Tuesday, June 29, 2010

goat cheese wrap

Hey, hope you all had a good weekend. Our weekend was awesome, because we got to see THE BACKSTREET BOYS!! for free. They were performing at Pride, and although they only played 3 songs, it was epic. We also got to see Andy Bell (lead singer of Erasure) perform this awesome song, although unfortunately he didn't reenact the amazing video.
Another thing that made our weekend awesome was this excellent wrap, invented by our dad and made by Lola. It's made of mache, sundried tomatoes (the kind packed in olive oil), goat cheese, and basil leaves all wrapped up in a whole wheat tortilla.


Friday, June 25, 2010

apple cinnamon oatmeal

this is my favorite oatmeal breakfast. i use 1/2 cup oats cooked in 3/4 cup or 1 cup water (less water if you're microwaving, more if stovetop. also, i use either mccann's quick irish oats or quaker. i like mccann's better. It also absorbs the water a lot better, so i use less water with quaker) and topped with a large sprinkle of cinnamon. stir in a chopped apple before cooking, or midway through if you want it a little crunchy. top with a spoonful of peanut butter. for an extra treat (my go-to finals week breakfast) add 1 packet or 1-2 tablespoons of hot chocolate powder (stir in before cooking)


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

vegan chocolate pudding

look at me, posting 2 days in a row! now lets see if i can keep it up.
i LOVE chocolate pudding. it's probably my favorite food ever (although i do say that about many foods). i remember when i was younger and went camping with some friends, we created a whole mythology around the dining hall's chocolate pudding. I don't recall the entire story, only that my friend N. was crowned the pudding queen and the rest of us had to say "I am mere whipped topping in your pudding presence".last week i decided it was time to say goodbye, at least for now, to jello instant pudding mix, and make my own pudding. my first attempt was a spectacular disaster. it started out promisingly enough. just look at this recipe. while i'm sure deb's caramel pudding was amazing, i burnt my caramel and my pudding was filled with unappetizing lumps, rendering it completely inedible.
so i threw it out, took a trip to whole foods, and tried again, this time with a recipe that requires no slaving over the stove and patiently stirring in cornstarch.
yum! this pudding is rich, thick and chocolately. if you're serving it to tofu-phobes, don't tell them its vegan and they'll never know. and remember...

vegan chocolate pudding from veg news, with a few small changes from me
serves 4
*1 cup vegan chocolate chips
*1/2 cup powdered sugar
*8 ounces silken tofu (half a standard 1 lb/16 ounce box)
*1 teaspoon vanilla
1. place tofu in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
2. add sugar and vanilla to blender/processor. stir once or twice.
3. melt chocolate chips in microwave or a double boiler (it took 2 minutes in my microwave.) stir to make sure all chips are melted. add to blender/processor.
3. blend until smooth and combined. you may need to stop and scrape down the sides a few times.
4. portion into 4 individual serving bowls and chill for at least 30 minutes before serving. add toppings such as whipped cream, crumbled cookies, fruit, or chocolate chips if desired.

p.s. how amazing was the US vs. Algeria match this morning? go USA!!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

quick indian lunch

you guys, i feel bad. i left you for a week, and now all i have to offer is this boring, but tasty lunch. at least there's a pretty picture. look:
i don't even remember everything that was in here, but the basic idea is this--saute veggies (i apparently used carrots. i think there were some onions in there too) in olive oil. add a sprinkle of curry powder (i used both sweet and hot. but be careful! i added way too much and this was too spicy. i ate in anyway, but i was tearing up by the time i finished), half a can of chopped tomatoes with juices, a handful of baby spinach, half a can of chickpeas (drained), and a sprinkle of cinnamon, plus a tiny sprinkle of chili powder if you want it spicier. stir, and enjoy topped with chutney (mine was cilantro chutney. yummy! but also kind of spicy, not the cool, refreshing antidote to the spicy curry, which is what i was expecting. lesson learned: taste things before throwing them onto your lunch) and cashews.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

