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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.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes & Plantains

30 Jan

Let these shine as is, don’t gussy them up too many with spices.

Serves 8

3 medium yams or sweet potatoes (about 3#), peeled and cut into 1″ chunks
3 moderately ripe plantains, peeled, cut in one inch chunks
2 Tbsp Earth Balance or coconut milk
1/2 tsp salt
(1/2 tsp chili powder)
(1/4 tsp ginger)

-In a pot with a steamer tray, add water to just above the bottom of the steamer tray and bring to simmer.
-Put the sweet potatoes at the bottom of the tray and the plantains on the top.
-Steam for 30-40 minutes, until very soft.
-Drain well and place in mixer bowl with EB/coconut milk and salt.
-Cream on medium-high speed until mostly smooth.
-Season to taste, adding spices sparingly.

Baked Jollof Brown Rice

30 Jan

There are many variations, but it seems to be a staple throughout most of Africa. Fairly similar to Spanish rice (in fact, to make Spanish rice, you could use the same recipe, just omit the bell peppers and/or carrots, sub oregano for thyme and cumin for tumeric). As with most African recipes, it is traditionally spicy, but I have omitted the spice for the sake of my children.

This was a big hit with the kids. It was a pretty big hit with me, too. It was super flavorful, healthy, and once it was in the oven it took space off the stove and countertop (this was my first attempt at baking rice, so that was quite novel). I had reduced the water from the various recipes that I had adapted it from, but it was still a bit mushy, so I will reduce it a bit further next time.

Makes about 10 cups, enough for 4-6 as a main dish or 6-8 as a side dish
1 Tbsp oil
2 onions, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 medium carrots, diced
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp thyme
1 tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric
(spicy to preferences – scotch bonnet chilis are traditional, or cayenne)
2 c uncooked brown rice (I used a long grain Jasmine variety)
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
3 1/3 c 3 c un-chicken or veggie broth (I used Harvest Vegetarian Chicken Flavor Bullion that I got from My Thanh)
1 c frozen peas

-Preheat the oven to 375′.
-In a dutch oven on the stovetop, heat the oil.
-Saute the onions and peppers for 5 minutes to soften.
-Add the carrots and garlic and sautee another minute.
-Stir in the salt and spices, then tomato paste and then brown rice and saute for another 3 minutes, until rice begins to brown and absorb some tomato color.
-Add in the broth and diced tomatoes and bring to a boil.
-Turn off heat, put the lid on, and slide the pot into the oven. Bake for 1 hour.
-Turn off the oven and wait ten minutes before removing from the oven.
– Fluff with a fork, stir in the peas and adjust seasonings if necessary.

banana bread #2

15 Jan

I veganized this recipe. I chose that recipe because I liked that it used minimal, very basic ingredients – there was no addition of even vanilla or spices. The overall loaf was pretty perfect – beautiful flecks of banana showcasing a great banana flavor.

The other recipe I have focuses on agave nectar & a generally healthier version. This one really gets back to basics. Sometimes we get caught up adding spices and what not a little frivolously. It’s nice to step back from all that on occasion.

1/2 c Earth Balance margarine
3/4 c brown sugar
1 Tbsp Ener-G egg replacer + 1/4 c water (could try 2 T ground flax seed = 1/4 c water)
6 mashed overripe bananas (about 2 1/3 c)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups flour (AP or King Arthur White Whole Wheat)
(3/4- 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts)

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease/spray a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
-In your mixer bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in egg replacer and mashed bananas until well blended but still some good banana lumps. Stir baking soda, salt and flour in until just combined. Fold in the nuts if using. Spread batter into prepared loaf pan.
-Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean(ish. the banana chunks kind of make it not totally clean, but you shouldn’t have doughy bits on the toothpick). Let bread cool in pan for at least 10 minutes before inverting and slicing if you possibly can.

slow-cooked, double-boiler polenta

20 Dec

serves 3-6, increase as much as you need
cook time: 2 hours, but very little hands on
this recipe/method takes all the work out of polenta, it just takes time!

3 cups water
1 cup polenta (cornmeal or corn grits)
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp Earth Balance
(spices – Italian seasonings, pepper)

Have two pots that fit into each other, or a double boiler. Bring water for the bottom pot to boil, also bring the water for the polenta to boil separately in the pot that fits inside. When it is boiling, whisk in the polenta, salt and Earth Balance. Put the pot inside the other pot, put a lid on it. Stir every 30 minutes or so, after an hour and a half taste for bitterness, doneness, and spices. Can be kept warm and soft over water bath for 3 hours.

If you spread it into a container, it will firm up rather quickly and be slice-able. Will keep for about a week in the refrigerator, and would be great fried.

Pumpkin Bread

17 Dec

Easy Recipe, lots of sugar (not as healthy as it could be), but yummy. Tastes even better the next day, after the flavors have had some chance to ‘age’. Freeze one for later use or go ahead and give it away.

Yield: 3 Loaves
* 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
* 1/2 cup applesauce
* 1 cup vegetable oil
* 2/3 cup water
* 3 cups white sugar
* 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons baking soda
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
* 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 3 5×9 inch loaf pans.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the wet ingredients. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
3. Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Noodle Casserole

22 Nov

x2 for dinnershare – it makes a potluck sized batch on it’s own, though

1-16 oz pkg dry pasta 8 oz of dry pasta (half package)*
1/2 cup margarine
1 medium onion, minced
2 stalks celery, minced
10 ounces sliced mushrooms
3/4 flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tsp Goya Adobo
2 cups veggie broth
1 cup unsweetened soy milk
2 cans chick peas, drained, rinsed and loosely mashed
1 cup peas – I wanted to put these but it turns out I was out. I used broccoli instead.
1 1/2 cups french fried onions
1/2 cup plain potato chips, crushed

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F and prepare an 13×9″ baking dish with a quick spray of cooking oil.
2. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
3. While the pasta is cooking, heat margarine in a pan. Add onion, celery and mushrooms and saute for a while, until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms have shrunk some and let their juice out. This took about ten minutes, I think.
4. Sprinkle the flour and nutritional yeast over the veggies. Slowly stir in the veggie broth, until there are no clumps. Then slowly add the soymilk and bring to a gentle simmer. When it begins to bubble and thicken, turn of heat and stir in Adobo. Adjust seasoning to taste.
5. When pasta is done, drain it and pour it into your pan. Stir in the chickpeas and peas (or, uh, broccoli), then the sauce.
6. Bake for 15 minutes uncovered. Remove from oven, sprinkle with onions and chips, and bake for another 10 minutes.

*the sauce was really good, but became bland & dry when the noodles were added. I would make it again, but would reduce the noodles by half, for sure.