Monday, February 13, 2012

Lentil Salad with Quinoa and Maple Balsalmic Vinaigrette

Quinoa. Lentils. Two foods that are extremely healthy and good for us. Why didn't I think to put them together before?

This recipe sounded a bit odd at first glance- maple syrup in the list of ingredients definitely threw me. But, I wanted to try it out. So glad I did, because it's fantastic! I love that the vegetables aren't cooked, so you get a nice crunch in the salad, and it combines nicely with the warm lentils and quinoa. The vinaigrette was wonderful as well. The maple syrup was needed to offset the acidity in the balsalmic vinegar. Best of all, this comes together quickly and is a filling dinner. Make it!


1 cup lentils
1 cup quinoa
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 red pepper, diced
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
4 tablespoons balsalmic vinegar
6 garlic cloves, minced
juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1.) Put the lentils, quinoa, and bay leaf in a pot with 2 1/2 cups of water. Bring it to a boil, then cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Drain, and add salt.

2.) Combine carrot, red pepper, scallions, cranberries, and walnuts.

3.) Combine balsalmic vinegar, garlic, lemon juice, maple syrup, olive oil, and salt and pepper.

4.) Mix everything together!

from: cooking

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Dark Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

October is my favorite month of the year... leaves changing, cooler weather, Halloween, cider, pumpkins. So when I wanted to bake a new cookie, it was only fitting that I chose one with pumpkin. This recipe is from, though I am sure there are many versions of this popular cookie.

This is a soft, almost cake-like cookie, and perfect to drink with hot apple cider.

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


  1. Combine pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, and egg. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt. Dissolve the baking soda with the milk and stir in. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well.
  2. Add vanilla, chocolate chips and nuts.
  3. Drop by spoonful on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for approximately 10 minutes or until lightly brown and firm.
*To make this cookie healthier, I replaced the vegetable oil with applesauce, and the all-purpose flour with whole-wheat flour. I also used dark chocolate chips. To make the cookies "orange", I added four drops of red food coloring to the batter before putting them on the cookie sheet.

Baked Chiles Rellenos with Smoky Tomato Sauce

I have been a subscriber of Vegetarian Times for about a year and a half now. It was a Christmas present from my mother-in-law, to help me find more vegetarian recipes for my husband.

Since then, I have tried a few recipes, but decided recently to make a list of ones I really wanted to try. This was the first one I chose. Chiles Rellenos is a popular Mexican dish that my Dad always ordered, and I liked to get a bite. This recipe from VT October 2010 has less calories as it is packed with lots of veggies and cheese and baked. It is a very spicy dish- you may want to handle the poblano peppers with gloves, as my hand was burning after pulling all the seeds out. Despite that, it was a very tasty dish. Be sure to serve with rice and sour cream.


Chiles Rellenos-

6 large poblano chiles
2 t. vegetable oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 cup shredded low fat Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
1 large egg
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 lime, cut into 6 wedges
1/3 cup low-fat sour cream or plain yogurt


2 t. vegetable oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 t. chili powder
1 t. ground cumin
1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes
1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, drained

1.) To make Chiles Rellenos: Roast and peel chiles.* Cut 3-inch slit in each chile, and remove seeds with a spoon.
2.) Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and cook 5 minutes, or until soft. Add zucchini and corn, and cook 5 minutes more. Season with salt, if desired. Transfer to a bowl, and stir in cheese.
3.) Stuff each chile with 1/2 cup zucchini mixture. Secure closed with toothpicks.
4.) Whisk egg with 1/2 cup water in bowl. Spread breadcrumbs on a plate.
5.) Dip chiles in egg wash. Coat with breadcrumbs. Place on baking sheet, and bake 15 to 25 minutes, or until golden.
6.) To make Sauce: Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, chili powder, and cumin, and cook 4 to5 minutes, or until onion is soft and spices are fragrant. Add tomatoes, and simmer 10 minutes, breaking up tomatoes with spatula or wooden spoon. Transfer to a blender, add chipotle chile, and blend on low speed until sauce is smooth.

Serve chiles rellenos with sauce, cilantro, lime wedges, and sour cream.

*To roast and peel chiles-

Stove top: place 1 poblano directly on grate of gas burner with flame turned to high. Roast until charred on all sides, turning with tongs. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and let steam 15 minutes. Rub off skin.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Caramelized Black Pepper Chicken

I have been wanting to try this for a while, and now that we are finally in our new apartment (which means I have a kitchen again!) I got to try it tonight.

The flavors are wonderful- definitely Thai influenced. I served it over brown jasmine rice with some bok choy on the side.


2/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup fish sauce
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 T vegetable oil
2 teaspoons freshly grated garlic and 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 or 2 fresh Thai chiles (I used serrano chiles)
2 shallots, thinly sliced (I sliced up some white onion)
2 lb. organic boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
2 T coarsely chopped cilantro

1.) In a small bowl, combine the sugar, fish sauce, vinegar, water, garlic, ginger, pepper, and chiles, and reserve.

2.) In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high; cook the shallots until soft and a bit brown, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken and stir fry, browning the pieces all over. Add the sugar mixture and simmer over high heat until the chicken is cooked through. Stir in the cilantro and serve.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Muffins

I've seen versions of these muffins all over the food blogs lately, and decided to make them one morning. Delicious! Make them now!


Tortilla Soup

So it's in the mid-90s, the ac is blasting, and I decide that the best thing to do is make some soup!

I had the Pioneer Woman's version of this soup at a church Lenten supper, and it was absolutely delicious. I wanted to recreate it as close as possible, but to make it vegetarian, I cut out the chicken and used No-Chicken Stock (a lifesaver for many recipes!) It was just as good.

You can find the recipe here.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Caramel Layer Cake

For my birthday this year, I wanted to make a different cake then the usual chocolate. After flipping through various recipes, I found this caramel layer cake that sounded interesting.

It was pretty easy to make, just make sure you have a lot of brown sugar! The cake turned out pretty good, it's a very dense cake, very sweet, and tasted a bit like coffee cake. The frosting is very thin, and the recipe for it produces a large batch. Next time, I would cut it in half as I didn't use it all.

I am not sure if this cake needs to be refrigerated, but I did just in case. I might leave it out next time I have a piece to see what the difference is at room temperature.




2 1/2 cups white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups brown sugar, packed
5 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

caramel frosting-

2 cups brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans and dust with flour.
2.) Sift the flour, baking powder and salt.
3.) Cream the butter and brown sugar.
4.) Add eggs, one at a time, to the brown sugar mixture and beat after each addition.
5.) Stir the vanilla and milk together in a measuring cup.
6.) Add the milk and the flour to the brown sugar mixture, alternating each.
7.) Divide the batter between the two pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Cook in the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to a baking rack.
8.) Meanwhile, make the frosting. Combine the butter, sugar, and half-and-half in a pan. Bring to a boil and stir often.
9.) Cover and boil for 3 minutes, then uncover and let it boil until thick.
10.) Pour into a bowl and let cool a bit. Using a hand mixer, beat the frosting until it is thick and creamy. This will take a while!
11.) Put one cake on a plate, put frosting in the middle, put the other cake on top, the frost the entire cake.

*I believe this recipe is from Moosewood...though I could be wrong.