peanut butter granola

a few weeks ago, rita and i may have made our internet video ad debut. we were walking down the street when we were randomly asked if we'd like to participate in the filming of a "viral marketing campaign" for galaxy granola's new fruit not fat granola. anticipating free granola samples, we agreed. unfortunately for galaxy, neither me nor rita (especially not rita) are natural performers (we are shy twins). i did my best, offering "that's a lot of fat!" to describe galaxy's rival granola and "that sounds good!" in reference to replacing oil with applesauce. rita was not so helpful, mumbling, "i don't know...how much fat does granola usually have?" in response to the rival granola's fat content. luckily, the galaxy granola spokesman was a pro and we ended our film debut with an enthusiastic "fruit, not fat!!!" for the camera.
unbeknown to galaxy, however, rita and i have been making our own "fruit not fat" granola for years. and, having tasted my well earned galaxy sample, i have to say that ours is better.
this particular recipe obviously adds (good, healthy) fat back in with the peanut butter. if you want plain granola, replace the peanut butter with 1/4 cup liquid sweetener (honey, brown rice syrup, or agave) and add a few generous sprinkles of cinnamon and ground cloves to the wet ingredients mixture.
peanut butter granola
*1 cup applesauce
*1/4 cup liquid sweetener (honey, brown rice syrup, or agave)
*1/2 cup peanut butter
*5 cups oats (old fashioned or quick cooking)
*1 cup chopped peanuts (optional)

1. preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. put peanut butter in microwave safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds.
3. stir peanut butter and mix with applesauce and sweetener in a small bowl.
4. mix together oats and peanuts, if using, in a large bowl.
5. add applesauce mixture to oats. stir until oats are evenly coated.
6. spread granola on baking sheet. bake for 30-45 minutes (check every 15 minutes) until granola is golden brown. you can also stir every 10 or 15 minutes if you'd like even baking, but i prefer to have a mix of crunchy and soft granola.

Friday, June 11, 2010

tapas feast!

Dudes. I know I often say our twin-cooked meals are delicious (and, if i may toot my own horn, they often are. there are also, of course, some fails which we mostly spare you from on this blog. just last week, for instance, there was a rather unfortunate risotto and roasted vegetables incident), but this one really was amazing.
starting with the potatoes we have, going clockwise, roasted potatoes, sauteed mushrooms with garlic and parsley, tomato sauce for the potatoes (as you can see in the first photo. the complete dish is called patatas bravas), seared shrimp with pimenton and sherry, and finally, roasted grape tomatoes.
the secret to spanish cooking, i have discovered, is olive oil. lots and lots of olive oil.
the tomatoes are from a fabulous book called the new spanish table.
the rest of the recipes are from fine cooking magazine, and i will copy and paste from their website here...
Crispy Potatoes with Tangy Tomato Sauce (Patatas Bravas)
by Sarah Jay
Serves 8
For the sauce:
1-1/2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup chopped onion (1/2 small)
1/3 cup chopped carrot (1 small)
2 medium cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
1 Tbs. dry white wine
1/4 tsp. sweet pimentón (or paprika)
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1-1/2 cups canned tomatoes with juice, chopped coarsely
3 large sprigs thyme
1 tsp. granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. Tabasco, more to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 tsp. sherry vinegar
For the potatoes:
2-1/2 lb. (about 8 medium) Yukon Gold, white, or red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch pieces (no need to peel)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary (optional)

Make the sauce: In a small (1- or 2-quart) saucepan, heat the 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and let it reduce until almost evaporated, about 1 minute. Add the pimentón and cumin and stir for about 15 seconds. Add the tomatoes and juice, thyme sprigs, sugar, Tabasco, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and a few grinds of pepper.

Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, to reduce the sauce somewhat and intensify its flavor. This should take about 1 hour; depending on how much juice you started with, you may need to add up to 12 cup water during simmering to keep the consistency saucy rather than dry.

Fish out the spent thyme sprigs. Purée the sauce with an immersion blender or a regular blender until it’s smooth and creamy; you can thin with a little water if needed. Stir in the sherry vinegar. Taste and add salt and pepper, if needed. The sauce should be slightly spicy, and you should have about 1-1/2 cups.

Roast the potatoes: Heat the oven to 425°F. Toss the potatoes with the olive oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and the rosemary (if using) on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast, turning the potatoes with a metal spatula every 15 minutes, until they’re browned and crisp outside and tender inside, about 45 minutes.

