Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Baked Falafel and Homemade Tzatziki

I've tried fried falafel, both homemade and at restaurants and while they're good - the oil upsets my stomach (no surprise there, what doesn't these days.) There are a number of recipes out there for falafel both baked and fried, so I cobbled a number together to make a mostly baked version. DH and I both liked the result. I had mine on a salad but DH had his on tortilla (I know pitas are traditional but I didn't want the extras hanging around the house and we needed tortillas for another meal that week.) Using Tori Avey's notes on cooking chickpeas, I used only soaked chickpeas for this recipe to let them have a better chance of holding together. I've made this with canned as well but tried frying them, let's just say our frying technique needs a little (lot) of work, not something we'll probably get around to improving unless I'm really craving fasnachts one year.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Super Rich Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

This is another not-quite-healthy quick breads. The texture is akin to a very soft cake really. I made this for church the same week I made the Stained Glass Cake-Bread. No one thought it had zucchini bread, in fact one person who said she hated zucchini bread said she loved it, even after hearing there was zucchini in it! (might have something to do with all of the chocolate- just a thought) It's a really simple bread to throw together. If it were a bit more substantial I would suggest it as a bake sale item, I think with almond meal instead of flour it could go gluten free, and it's already vegan (if you use a vegan brown sugar.) I wonder how it would go in a muffin pan instead...

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Stained Glass Cake-Bread

I don't think it's a surprise that the Library is one the
most popular place on campus for weddings
, when it's full of
windows like these

I call it the Stained Glass Cake-Bread for two reasons:

1. I agree with Big Bear's Wife that it does look a bit like stained glass and I think of three places with stained glass- the chapel where DH and I had our ceremony, our current church, and the Armstrong-Browning Library at Baylor. I was going to call this the Armstrong-Browning Cake-Bread but somehow that seemed like more of a mouthful.
2. The batter isn't quite a straight quick bread. It reminds me a lot of a shortcake. But I baked in a loaf pan and it was originally labeled bread, so I'll call it a Cake-Bread.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Spaghetti Squash with Oyster Mushrooms and Artichoke Pesto Tomato Sauce

We had this as a first dinner after getting back from Labor Day. While we didn't eat as unhealthy as we usually do on family vacations*, it was nice to have something healthier and lighter and full of veggies when we got home. It's not the prettiest because of the mushrooms darkening the sauce to a muddier color but this isn't a dinner party meal anyway.

This recipe is a bit seasonally confused. Winter/fall spaghetti squash and artichokes, summer tomatoes and seasonless oyster mushrooms.  Our Harris Teeter stocks spaghetti squash year round and with the freezer and canning most stores stock artichoke hearts in some form. The tomatoes came from my aunt's garden and the mushrooms from the HT produce section but normally I would use mushrooms from the mushroom stand at the farmer's market (found out it is/was ranked top in the country in it's size category- totally deserved, it has a fantastic selection.)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Grilled Med Salad with Greek-inspired Dressing

During this diet change, I've discovered I really like international foods more. Sure before, we had Chinese take out and went to Bangkok Royal and Clay Pot in Waco but I always got Pad Thai and the Chicken Clay Pot. Even "Mediterranean", which admittedly isn't often that crazy as far as difference goes, was snubbed beforehand. I still don't have a container of pomegranate molasses in the pantry but we do have two overflowing racks of spices on the counter now. I will say going mostly vegan has caused a greater appreciation for the use of spices.

Vegetables marinated in homemade greek dressing make a fantastic base for a filling dish - Crossing The DelebearGrilled Mediterranean Salad, based loosely off of http://cravingsomethinghealthy.com/mediterranean-grilled-vegetable-salad/ 

 This is not a pretty salad once all combined but it tastes fantastic, it also looks much nicer when just the veggies are laid out fresh off the grill. I did make quite
 a few changes to the recipe to reflect our tastes and where I saw some gaps.

First things first, thanks to the Oh She Glows cookbook, we've started marinating veggies for at least 30 mn before grilling to get better flavor. So usually around mid-afternoon I'll chop or slice the vegetables as needed and pour the dressing over everything and let them stew, turning carefully every hour or so, as time allowed.

We discovered the other week that we love artichoke hearts. It's a sweeter vegetable and tastes *fantastic* grilled so we doubled the amount of artichoke hearts.

The dressing I made is based off of Zoe's Kitchen but minus the canola oil and with a lazy herb mix. 

Instead of using just plain chickpeas, I make spiced roasted chickpeas using the same spice blend as the dressing. 

I also tossed the farro in garlic and salt. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Smokey Barbeque Chickpeas and Zucchini Corn Fritters

I'm proud of this recipe. I took a couple of recipes floating around and tweaked them, especially for the fritters. The chickpeas were based off a recipe from The Salad Ninja. I bulked up that recipe with onions becuase why not? The fritters remind me of a no-cholesterol version of Texas Corn Pudding (which I miss so much.) One of the nice thing about cutting out meat and eggs is I rarely have to worry about cross contamination or E.Coli from undercooked eggs (E. Coli is a concern with mung beans, sprouts, and similar though.)

This isn't a super quick meal unless you prep the fritter batter the night before. Definitely drain the onion and zucchini well. Extra liquid makes it hard for the fritters to hold together. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Fox & Friends Quilt

This spring I wanted some sort of sewing project but since I wasn't at my goal fitness (right around where I am now) I didn't want to sew anything since my size was changing and I was mourning the loss of several pieces to being too big to even bother altering. My cousin has an obsession with foxes and really, I wanted a fun light project, so this seemed like a good pattern to try out.

Fox and Friends Pattern by Sew Fresh Quilts, purchased as a kit through Mad About Patchwork

I haven't bound this quilt yet for whatever reason but I can at least comment on the pattern.