chinese (American) restaurants.

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 TBSP vegetable oil
1/2 cup plus 1 TBSP cornstarch
1/4 cup flour (we used spelt)
oil for frying
1 tsp minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp grated orange rind
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup sugar (we used less and replaced it with fructose for Jeff's dietary needs)
salt and pepper
slivered toasted almonds
red bell peppers
snow peas
chow mein noodles

  1. Cut chicken into 2-inch pieces and place in a large bowl. Stir in egg, salt, pepper and oil. Mix well and set aside.
  2. Stir cornstarch and flour together in another large bowl and mix well. Add chicken mixture to the flour mixture, stirring to coat each piece well.
  3. Fry the chicken in oil until golden and crisp. Do not overcook or chicken will be tough. Remove chicken from oil with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Continue frying chicken in small batches until all are nicely browned and crisp.
  4. Cool the oil in the skillet slightly, then remove all but 2 tablespoons of oil and set over medium heat. Sauté garlic in oil for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients and bring to boil. Allow to boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens to your liking, stirring frequently.
  5. Pour glaze over chicken. Serve chicken over a bed of cooked rice. Garnish with slivered almonds and crispy noodles. Applebee's tosses the chicken and orange glaze with an array of stir-fry vegetables like broccoli, snow peas and red peppers.

FUSION: What is this?

I do not know the history of the granola/protein/health bar movement. All I know is that our bookstore stopped carrying the Clif Nectar bars with chocolate in them, and I needed a substitute. Here is one that made me happy, based on a recipe I found at Imagelicious.

1/2 cup pitted prunes
1/2 cup pitted dates
1 cup pecan meal
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3 TBSP maple syrup

Mix together in a very sturdy food processor. Press flat in a baking pan and cut into bars. Eat. Chill whatever leftovers you may have (at our house, they are very few).