Put the potatoes in a serving dish and put the sauce in a small dish next to the potatoes, along with a spoon.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size: based on eight servings; Calories (kcal): 260; Fat (kcal): 16; Fat Calories (g): 140; Saturated Fat (g): 2.5; Protein (g): 3; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 12; Carbohydrates (g): 27; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): 310; Cholesterol (mg): 0; Fiber (g): 3;

Sauteed Mushrooms with Garlic and Parsley
by Sarah Jay
Serves 8

5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. white or cremini mushrooms, washed well, trimmed, and cut into quarters (or sixths, if large)
Kosher salt
5 to 6 medium cloves garlic, minced (1-1/2 Tbs.)
1 Tbs. sherry vinegar
2 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley

Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over high heat until it’s hot and shimmering. Add the mushrooms, season with 3/4 tsp. kosher salt, stir to coat in the oil, then let the mushrooms cook undisturbed until the liquid released by the mushrooms evaporates and they’re deep golden brown, 5 to 7 min. Stir and continue sautéing, stirring occasionally, until most sides are nicely browned, 3 to 5 min. more.

Reduce the heat to medium, add the garlic, and cook just to soften it, 15 to 30 seconds. Add the vinegar and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan, until the vinegar evaporates, about 15 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and toss in the parsley. Season to taste with more salt, if you like. Transfer to a dish and serve with toothpicks for spearing the mushrooms or a serving spoon for putting on individual plates.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size: based on eight servings; Calories (kcal): 90; Fat (kcal): 9; Fat Calories (g): 80; Saturated Fat (g): 1; Protein (g): 2; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 6; Carbohydrates (g): 3; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): 110; Cholesterol (mg): 0; Fiber (g): 1;

Seared Shrimp with Pimenton and Sherry
by Sarah Jay
Serves 8
1-1/2 lb. large (31 to 40 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined, patted dry with paper towels
Kosher salt
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
6 medium cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
Heaping 1/4 tsp. sweet pimentón (or paprika)
Heaping 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
3 Tbs. fino sherry
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1-1/2 tablespoons thinly sliced chives
Fresh lemon juice to taste

Sprinkle the shrimp with 3/4 tsp. kosher salt, toss, and let sit for 10 minutes (or refrigerate for up to 1 hour).

In a large (12-inch) skillet, heat the olive oil on high heat. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels and add them to the skillet. Sprinkle with 3/4 tsp. kosher salt and sear until they’re pink and a little golden on one side, about 1 minute. Sprinkle the garlic, pimentón, and red pepper flakes over the shrimp, and sauté, stirring, until the shrimp are almost completely pink, about 1 minute. Add the sherry and cook, stirring to deglaze the bottom of the pan, until the shrimp are pink all over (the sherry will evaporate quickly but you should still have some juices in the pan)

Remove from the heat. Toss with the lemon zest and chives. Pour the shrimp and juices into a serving dish, squeeze on lemon juice to taste, and serve.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size: based on eight servings; Calories (kcal): 140; Fat (kcal): 6; Fat Calories (g): 50; Saturated Fat (g): 1; Protein (g): 18; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 4; Carbohydrates (g): 1; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): 400; Cholesterol (mg): 165; Fiber (g): 0;

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Falafel sandwiches with Tabbouleh salad

Both me and Lola love falafel and have made it our goal to try it at as many places as possible, both in San Francisco and in New York. Our favorite in San Francisco is Truly Mediterrean, although we still have many more places to try, including King of Falafel, which, as its awning proudly proclaims, is the winner of the mysterious "Billy Award". Perhaps we will never know what the Billy Award is, but nonetheless I hope our falafel will one day win it.

