Archive | February, 2011

Pulpeta (Cuban meatloaves)

20 Feb

‘Cubanized’ this recipe and then baked it some more in a sauce modified from this recipe. You can totally do this recipe in steps over a day or two as your time allows – it really is not very pressing and pretty easy.

Makes 8 mini loaves
Total baking time – 1 hr 30 min

Loaves:
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 small white onion, finely chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 lb carrots, finely chopped
2 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tsp cumin
1 cup breadcrumbs + 1 more cup for breading
1 cup vital wheat gluten
1/2 cup water

Heat oil in a pan. Sauté onion, carrots, bell pepper and garlic until soft. Set aside and let cool completely.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Smash the beans with the cooled veggies (if the ingredients aren’t totally cooled, the gluten will get stringy and too chewy). Add the remaining ingredients, except the extra breadcrumbs for breading, and squish/mix/knead until it’s a uniform ball.

Divide the ball into 8 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a small, rectangular-cube type loaf. Bread each loaf with remaining bread crumbs. Place on a spray-greased baking sheet.

Bake for 1 hour, turning every 15 minutes to brown all four sides. While loaves are baking, prepare the sauce.

Sauce:
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 onions, minced
1/2 green bell pepper, minced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2-14.5 oz cans petite diced tomatoes
1-14.5 oz can tomato sauce
1 cup white wine
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Saute the veggies in the oil until soft. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer about 10 minutes. Place the loaves in a 13x9ish baking dish and pour the sauce on top. Bake uncovered another 30 minutes. Enjoy.

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Big Batch Basic Granola

15 Feb

Variation on the cocoa granola I just made, since that came out well.
Omit the almonds if you like or bulk it up with some dried fruit.
Pretty cheap – cost breakdown* ends up being about $1.50 (or less) for the equivalent of a box of granola (4.5 cups).

Total baking time – 50 minutes
Makes approx 15 cups

keeps well.

12 cups rolled oats (old fashioned, cooks in 5 minutes kind of oatmeal)
3/4 cup ground flaxseed
1 1/2 tsp salt
2/3 agave nectar
2/3 canola oil
2/3 packed brown sugar
1/3 water
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
(1-2 c slivered almonds or other chopped nuts)
(1-2 c dried fruit and/or coconut flakes)

1. Preheat the oven to 300′. Make sure the oven racks are in the top/middle.
2. Lightly grease 3 large baking pans (I use sheet pans or 13x9s).
3. In a large bowl, toss the oats with the flax and salt.
4. In a medium bowl or measuring cup, stir together the rest of the ingredients except the almonds and fruit, if using. Whisk until smooth.
5. Pour the liquid mixture over the oats mixture and use your hands to combine them: grab and squeeze fistfuls of it together, until the oats are totally coated and saturated. You want it to be pretty clumpy and stuck together.
6. Squeeze and drop the mixture evenly onto the prepared baking pans. You can spread it and break it up a bit, but you want to keep the clumpies intact.
7. Bake for 15 minutes on the middle rack of the oven. Flip with a spatula.
8. Bake another 15 minutes, flip with a spatula, and sprinkle almonds evenly on top, if using.
9. Bake another ten minutes, flip.
10. Bake another ten minutes and you’re finished!
11. If you want to add dried fruit or coconut flakes, do it now while it’s warm.
12. Let cool, and then store in an airtight container or ziploc bag.

*yes, I made a spreadsheet.

Chai Chia Tapioca

13 Feb

This actually was surprisingly tapioca-y, and actually a lot easier than real tapioca. It was a little bit runnier than I’d like, so next time I will use the smaller amount of almond milk. If you aren’t sure you’d like rosewater and/or cardamom, you can make it without, and then it’s just tapioca pudding.

This isn’t actually chai flavored, just reminiscent of flavors from an Indian ice cream shop I used to go to a long time ago. I just couldn’t resist writing “chai chia” for some reason.

