Friday, July 30, 2010

Crock Pot Ratatouille

Idea: Use it over pasta w fresh mozzerella, use as pizza topping, on a crostini w shaved parmesan, as a stew w veggie chicken and fontina cheese added in, as a base for minestrone, topping for couscous, layered in lasagna --- the options are endless!


* 2 large onions, cut in half and sliced
* 1 large eggplants, sliced, cut in 2 inch pieces
* 4 small zucchini, sliced
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 2 large green bell peppers, de-seeded and cut into thin strips
* 2 large tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch wedges or 28oz can unsalted diced
* 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
* 1 teaspoon dried basil
* 1/2 teaspoon oregano
* 1 teaspoon sugar (optional, but it does help)
* 2 teaspoons salt
* 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
* 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
* 1/4 cup olive oil
* red pepper flakes, to spice it up

Prep Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 1/2 day

Layer half the vegetables in a large crock pot in the following order: onion, eggplant, zucchini, garlic, green peppers, tomatoes. Next sprinkle half the basil,oregano,sugar,parsley,salt,pepper on the veggies. Dot with half of the tomato paste. Repeat layering process with remaining vegetables, spices and tomato paste. Drizzle with olive oil. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 9 hours. Place in serving bowl and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Refrigerate to store. May freeze up to 6 weeks.

Variation: add a can of rinsed chickpeas and probably about 1/3 c. balsamic vinegar and topped with shredded mozarella cheese

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Vegan Mac n Chz

1 pound of elbow macaroni, prepared in salted water
1/2 cup vegan sour cream (like Tofutti Better than Sour Cream)
1/2 cup vegan margarine (Earth Balance, of course)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 tbsp white miso
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare pasta. Drain and return to the pot. Throw in all of the ingredients and mix together well. Done.

Zucchini Breakfast Casserole

Zucchini Breakfast Casserole Recipe


* 6-8 eggs
* 1 cup ricotta cheese
* 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
* 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce or other hot chili sauce
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 3 cups grated zucchini (from 2-3 fresh zucchinis)
* 1 1/2 cups chopped plum tomatoes (from 4-5 fresh tomatoes),
* 1/2 cup sliced fresh basil (from about 20 leaves)*
* 4 cups cubed day-old bread (from about 4 slices)
* Olive oil

*Chiffonade basil by stacking a few leaves on top of each other, roll them up like a cigar, slice thin, starting at one end of the cigar and working your way down.

1 Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl beat the eggs. Add the ricotta and beat until smooth. Mix in the grated Parmesan cheese, Tabasco, salt and pepper.

2 Prepare the vegetables and bread. Once you chop the tomatoes, squeeze excess moisture out of them by pressing them in a sieve, or wrapping in paper towels and squeezing. Add the tomatoes, basil, and zucchini to the egg mixture. Moisten the bread cubes with a little water then squeeze out any excess moisture using paper towels. Mix the bread cubes into the egg mixture.

3 Coat the bottom and sides of a 9x13 baking dish generously with olive oil. Pour the egg vegetable mixture into the baking pan and even it out in the pan. Place in the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 30 minutes at 350°F. The casserole should puff up and brown lightly. If it hasn't after 30 minutes at 350, increase the heat to 425° and cook for 5-10 minutes further. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack for 10 minutes before cutting into squares to serve.

Makes 6-8 portions.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Puppies need treats, too :)

Actually, the top two sound really good. Puppy might have to fight me for them :)

Peanut Butter Dog Cookies

* 3 cups whole wheat flour
* 1/2 cup natural creamy peanut butter
* 1 egg
* 1/2 cup oatmeal
* Water, as needed (about a cup)

1. Put all ingredients, except water, in a large bowl and begin the mix.
2. Add the water as needed to make dough that has a pliable texture.
3. Roll dough out on a floured surface and cut into desired shapes.
4. Bake at 375 degrees F for about 25-30 minutes. The cookies should be hard like store bought dog cookies, but not burnt. (Note: if the shapes of the cookies are really small, lessen the baking time and monitor the cookies while baking so that they do not burn.)
5. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks. Refrigerate or freeze for longer shelf life.

Peanut Butter Ice Cream Dog Biscuits
These homemade dog biscuits will help your dog celebrate National Dog Biscuit Day.

* 3 cups plain or vanilla yogurt
* 1 cup all natural peanut butter
* 1 cup water

1. Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
2. Pour mixture into small plastic containers (1/2 cup sized) or small paper cups.
3. Cover the small plastic containers or cups with lids or plastic wrap and freeze. These will last for up to 3 months.

Simplified quickies
2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup Milk (for a vegetarian treat use Soy Milk)
1 cup Peanut Butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl until well mixed. Knead dough into ball and roll onto a floured surface 1/4 inch thick and cut with cookie cutter or for maximum speed just slice into squares. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until slightly browned on a lightly greased cookie sheet.
Cool before serving and refrigerate.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Grilled Zucchini Sandwiches

Grilled yellow squash
Grilled zucchini
Tomato slices
Red pepper hummus
Fresh spinach
Gouda or provolone cheese
Bacon -- Completely optional, but make the veggie bacon crisp. The crunch will add a nice texture to the sandwich.