Both recipes from "Festival of Lite" (ha!) by Gail Ashkenazi-Hankin.
We served our falafel in whole wheat pita with hummus and tabbouleh.
Serves 8
*3 cups canned chickpeas (or 1 and 1/4 cup dry chickpeas, soaked overnight)
*2 teaspoons chopped garlic
*1/2 cup bulgar, soaked 10 minutes and drained
*1 small onion, chopped
*1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
* 1 tablespoon ground coriander
*2 tablespoons snipped parsely
*1/4 teasppon cayenne pepper
*3/4 teaspoon salt
*cooking spray
In a food processor, blend all the ingredients except the cooking spray until smooth. Refrigerate 1 hour, until firm. Form into balls, put on a baking pan, spray with cooking spray, and bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.
Serves 6
*3/4 cup cracked bulgar wheat
*2 cups boiling water
*2 cups diced tomatoes
*1 small cucumber, peeled and diced
*1/2 cup chopped carrots
*1/2 cup chopped green pepper (we omitted this because Lola doesn't like green peppers)
* 1 cup minced parseley
*1 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds
* 2 tablespoons chopped mint
* 1/4 cup lemon juice
*1 tablespoon olive oil
*1/2 cup minced scallions
Place the bulgar in a large bowl and pour boiling water over it. Let stand for 30 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Squeeze out any excess water and transfer to a serving bowl. Add the cumcumber, tomatoes, carrots, green pepper, parseley, cumin seeds and mint. Combine the lemon juice, oil, and scallions. Toss with the salad. Chill before serving.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

smoky chickpeas with spinach, eggplant, tomato, and manchego cheese

another recipe clipped from the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinal and sent to us by our Zayde. we served it over couscous and enjoyed it immensely. Thanks Zayde!
adapted from Steve Petusevsky at the Sun Sentinal.
Smoky chickpeas with spinach, eggplant, tomato, and manchego cheese, with my notes.


• 1 small eggplant, unpeeled, diced in 1-inch cubes

• 2 tablespoons oil

• Salt and pepper to taste

To complete:

• 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

• 1/2 Spanish onion, diced [according to our research (google) a Spanish onion is a yellow onion]

• 1 clove garlic, minced

• 1 tablespoon smoked paprika

• 2 cups roasted, cubed eggplant

• 1 (15-ounce) can chick peas, drained, rinsed

• 1 (14-ounce) can chopped Imported Italian tomatoes in juice [our tomatoes were not Italian. they were from costco.]

• 2 cups chopped fresh spinach (or) 1 cup frozen chopped spinach

• 1 cup crumbled Manchego cheese

To make roasted eggplant: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss together eggplant, olive oil, salt and pepper in large bowl. Spread on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper and bake 30 minutes until golden brown and tender. This can be done up to 2 days prior to assembling recipe. Makes about 2 cups.

To complete: Heat oil in large non stick saute pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and smoked paprika and saute for 1 minute to soften onions. Add roasted eggplant chunks, chick peas, tomatoes and bring to a simmer, cook for 5 minutes, add the spinach and cheese.

Serves 4 [but we had enough for 4 for dinner and leftovers for my lunch the next day]

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

mini banana muffins

There's this guy at my mom's work that we both love, despite having only met him once or twice, because he has an awesome name. I wish I could tell you his name, but I don't think he would appreciate having it told to the entire internet (because obviously everyone on the entire internet reads this blog). Just trust me, it's an awesome name. Anyway, we decided to make him some baked goods since he is allergic to eggs and therefore doesn't get to have them much. Apparently, according to our mom, everyone in his life is just constantly eating baked goods with eggs in them in front of him, and he is tortured knowing he can't have any. I imagine them laughing maniacally as they do it, but they probably don't.
It was hard for us to find an eggless recipe that doesn't rely on any odd ingredients that can only be got at the health food store, but eventually we found this one and modified it slightly because we didn't have any soy milk. We replaced the soy milk and vinegar combo with regular milk and the margarine with butter, and put the batter into a mini muffin tin instead of a bread pan. They turned out great and the awesomely-monikered person who we made them for loved them too.
p.s. My dear twin forgot to post the recipe. Here it is:
*1/2 cup brown sugar
*1/2 cup white sugar
*1/2 cup butter
*3 bananas, mashed
*2 cups flour
*1/2 teaspoon baking soda
*1/4 cup milk
*1 teaspoon vanilla
*1 teaspoon cinnamon
*1/4 teaspoon allspice
*1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix baking soda, flour, salt, and spices in a medium bowl.
Mix butter and sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl. Add banana, milk, and vanilla, and stir with a spoon. Add dry ingredients, stir until well mixed. Bake in a greased (with cooking spray) mini-muffin twin for 25 minutes, or until light-medium brown on top. Makes 48 mini-muffins.