Makes about 2 cups
Needs to sit overnight

1 2/3 1 1/2 c almond milk (I used half unsweetened vanilla/half vanilla)
1/4 c chia seeds
2 Tbsp agave (I used honey flavored)
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 t rosewater
1/4 t cardamom
tiny pinch salt

Shake everything together in a quart-size jar (or mix in a bowl). Let sit in the refrigerator overnight to pudding-up. Enjoy.

2x Coffee Concentrate

13 Feb

Takes planning but the concentrate saves time in the morning for a quick cup.

1 cup beans + 3 cups water makes 3 cups concentrate- enough for 4 12-oz mugs of coffee

1 part coffee beans of choice, ground
3 parts cold water
a way to steep and strain the concentrate*

Stir the coffee and water in an iced coffee system or large jar until all the grounds are wet. Let soak 12-15 hours, at room temperature. Drain into a large jar using your chosen apparatus* (this takes a while, you’ll have enough for a mug shortly but it will keep draining for a couple hours usually).

To serve, dilute to half strength using water and/or milk. Heat or ice as desired. Supposedly lasts 2 weeks in the fridge, but it’s never made it that far.

*if you don’t have a cold brew system, place a large funnel (4c capacity) over a quart size or larger jar or bowl. Put a strainer inside the funnel, and a paper filter or thin dish towel/fabric inside the strainer. If your strainer/funnel isn’t large enough, only make 1/2 the recipe (then you only need a two cup capacity).

Cocoa Granola

12 Feb

This is really easy and cheap compared to store-bought granola. Omit the almonds if you like, substitute canola oil for the coconut oil, or bulk it up with some dried fruit.

The cocoa makes it exciting, the blackstrap molasses adds to the chocolatey flavor as well as gives it a good chocolatey color (and adds a smidgeon of its nutritional value).

Total baking time – 50 minutes
Makes approx 6 cups

(You may as well double the recipe since it keeps well)

4 cups rolled oats (old fashioned, cooks in 5 minutes kind of oatmeal)
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 c agave nectar
1/4 cup coconut oil (warmed to liquid)
1/4 c packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp blackstrap molasses
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c slivered almonds
(Dried fruit or coconut flakes if you want)

1. Preheat the oven to 300′. Make sure the oven rack(s) are in the middle.
2. Lightly grease a large baking pan or two.
3. In a large bowl, toss the oats with the flax, cocoa and salt.
4. In a medium bowl or measuring cup, stir together the rest of the ingredients except the almonds. Whisk until smooth.
5. Pour the liquid mixture over the oats mixture and use your hands to combine them: grab and squeeze fistfuls of it together, until the oats are totally coated and saturated. You want it to be pretty clumpy and stuck together.
6. Spread the mixture evenly onto the prepared baking pans, making sure that some of the oat clumps are intact.
7. Bake for 15 minutes on the middle rack of the oven. Gently flip with a spatula.
8. Bake another 15 minutes, gently flip with a spatula, and sprinkle almonds evenly on top.
9. Bake another ten minutes, flip.
10. Bake another ten minutes and you’re finished!
11. If you want to add dried fruit or coconut flakes, do it now while it’s warm.
12. Let cool, and then store in an airtight container or ziploc bag.

Brown Rice Pudding

10 Feb

Perfect for breakfast, dessert, or even a sweetish side dish. A very creamy, comforting, easy concoction. It is not very sweet- double the sweetener for a more indulgent dessert, or serve with lots of fruit/dried fruit.

Makes 4-6 servings

Cook ahead in a rice cooker or whatever method (or use leftover cooked rice):
1 c uncooked brown rice (jasmine is great, any kind will work)
1 1/2 c water
(cinnamon sticks to cook with it, not sure how much it affects the flavor but your house will smell amazing while it cooks)

Pudding ingredients:
2 1/2 c cooked brown rice (above)
2 1/2 c almond milk (soymilk does not cook as well, could use other nut milk or coconut milk)
2 Tbsp sugar, agave nectar or maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
(garnishes such as slivered almonds, raisins, sliced or chopped fruit, coconut, etc.)

Combine all of the ingredients in a large saucepan over medium heat and stir until it begins to boil. Turn the heat down to low and cook uncovered, stirring every five minutes, until the mixture is thick and creamy, about 30-40 minutes.