posts tagged with 'recipes'

veggie dinner 3: peanut noodles

All my good recipes come from my mother. Where she gets em, I have no idea. Maybe she can tell us in the comments. This one might be stretching the idea of "main dish" a little bit, but when we have it with a salad and some italian bread it's all the meal you could ever want.

Peanut Noodles

You can vary the spiciness of these noodles by adding or subtracting chile oil, as long as you have 7 tablespoons of oil all together. The sauce can be good on bread or vanilla ice cream (maybe) as well.

For the sauce, combine in the food processor:

1-3 cloves garlic
6 tablespoons chunky peanut butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
6 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon chile oil or other hot oil

In salted water, cook:

12 ounces linguini (more or less; or other similar noodles)

Drain the noodles, then mix with the sauce and (all optional):

diced cucumber
chopped peanuts


veggie dinner 2: chili

When we go camping with other folks—as we have the past four years—we take turns cooking dinner. That way each tent grouping can focus on a single meal and pack just what's needed to prepare it, which makes things go much more smoothly: important when it's getting dark and everyone's hungry after hiking! Of course, we all help out with chopping and fire building and things, as is only right for a communal expedition. This past trip the Archibalds prepared a vegetarian chili according to my mother's recipe, and it was all very well prepared indeed—except I forgot to bring the recipe itself. Thank goodness for modern technology, since I could call Mom right from the campfire and ask her to remind me. The chili came out well enough that I even ate some of the leftovers once we got home! And made over a proper stove it's even better. Here's the recipe so I'll have it handy next time.

Mom's vegetarian chili

Good thing we live in the Northeast so we don't have to worry about the authenticity of our chili. The bulgur serves to thicken the chili up a bit, and substitutes for meat in texture if not in taste.

In a stock pot, heat

1/4 cup oil

Add and saute for 10 minutes

2 or 3 onions, diced fine
3 to 6 cloves garlic, minced
a green pepper, diced

Add and cook for 2 minutes to toast

1 1/2 Tbsp chili power
1 Tbsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup coarse bulgur


3 cans kidney beans
1 28oz can tomatoes or puree
2 Tbsp soy sauce
4 cups water
3/4 tsp salt

Cook at a lively simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve over rice and top with grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, and scallions.


veggie dinner 1: cauliflower curry

a bowl of cauliflower curry

Even though I've never been a vegetarian myself, I didn't grow up eating a lot of meat; thanks to my mother's healthy multi-ethnic cooking I never felt like every meal had to be anchored by a big piece of animal. Good thing, since Leah was a vegan when we first started living together. Now that everyone is trying to eat locally and ethically and sustainably and realizing how expensive meat is supposed to be, we're all looking for vegetarian main dishes that will satisfy our families; this week I hope to post a few of mine. Leading off, cauliflower curry.

Cauliflower Curry

This is the all-season version of this recipe, one you can make any time with ingredients from the grocery store. But once you have the curry base made—up to adding tomatoes and coconut milk—you can throw whatever veggies you want in there. Recently we made a curry with zucchini and green beans from the garden, and it was as tasty as ever you could wish.

In a large saute pan, heat

some oil


1 large yellow onion, chopped

Cook for a while, then add

1 small jalapeno pepper, chopped (seeded if you want)
about an inch of ginger, chopped
two cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
2 Tbsp curry powder

Cook for 3 or 4 minutes, then add (deglazing the pan)

1 14oz can diced tomato (undrained)
1 5oz can coconut milk

Bring to a simmer and add

1 head cauliflower cut up into little florets
1 14oz can chick peas
1/2 c water if needed

Simmer, covered, until the cauliflower is as cooked as you want, then at some point add

frozen peas

Five minutes before serving, add

1 bunch chard or other greens

Serve over rice.


banana chocolate-chip muffins

I want to be cool enough to be able to make up my own recipes. For baked goods, that is; I make up my own recipes for things like stir-fries all the time, but that doesn't count. A while ago I spent some time experimenting with muffins and was some way towards feeling like I knew what I was doing—to the point where I'd be able to improvise a muffin recipe based on the ingredients at hand. Then I came up with this recipe and stopped experimenting, because this one is good enough. Banana and chocolate, plus whole wheat flour and wheat bran: you can eat them for desert and for breakfast the next day!

(In the name of fairness I must say that I didn't make this recipe up entirely from whole cloth; but it is very modified from the original in Joy of Cooking.)

Grease a 12-cup muffin tin and preheat the oven to 375°.

In a large bowl whisk together:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup wheat bran
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Combine in a medium bowl:

2 or 3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cups brown sugar
6 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

Add the wet stuff to the dry stuff and fold together just until all the flour is combined. Distribute evenly into the muffin tin. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with a mixture of:

3 parts white sugar
2 parts brown sugar

Bake for 18 minutes, until a toothpick stuck in one of the muffins comes out clean.


pancakes pancakes

a pile of pancakes

needs syrup

Nothing says Saturday morning like pancakes for breakfast. Here's our recipe, which I post mainly to have it actually written down somewhere: I'm constantly in danger of forgetting how to make them.

These pancakes are tender and fluffy, just the way we like em. The recipe is modified from the one in Joy of Cooking to be more tender and fluffier; if you want them more tender yet you can substitute melted butter for the oil (but then they're kind of hard to pick up with a fork, so soft do they become).

In a large bowl whisk together:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
3 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon

In another bowl beat together:

1 1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs
3 Tbsp canola oil

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix gently with a whisk until they're well-combined and not too lumpy.

Put your skillet over medium-high heat and butter as required. Pour the batter (I use a quarter cup measure, not quite filled for each pancake) and cook until most of the bubbles on top have popped, then flip and cook the other side for about 30 seconds.

Serve with butter and slightly-warmed maple syrup or preserves.

[edit: For an unconscionably long time this recipe incorrectly called for baking soda, since I always get the two confused in name if not in form. My apologies if anyone produced a completely inedible batch of pancakes.]


honey whole wheat

I guess we're doing recipe Wednesday here! Wednesday is the day we host Bible study, and we don't really have time to blog because we're too busy cooking and cleaning. Cleaning mostly isn't very interesting to write about, but cooking has potential for subject matter. So recipes!

This is our daily bread. I make it most Saturdays and the two loaves usually lasts through the following Friday. So far, that is: as Harvey continues to grow that formula will need to be adjusted! Like all my best recipes this one comes from my mom, but I've adjusted it a little bit.

In the work bowl of a stand mixer whisk together:

5 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup flaxseed meal
4 1/2 teaspoons (2 packets) active dry yeast
1 tablespoon salt

Combine and heat until quite warm, 115° to 125° F:

3 cups water
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons canola oil

With the mixer going (using the paddle attachment), slowly add the liquids to the flour mixture. Let it mix up for a minute or so, then switch to the dough hook. Add, in 1/2 cup portions every 4-5 minutes until not unbearably sticky:

1 - 2 cups all-purpose flour

Scrape the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it briefly to make it roughly a ball, then dump it into an oiled container to rise (I use the stand mixer bowl). If it's too sticky you can just toss it back in the bowl without the kneading; that is sometimes necessary in the summer when humidity is high.

Let rise until doubled in volume, which takes anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hour depending on temperature. Remove from bowl, knead lightly and divide into two equal lumps. Form the lumps into balls by stretching the tops and turning the dough underside inwards, then let them sit for 10 minutes.

Grease two loaf pans well with butter, shape the dough into oblongs, and place one in each pan. Let rise until doubled, 30 minutes to 1 hour. In time to get it heated when the loaves are risen, preheat the over to 350°F or so. Position the loaves several inches apart in the middle of the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove the loaves from the pans immediately using a metal spatula, and let them cool on a rack. Don't bag them or cover them with plastic until they cool, or they'll get wet with condensation.

Repeat 1 to 2 times per week and you'll finally be free of the grasping clutches of "Big Bread"!


oatmeal peanut butter chocolate chip

Here, for your reading and baking pleasure, is my current favorite cookie recipe. It was originally published by Mazola margarine and Skippy peanut butter, and I've modified it only slightly beyond removing references to those brand-name products. I did add the chocolate chips, though. Can you imagine creating a cookie like this without including chocolate chips?! As it is now, these contain nearly all the elements of a perfect desert.

Grease your cookie sheets and preheat the oven to 350° F.

In a large bowl, whisk together:

1 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cup rolled oats

In the stand mixer (or in another big bowl), cream together:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar

Beat in until well-blended and smooth:

1 cup chunky peanut butter

Beat in:

2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed or by hand until well combined. Stir in:

2 cups chocolate chips

Put scoops of dough about 1 1/2 inches in diameter on the cookie sheet and flatten them slightly. I do 8 to a sheet. Bake for 11 minutes. Let them cool on the cookie sheet for a minute or two before you try and move them to the cooling rack, because otherwise they tend to break.

So there you go! And no, these are in no way health food. Well, I guess you do have the oats...