Strawberry Filled Lemon Cupcakes

Found this over at TheSweetTooth.... sounds delicious, doesn't it?

Strawberry-Filled Lemon Cupcakes & Cream Cheese Frosting

(Makes 24 Cupcakes)


-1 box Lemon cake mix (I used Betty Crocker)

-1-1/4 cup water

-1/3 cup applesauce

-3 eggs (or any combination of eggs + egg whites or egg substitute – I used 1 egg + 1/2 cup egg sub.)

-Strawberry Filling (see recipe below)

-Cream Cheese Frosting (see recipe below)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cake mix & bake according to directions on box.
2. Once cupcakes are cooled completely, use a knife to hollow out a 1-inch hole in each cupcake, preserving only the tops.
3. Fill cupcakes with strawberry filling and replace preserved tops back on filled cupcakes.
4. Frost with cream cheese frosting. (*For a fancier look, snip the tip off of a corner of a sandwich bag, fill with frosting, and squeeze as you would a regular pastry bag. Quick & pretty!)
5. If desired, top with fresh sliced strawberries and a sprinkle of nutmeg. ENJOY! :)

Strawberry Filling

-1 pint ripe strawberries, hulled and sliced in 1/2

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Puree half of the strawberries in a food processor with the honey, maple syrup, lemon juice, and vanilla until it is a smooth sauce. Add the remaining strawberries and pulse until chopped, but not liquefied.

Cream Cheese Frosting

-1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup butter, softened

2-3 tsp. milk

1 tsp. vanilla

3-4 cups powdered sugar

In medium bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, milk, and vanilla with electric mixer on low until smooth. Gradually beat in powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until desired consistency is achieved.

When I was making my cupcakes, I decided I didn’t want to wait a whole baking cycle to make the 2nd half of the cupcakes. So instead, I took the other half of the batter, filled up a 9 inch round baking dish, and made a mini layer cake!

I just sliced the one cake (very carefully!) into two layers, spread the strawberry filling, and frosted it all with the remaining cream cheese frosting. It worked out perfectly!

Have I gotten any of you in the mood to do some baking yet?!? ;)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Eggplant Parmesan Nibblers


* 2 medium eggplants
* 3 to 4 tablespoons EVOO
* 1 small onion, grated
* 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
* 2 cups breadcrumbs, divided
* 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided
* 3 eggs, divided
* 5 to 6 sprigs thyme, leaves removed and chopped
* 3 to 4 sprigs mint, leaves removed and chopped
* Zest of 1 lemon
* Salt and pepper
* 1 small ball fresh mozzarella, diced into small cubes
* 1 cup flour
* 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
* Canola or vegetable oil, for frying

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and rub the cut sides with EVOO. Place on a baking sheet cut side down and roast until tender, about 30 minutes. Let the eggplant cool until you can comfortably handle them then scoop the flesh out of the skin and into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until puréed and transfer to a mixing bowl.

Combine eggplant with the onion, garlic, 1 cup breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, 1 egg, thyme, mint, lemon zest, salt and pepper. If needed, add additional breadcrumbs until mixture is moldable -- you can roll the mixture into balls now, or refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes to make it easier to work with.

To roll the balls, scoop out about 2 tablespoons of the mixture, form it into a ball and flatten it slightly in the palm of your hand. Place a cube of cheese in the center and enclose the mixture around it. Repeat until all of the mixture is used up.

Spread out three dishes on the counter: Fill one with the flour, beat the 2 remaining eggs in another and in the third, combine the remaining breadcrumbs, Parmigiano-Reggiano and parsley. Coat each ball by running them through the flour, then the egg and then the cheesy crumbs.

When you’re ready to serve the balls, heat about 2 inches of oil in a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Fry the balls until golden brown, about 2 minutes, then drain on a paper towel. Serve warm with tomato sauce.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Summer Squash Bake


Servings:6-10 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30-35 minutes

2 c. frozen pepper stir-fry blend, thawed
6 yellow squash,cut into 1/2 inch slices
6 zucchini squash, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 1/2 teas. Worcestershire sauce
1 teas. soy sauce
1/2 teas. pepper
1/2 teas. oregano
8 oz. sour cream
10 oz. can condensed Cheddar cheese soup
2 Tbl. melted butter
1 c. Stove Top stuffing ,dry
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 c. French's fried onions

Combine cheese soup and sour cream in a medium bowl,stir to blend; add Worcestershire,soy,pepper and oregano,mixing well. In a large bowl combine pepper stir fry blend, and both prepared squash.Pour cheese mixture over vegetables. Place this mixture into a large sprayed casserole dish or 9x13 inch baking pan,spreading evenly.Set aside. In a bowl combine dry stuffing,butter, cheese and French's onions. Spread evenly over vegetable mixture. Cover with foil, leaving room for heat circulation. Bake in 375^ oven for 20 minutes; remove foil and bake 10 minutes more.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lemon Cake Pie

Thanks Betty!!

