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Posts from the ‘Food and Recipes’ Category

20
Jun

Alfajores: The Oreo-Mallomar of Argentina

A traditional alfajore from Argentina is two buttery cookies filled with creamy dulce de leche caramel. Although these scrumptious treats are typically made with butter, milk, eggs, and sugar, there are as many versions as there are types of cookies (some are plain, some are covered in chocolate, etc.). What they all have in common is a loyal following of alfajore enthusiasts who couldn’t imagine life without this luscious treat.

Alfajores are to Argentinians what the Mallomar and Oreo cookies are to Americans. The idea is similar: take a cookie or two and fill the center with a soft sweet filling and then enjoy as is or add more decadence by covering the cookie in chocolate. Read more »

16
Jun

Nairn’s Oatcakes

An oatcake is a cracker made primarily from oats. A Scottish creation, the oatcake is to the Scots what a Ritz cracker is to Americans, a Rosca to the Spaniards, and what a TUC cracker is to the French: that is, a traditional cracker that is often used as a chariot for a topping with bold flavor. Read more »

18
Mar

Rawmantic Bars

If there is one product that has commanded more shelf space in recent years, it’s the energy/protein/snack bar.  From a one shelf allocation in the cookie aisle of grocery stores years ago to a partial grocery aisle today, bars have become the go-to supplement for millions of Americans.

Although bars are convenient, most of them have too much sugar and/or unhealthy ingredients, or just taste awful.  For me, it got to the point that the only time I packed a bar was if I was going for a hike or a road trip because the alternative was worse – no food or SAD (Standard American Diet) food. Read more »

15
Jan

Rice Pudding: With No Dairy or Refined Sugar

Last year I was walking around New York City and zeroed in on a sign in a restaurant window that said “Finally, A Rice Pudding That Doesn’t Suck” that cracked me up laughing. I then took a picture even though I had no idea why. Probably because the sign just made me laugh with its truth.

Rice pudding is a total comfort food that is pretty hard to screw up but often is because people use cheap or crappy ingredients or don’t give the dish the attention it requires.  There’s no way around making a fantastic rice pudding except to use exceptional ingredients and to remember to always stir when the rice is cooking (just like risotto). Read more »

2
Dec

Baked Basmati Rice with Leeks and White Beans

I use to look at leeks and wonder what to do with them. Of course, I knew of leek soup but I always thought there must be a higher purpose for leeks.  It took me a while (actually, a few years) but I found the perfect use for leeks in a side dish I call Baked Basmati Rice with Leeks and White Beans.

A while back, the New York Times printed a recipe for “Baked Rice With White Beans, Leeks, and Lemons” because commenters “have gone wild for this easy, hands-off, vegetarian main course…” That’s all I needed to read before deciding this was it. However, I had to figure out a way to make this recipe plant-based and a bit healthier: greatly reduce the olive oil (from 5 tablespoons to a few sprays), replace the white Basmati Rice with Brown Rice Basmati for more fiber, and ditch the parmesan (and use vegan parmesan made from cashews, sparingly). Read more »

14
Nov

Pasta Roni

One of my favorite comfort foods is a dish I call “Pasta Roni” which is a play on the classic decades-old “beefaroni” dish made of macaroni, beef, and tomato sauce except that my version tastes better, is plant based, and more nutritious! Oil and dairy free, Pasta Roni is the dish everyone wants on a cold night when nothing but a tummy-warming bowl of pasta will do.

Inspired by Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s recipe for Lentil-A-Roni in Isa Does It, the Pasta Roni recipe showcases whole grain pasta, lentils, tomatoes, and greens for a delicious and nutritious meal. Isa uses raw cashews that have been soaked in water, drained and then blended with vegetable broth in a high-powered blender to make the sauce creamy but I am not a cream sauce person so I don’t use cashews. If your preference is for a creamy sauce, then by all means, soak 1/2 cup of raw (not roasted) cashews in water for a few hours and then blend away before adding to the sauce.

But first, a few words about other ingredients: Read more »

19
Sep

Vegan Vanilla Yogurt Cake

Making a great tasting moist vanilla cake without butter and eggs has never been easier.  The secret lies with using unsweetened cashew yogurt, and cake flour which has a lower protein content than all purpose flour and is lighter (finer), and softer than other flours. However, with the knowledge that white cake flour doesn’t have a lot of nutritional attributes, there are two ways to make this cake:

  • Use only white cake flour for a lighter, higher rising cake; or
  • Use a combination of white cake flour and whole grain spelt flour or whole wheat pastry flour for a slightly denser but more nutritious cake.

In addition, using unsweetened plain cashew yogurt (I use Forager’s) gives this cake a moist, tangy flavor that is greatly enhanced with the added zest of a lemon. Read more »

11
Sep

Almond Biscotti Cookies (Vegan)

Almond Biscotti Cookies are not quite biscotti – that tends to be dry – and not quite a cookie – that tends to be very sweet – which makes them the perfect treat for someone who prefers an insanely delicious snack that falls between these two categories of sweets. Moist and slightly sweet, Almond Biscotti Cookies are vegan but are not a “health” food owing to the inclusion of canola oil and sugar but they are worth it. That these cookies are super easy to make is an added bonus!

These cookies disappear quickly. The recipe is easily doubled (note: the standard recipe below makes about 20-22 pieces). In terms of oil and sugar, each cookie has about 1 teaspoon of oil and 1 teaspoon of sugar.  Read more »

11
Mar

Temple Balls II

When vegans or plant-based eaters discover dates, it’s a game changer. Dates are moist, chewy, and naturally sweet, so this luscious “food from the Gods” lends itself to making naturally sweet treats including what many people refer to as date balls:  dates, nuts, seeds, spices, and other ingredients (i.e. cocoa, coconut, goji berries, raisins, etc) mashed and blended together into dessert or snack balls.

Although there are a zillion recipes for date balls on line, there are occasions when time or equipment (a food processor) is a factor so people turn to ready-made balls. But, as with every prepared food, ingredients are key so read labels or turn to Glaser Organic Farms – a trusted preparer of raw, vegan, and organic certified snacks. Read more »

20
Feb

L’Artisane Creative Bakery in Miami Beach

When I made the transition from a vegetarian to a plant-based diet, there were foods I never thought I would ever eat again. One of those foods was a croissant:  that exquisite French pastry known for its buttery layers of flaky baked dough, a crunchy exterior and a chewy melt-in-your-mouth interior.  Without butter, how could a croissant be a croissant? And, so I thought my croissant days were over. Read more »