Sunday, December 6, 2015

Sweet Potato and Chick Pea Fritters

This past week has been nothing short of plain stressful. It was the last week of classes, finals are coming up and I have a small mountain of papers that take about 30 minutes each to grade. Oh, and I caught one of the colds going around. Yes, stressful. Needless to say, grocery shopping wasn't high on my priority list. Thankfully, this recipe (adopted from Cooking Light) fit the bill! I actually had (almost) everything in my pantry. I ran out of tomatoes a few days ago, but I included them here since I think it would be delicious in the avocado salsa.

Olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 chopped yellow onion
2 cups grated sweet potato (I used golden yams)
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs
1/2 cup breadcrumbs or panko
juice from one lime

In a medium sauté pan, heat the olive oil (about 1 tablespoon), garlic, and onion. Cook until onion is tender. Do not let the garlic burn.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a food processor, combine the sweet potato, chick peas, salt, pepper, egg, and garlic/onion mixture. Process until mixed well. I have a small processor and had to do this in a couple of batches.

Then heat a medium sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add about one tablespoon olive oil. Using your hands, form patties about the size of your palm and add to the pan. Cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (easy clean up!) and place fritters on pan. Cook for five minutes further. (No need to flip the fritters.)

1/2 small avocado, diced
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
juice from 1/2 lime

Combine the ingredients in a small bowl. Serve on top of fritters.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies (and Healthy Too!)

Tuesday is another class party day (I have different classes, so it's easier to spread out the celebrations). I am shooting for more healthy this time. That and something that is easy to transport. These cookies are made with both regular flour and whole wheat flour and rather than sugar, made with honey. These aren't super sweet so hopefully I won't have a bad sugar crash later!

6 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup carob chips (or chocolate chips if you don't mind it not being vegan)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the coconut oil, honey, water, and vanilla extract. Mix well. Then add the flours, baking soda, and salt until well combined. Add the carob chips and mix on medium to high to combine.

Using a cookie scooper, scoop the dough onto the prepared sheet. These do not spread at all, so don't worry about putting them too far apart. Bake for 9-10 minutes. Be careful not to let them burn.

Makes about 21 cookies.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Chocolate Cake in a Mug

If you're like me, you probably get a sweet tooth daily every once in a while. Mug cakes are fantastic for being able to control portions while satisfying that sweet tooth. This is my go-to for chocolate cake.

1/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
14 cup milk
2 tablespoons applesauce

Combine all the ingredients above in a mug and mix well. Microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds. You may also top with berries and yogurt.

Tea Sandwiches - Cucumber; Chicken Salad

Today, I have a homecoming event at church. That is, here in Phoenix, we tend to get a lot of "Snowbirds", those who live here in the winter. Let's face it, our winters beat a lot of other places! So, each year, we have a homecoming potluck to welcome everyone back. Plus, we are big eaters, so any excuse for large quantities of food is a good one! There are always lots of salads, 7 layer dips, chips, and desserts. I decided to make something a little unusual for potlucks: tea sandwiches. I have always loved tea (coffee doesn't appeal to me), and I thought why not! There are lots of vegetarians there, so I made one that is a classic cucumber sandwich, and a chicken salad sandwich. Since cucumber sandwiches have a bad rap for being bland, I added in a garlic lemon spread.

Chicken Salad Sandwiches

1.5 cups cooked chicken (or canned chicken)
1/2 cup celery, minced
1/2 cup black grapes, chopped
3 tablespoons red onion, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup mayo (I used a vegan version, "Just Mayo", actually tastes amazing)

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. You may make this the day before and allow for the flavors to meld (do not assemble until the day of so the bread does not get soggy).

Cucumber Sandwiches

1 stick butter, room temperature
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large cucumber, peeled and sliced thin
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Lightly salt the cucumbers and allow to drain for 1-2 hours in a colander.

In a small bowl, combine the butter and garlic. Apply to each side of the bread.

In another small bowl, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, and pepper. Dip the cucumber slices, and arrange them on the bread.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Oatmeal Cookies

I originally made these cookies as part of a fundraiser for March of Dimes at work. This time, I'm making them for one of my classes. Once a semester, I like to have a class party. Helps with morale, especially with the last few weeks. Plus they can't hate me too much as I give them exams when I make them cookies!

1 stick butter at room temperature
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
2 1/2 cups oatmeal

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the butter, shortening, and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and beat well. Then add the buttermilk.

In a medium bowl, add the flour, baking soda, and spices together. Add to the butter mixture in batches, beating after each addition. The on a slow speed, beat in the oatmeal until just combined.

Drop about one heaping teaspoons of dough two inches apart. Bake for 11-13 minutes until just before the edges begin to brown. Leave on the cookie tray for about 2-3 minutes after removing from the oven before cooling the rest of the way on cooling racks.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Quinoa with Asparagus and Dijon Garlic Dressing

1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water
Salt to taste
10 stalks asparagus
Olive oil

Splash of water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Juice of 1/2 lime

In a small pot, combine the quinoa, water, and salt. Bring to a boil and them lower the heat, cooking for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, break apart the asparagus into 1-2" pieces, drizzle with olive oil, and roast at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine the dressing ingredients. Allowing to sit for 20 minutes to allow for the flavors to meld.

Combine, the quinoa, dressing, chopped tomatoes, feta, and asparagus in a bowl. Serve while hot.

In the mood for a change!

Hello everyone out there! You may have noticed a bit of a makeover for the blog. I realized that I've been using the same colors and graphics for several years now. It's time for a change!