Lemon Cake Pie

All you do is mix up the ingredients and then put them into a pie shell and “poof” miraculously during baking it separates into a lemon curd on the bottom and the lightest, fluffiest cake you can imagine on the lemon cake on the top. The fun part of it is that it will work w any combination of flavors. I'm going to try blueberry vanilla next :)

Perfect Piecrust

2 cups all-purpose flour
1⁄2 tsp salt
3⁄4 cup very cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 Tablespoon vegetable shortening, chilled
1⁄4 cup ice water

Put flour and salt in bowl of machine. Cut butter and margarine into flour. Process a few seconds until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drop by drop add the water, processing very briefly. The whole process would take 20 to 30 seconds. Wrap and chill the pastry for at least 1 hour. If pastry has been chilled for a long time, let it sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before rolling.

Lightly flour a pastry board, marble counter, or kitchen counter. Divide the pastry in half. Pat each piece of pastry into a flat round. Lightly flour the rolling pin. Roll pastry in one direction only, turning pastry continually to prevent it from sticking to the surface.

Using pie plate as a guide, measure rolled-out pastry — it should be slightly larger than the pie plate and 1/8-inch thick. Fold rolled pastry circle in half so you can lift it more easily. Unfold, gently fitting the pastry into the pie plate, allowing pastry to hang evenly over the edge. Do not trim the pastry yet.

Fill the pie with filling. Then roll out the second crust in the same manner as for the bottom. Fold circle in half and with a sharp, pointed knife cut little vents in a decorative pattern. Place folded pastry on one half the pie. Unfold, pressing top and bottom pastry together. Trim edges with scissors, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold bottom pastry overhang over top and press firmly to seal. Crimp rim, using fingers or the tines of a fork.

Lemon Cake Pie

1⁄2 recipe for perfect piecrust,
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1⁄2 cups sugar
1⁄3 cup flour
1 pinch salt
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 2 lemons
3 large eggs, separated
1 1⁄4 cup milk

Put rack on lowest position in oven. Preheat oven to 375. Line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie tine with 1/2 a recipe of Perfect Pie Crust. Crimp or decorate the edges as desired.

In a medium bowl, stir together melted butter and sugar. Stir in flour, salt, lemon peel and lemon juice. In a small bowl, beat egg yolks with milk until well blended, stir into lemon mixture.

In another medium-sized bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer until they hold distinct but moist peaks. Gently fold egg whites into lemon mixture. (Don’t mix it too much.).

Pour filling into prepared piecrust. Bake on the lowest rack of the oven until the top is browned and the center jiggles only slightly when pan is gently shaken (45-55 minutes). If the crust begins to brown excessively, drape it with foil.

Let cool before serving.

Slow Cooker Salsa

Slow-Cooker Salsa

Makes 8½ cups
Prep. Time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking Time: 2½-3 hours
Ideal slow-cooker size: 3-qt.

10 fresh Roma, or plum, tomatoes, chopped coarsely
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers
¼ cup cilantro leaves
½ tsp. salt

1. Place tomatoes, garlic, and onion in slow cooker.
2. Remove stems from jalapenos. Remove seeds, too, if you prefer a milder flavor. Chop jalapenos. Stir into slow cooker.
3. Cover. Cook on High 2½-3 hours, or until vegetables are softened.
4. Allow to cool.
5. When cooled, combine cooked mixture with cilantro and salt in a blender or food processor. Blend or process to the consistency that you like.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

New and improved carrot cake...

Carrot Cheesecake Muffins

**NOTE: I usually skip the shredded carrot part and use baby food carrots instead. Adds moistness and more saturating flavor than just 'finely grated' carrots.


* 4 ounce Cream cheese softened
* 2 Tbsp. Granulated sugar
* 1/2 tsp Orange rind finely grated
* 1 tsp Orange rind finely grated
* 1/3 c. Butter softened
* 1/2 c. Brown sugar packed
* 2 x Large eggs
* 1/2 c. Lowfat Evaporated Lowfat milk 2%
* 2 Tbsp. Frzn Orange Juice Concentrate
* 1 1/4 c. Carrots finely grated
* 1/2 c. Raisins
* 1/2 c. Minced walnuts
* 1 1/2 c. Flour
* 1 tsp Baking pwdr
* 1/2 tsp Baking soda
* 1/2 tsp Grnd cinnamon


1. Filling: Combine cream cheese, sugar, and orange rind in small bowl; set aside.
2. Muffin MixMuffin Mix: Cream together butter and brown sugar in med. mixer bowl. Beat in Large eggs, evaporated lowfat milk, and juice concentrate. Stir in carrots, raisins, walnuts, and orange rind.
3. In large bowl, combine flour, baking pwdr, baking sodabaking soda, and cinnamon. Add in carrotcarrot mix; stir just till moistened. Spoon 2 Tablespoons batter into 12 small greased or possibly paper lined muffin c.. Spoon 2 teaspoon cream cheese mix over each. Top with remaining batter. Bake in 350 deg F oven 15 - 20 mins. till tops spring back when touched lightly.
4. Makes 12 muffins.
Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin
Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin