MALIBU, California

MALIBU, California

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Vegetable Cottage Pie; Gratin with rice and vegetables; Vegetable soup with Savoy cabbage; cakes, Blueberry and carrot Muffins; Carrot soup; 3 grain breads; Preparing fresh red bell peppers, roasted and steamed. Photos for a fantastic vegetarian feast IN So Cal

Hearty vegetable soup with Savoy/Spring cabbage

3 grain breads, whole wheat, oatmeal & cornmeal with caraway seed

Yes! I am still growing and picking my own tomatoes, eggplants and bell peppers!

Rice & vegetable layers with cheese for the gratin and also vegetables topped with sliced potatoes and cheese for the Cottage Pie

The rice and vegetable gratin topped with breadcrumbs and cheese. Will be baked at client's home

Roasting washed fresh bell peppers over gas flame..check Recipes for Success for info.

Blended carrot, leek and butternut squash soup

De-seeded red bell peppers plunged into boiling salted water for 3-4 mins then drain and plunge into cold water, drain well and freeze or use for stuffed peppers

Fresh Blueberries, grated carrots and sunflower seeds for the flax seed, whole wheat muffins

Muffins/cupcakes just baked, they also contain own made apple sauce, and spices

Saturday, January 24, 2015

2 Eggless Chocolate Cake & Egg-less Frosting/Icing Recipes. Perfect for Sunday tea or special guests

OK here are 2 great recipes that I have used many times, and are great standby's when you are short of eggs or have none! ( as in the case of sailing the Med in the early 70's and many Greek Islands had no eggs in the markets and the crew wanted chocolate cake, so it is true these recipes helped to stave off a mutiny more than once).
Both  Make 2-3 x 8 inch round, layer cake pan, well greased and floured

Both  Preheat oven 350f middle shelf

CHOCOLATE CAKE RECIPE #1 uses mayonnaise and yes you may use Vegan mayo or even Miracle not use any pouring salad dressing, they have to be whipped.

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2tsp baking soda
1 cup boiling water (this is important as it breaks down the cocoa and prevents it tasting raw)
2tso vanilla extract
1 cup mayonnaise

Sift all dry ingredients together in a large bowl, add the rest of the ingredients and mix very well.
Divide the batter between the baking pans, smoothing the tops.
Bake 30 mins.

Cool in pans then unmold.
When completely cool frost and serve...this is a very moist cake.

6 tbsp butter or margarine
2 cups sugar
2 cups almond milk*
juice 2 lemons (1/4 cup)
2tspo baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2tsp vanilla
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

* if you can tolerate real cow's milk by all means use that.

Melt the butter and add the sugar and mix well to dissolve, pour into a large mixing bowl.
Dissolve the soda and baking powder in the milk and lemon juice and add this to the butter mix.
Mix well to combine then add the vanilla, flour and cocoa (sift cocoa and flour together to make combining easier).
beat well together then pour into prepared pans, smoothing tops.
Bake 40-45 mins.
Proceed as previous recipe.

Egg-less Frosting for Chocolate Cakes

Chocolate Fudge Icing:
2 ozs unsweetened chocolate
1 1/4 cups nut milk ( or reg.)
2 cups sugar
pinch of salt
1tbsp honey or molasses
3tbsp butter or margarine
1 tsp vanilla extract

Heat the chocolate in the milk and  bring to simmer.
Add the sugar, salt and honey and cook to dissolve the sugar and allow the mixture to boil.
Continue stirring and continue boiling until the mixture thickens to soft ball stage (drop some of liquid into cold fresh water and it should form soft ball).
Remove from heat and cool to luke warm.
Beat in the butter and vanilla, and beat until it is spreadable, frost the cakes.
If is hardens too soon add a little hot water

Frosting  #2 Caramel Frosting

4tbsp margarine
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup milk (nut milk is fine)
2 1/2 cups( approx.) powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla/rum/coffee or almond extract

Heat the margarine in a saucepan and add the sugar and salt.
Cook it over low heat stirring constantly for about 2 mins.
Stir int he milk and continue stirring until the mixture comes to a boil.
Remove from heat and stir in the powdered sugar, gently.
Add the vanilla and frost the cold cakes (if too thick add a little cold milk)

Both these cakes are great served with fresh berries/whipped cream, and ice cream. Try adding some fresh orange zest/rind to the cake mixes for a fresher flavor.
Try using fresh mashed bananas and orange juice as a filling before frosting tops and sides/
 You may also use Vegan margarine
Carob powder in place of cocoa, add an extra 1/4 cup to each recipe if using carob powder.
Substitute agave syrup or maple syrup for honey (you may have to cook it longer as maple has more moisture than honey)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Fava( aka Broad beans) Beans 'le carne dei poveri" the meat of the poor, now trendy again in the best and traditional Vegan recipes

Nothing says Spring better than fresh fava beans. I grew up knowing them as broad beans.
Tender beans that are meaty in flavor and are great fresh or dried.
Here are some recipe ideas that have been traditionally vegan for thousands of years.
Please make the most of these cancer fighting, bad cholesterol lowering vegetables/legumes.
Some of these recipes can even be made with  frozen or canned fava's when Spring ones are not available.

Fresh Fava recipes, (these ideas use shelled beans, out of their pods and tender young beans, older ones may have their skin removed before sauteing.)

1) slowly cook in a medium hot  olive oil with chopped scallions and garlic, finish with lemon juice/white wine and minced parsley and oregano.

2) saute with al dente new potatoes, olive oil, garlic and basil leaves

3) saute with fresh  sage leaves, chopped or halved ripe tomatoes, garlic and chopped black olives. Finish with white wine, lemon juice or cream

Add blanched greens* to any of the above recipe and some fresh walnuts and or raisins.
In Spring* use tender young dandelions or nettles.

4) make a wonderful soup with fresh fava beans, peas, potatoes and artichokes, finish with minced parsley

Dried Favas:
5)Make hummus with cooked dried fava's, tahini, garlic lemon juice and olive oil (recipe in Recipes for Success, THE GREAT GRANNY Diet Vol. 1
6) this is a fabulous soup/sauce that everyone thinks is made with cream.

1 pound dried fava in a large pan with cold water, bring to boil. Remove from heat and allow to soak for 1 hour.
Using a paring knife slit each bean & remove the skin and the small "tongue".
Drain the beans and pour off any water.
Return the skinned beans to the pan, cover with fresh cold water and bring to boil then simmer for 30 mins+ until tender.(make sure the pan doesn't boil dry).
Stir briskly to break up the beans and produce a cream like sauce.

In another pan cook 2 cups onion in boiling water with 2 tbsp olive oil.
Allow the water to evaporate and saute the onions. You may add some fresh asparagus or if you have them fennel fronds and bulb finely minced.

Add this to the cream beans, and allow to marinate at least 2 hours or overnight.
Serve warmed in bowls, adding water or vegetable stock to thin down as a soup.
Or thick as cream with any cooked pasta, passing round extra virgin olive oil to be added as needed.
This is called macca in Sicily, and is fabulous.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Vegan-Vegetarian-GF-dairy free menu in photos inc: roasted vegetable tarts; chickpea pate; oatmeal cookies, coconut cookies; vegan enchiladas; tahini& date truffles; brownies; lemon & raspberry cupcakes; Pineapple upside down cake;

Thin and chewy, regular oatmeal cookies with honey

Shredded sweet and russet potato base with GF flour, sauteing  for the roasted vegetable tarts

Roasted vegetables with rosemary and drizzled with pomegranate molasses

Chickpea pate before baking this is also GF

Tahini-date "truffles"

The enchiladas served 2 ways one vegan one vegetarian

Vegan brownies

lemon-raspberry cupcakes (made with eggs)

Pineapple and raspberries in brown sugar and coconut oil caramel for the upside down cake

Vegan oatmeal raisin cookies

Pineapple upside down cake will be un-molded at client's house

As children  we are taught not to play with food, as adults trying to cope with various challenging food allergies, we have to play with out food to develop flavors and appealing tastes.
Here I have 2 menus, dealing with gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, low sugar, no salt, and having to create REAL food without lots of artificial additives.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Creating the BEST flavored and healthiest Vegan on the planet: Cashew Paella; Enchiladas with plantains; Black & Pinto chipotle Chilli; Brownies; Cookies and other treats..PHOTOS..Prep for 80th Birthday Party on Thursday in Ventura County, Southern California

There is nothing better than well cooked and prepared food and this is a basic fact that is lacking in most "trendy" Vegan restaurants. They serve fresh, yet under-flavored fare.
The best Vegan  cuisine is the type that is lovingly prepared and then allowed to marinate/macerate, under controlled conditions, for at least 24 hours.
Not hastily prepared and cooked, that ends up tasting like a warm salad.

I am preparing an 80th birthday celebration for some friends, the party is Friday night and I have begun preparations now.
Cooler weather in SoCal means I have shopped for my veggies and fruits 2 days ago, thereby allowing  everything to be stored at room temp.
This means that the fruits are ripening slowly, and everything will be full of natural flavors.
The only time I chill any vegan dish/ingredients is when the recipe is made and cooled down quickly.

Part of the menu for Thursday delivery is:
Mixed bean pate
Roasted vegetable Tians...shredded potato based "tarts" with roasted vegetables drizzled with pomegranate molasses
Plantain and vegetable enchiladas
Black and pinto bean chipotle chili
Date and Tahini "truffles"
a selection of vegan cookies

Today I am prepping the  chili, the enchilada filling, the bean pate, the brownie mix.

I am not posting recipes on this if anyone needs any ideas please message me on this blog.

The chili has an added flavor from lager beer, ground cumin, chipotle (smoked jalapeno) & cocoa powder

The bean pate has cream sherry, ground turmeric, ground cardamon, mushrooms and ground coriander

The enchilada filling has red wine, cumin, basil and tomatoes 

The paella base also has sherry, grape tomatoes, onions, garlic, peas, cumin, I will add steamed rice to the mix at the party

The brownies base, banana, coffee, black beans and chocolate

The date & tahini "truffles", many layers of vanilla, orange, toasted nuts, honey sweetness and raw cacao nibs, and shredded coconut

 I am also making for my regular clients, a curried lentil soup, a yam and butternut soup; the vegan cookies will have apple sauce and pumpkin puree (which I will make tonight), in place of eggs; a quinoa pilau, and some Vegan cupcakes, which I will prepare tomorrow for delivery on Thursday..also serving whole wheat pita breads and corn tostadas.
I will post more photos tomorrow and Thursday before delivery.

It is important to store cooked food properly, cool down quickly and refrigerate in sealed containers. (there should not be any condensation inside lids in a refrigerator)
With Vegan foods, it is important to also stir them at least every 12 hours so the flavors develop evenly.
Wine, beer and sherry add layers of flavors as does Nutritional Yeast, Worcestershire sauce (make sure it is fish free,as the original contains anchovies), wheat-free tamari soy sauce, and dried/fresh herbs.
Be careful on salt as the flavors do become deeper when stored, fully cooked, for 24 hours.
Wine can add a sourness that actually sweetens over several hours.
I only add fresh cilantro/parsley when packaging for delivery.
Thyme and Celery can also add salt like flavors.

Happy Cooking and happy eating Better.