Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pumpkins- good for Jack O' Lanterns and Tofu Sandwiches?

Mais oui! So I decided because Halloween is coming up I wanted to cook something "autumn-y" this week and what denotes fall and Halloween better than a pumpkin? So I found this basic pumpkin bread recipe off and and threw in some toasted pumpkin seeds (from the pumpkin I carved) into the batter. Et voila, pain de citrouille! So, now the tofu? Well, so maybe for those that didn't read the previous posts, I've kinda stopped eating meat. We don't know how long it will last as I have been having dreams of goat, but for now I'm trying to be as creative with tofu as I can.

Ok, so I cut the loaf into 8 slices. I took one slice of pumpkin bread, spread a VERY thin layer of cream cheese to act as a glue then placed alfalfa sprouts on top. On top of the sprouts I layered tofu (extra firm) and chives. With a side of oven roasted veggies, its a great vegetarian dinner. Even if you're a meat eater I think you should definitely try it out (tofu won't kill you, I promise!).

Pumpkin Bread Recipe from
      1/2 cups flour
      1/2 tsp. salt
      1 cup sugar
      1 tsp. baking soda
      1 cup pumpkin purée
      1/2 cup vegetable oil
      Egg replacer equivalent to 2 eggs
      1/4 cup water
      1/4 tsp. nutmeg
      1 tsp. cinnamon
      1/4 tsp. allspice
      1/4 tsp. cloves

    • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
    • Sift together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda in a large bowl. Set aside.
    • In a separate bowl, combine the pumpkin, oil, egg replacer, water, and spices.
    • Pour into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
    • Pour into a greased 9- x 5- x 3-inch loaf pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from the pan and let cool on a rack.
    • Keep wrapped in the refrigerator.

    Makes 8 servings

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Coffee Underground- Really it is!

So I was recently in Greenville, SC for a residency interview. The drive from Savannah, GA was about 3.5 hours so when I pulled into town, the first thing I did after dumping my bags in my hotel room was get out and about and look for something good to eat.

Ok let me give a backdrop. At the beginning of this month I decided to give up meat. My reasoning was, I don't believe in clenses and detox diets. I think they're insane and dangerous so I decided to just take meat out of my diet and consume tons of fruits and vegetables. Well, as I was looking for vegetarian recipes I cam across various articles about American farming and the cruelty to animals that goes on in these farms. I DO know what cruel free farming is as I lived in the Caribbean for two years and witnessed it there. I know animals don't need to be caged, they don't need to be clusterd and tortured and abused and pumped with antibiotics and hormones. So I've decided I am not eating meat or animal products unless 1. I can guarantee that they came from cruel-free farms and 2. I'm out at a restaurant and I really don't any alternative option (but that's a very unlikely situation).

Ok, so here I am walking around downtown Greenville thinking "I'm hungry, but I don't want to eat something that's going to pit me to sleep". So as I came to Coffee St, I see this sign saying Coffee Underground. It was a chilly day so I thought a nice cup of coffee would do me good and I don't like Starbucks (that's right, I don't). But where was this cafe? I didn't see it, just the sign pointing to a staircase. So like Alice in Wonderland I followed. Well At hte end of the stairs was this door that led to a dim lighted warm and cozy cafe. The smell of chocolate and coffee just swept throw the air. So I get to the counter and am greeted by the sweetest girl and she asks what I want. Well. my eyes caught the words "Mexican Mocha" and I figured, well I bet it as a kick because I know hispanic people put chili in the chocolate so I asked her for one. She asked if I wanted something to eat (OF COURSE I DO!) so I asked what wer ethe vegetarian options. She suggested the Thai Tofu Wrap with peanut sauce.... ok so when my name was called up (lol it never gets old how they compare it to a Disney character's) I got my coffee and wrap and sat at my table and started surfing the web while I let my coffee cool a little so I wouldn't burn my mouth. Seriously, one of THE BEST cups of coffee I ever had. So good that I actually started putting cocoa powder and chili and cinnamon in my coffee ground. Ok so yes, great coffe- now the wrap. The tofu was marianted in soy and the flavours just soaked into it. SO GOOD. The wrap stuffed with the tofu, sprouts and other greens with that warm peanut sauce (with nuts in it), PLEASE ef go there. I told you there's always vegetarian options wherever you go, and sometimes they're even better than the meat!

Coffee Underground
1 East Coffee Street
Greenville, SC 29601

Saturday, October 10, 2009

OMG- This lamb dish is to die for!!!

So my friend Dr. Haque has a great lamb recipe which she has agreed to let us post on our blog. Being of the South Asian background, lamb and goat are definitely part of our dining experience. I hope you all give this one a try. Thanks for the contribution chicky!

Have the butcher cut a leg of lamb into two small pieces osso bucco style- 1.5 pounds
You will need:
grated carrots
fresh oregano
fresh basil
1 cup white wine
2 small baking potatoes
2 cans diced tomatoes italian style 12oz
dry rosemary
10 pieces fresh garlic cut into slivers or chunks
Place in bottom of slow cooker garlic, shallots. Rub all sides of lamb with rosemary and a little salt. Sear on highest heat top and bottom of lamb pieces on the stove- no more than 1 min per side. Add meat to slow cooker, Add herbs, generous garlic, grated carrots, potatoes whole or chunks, finish off with splashes of a white wine keeping the free liquid level to a minimum. Cover and cook for 6 hours on low. At this point you may add diced fresh eggplant if you wish. Cook the last two hours on warm. Let this cool and sit in fridge overnight. Serve warm the next day over rice or orzo pasta...absolutely divine.

Friday, October 9, 2009

C is for COOKIE

So I've been trying to crave my sweet tooth without 1 lb of sugar. Actually, I kinda am backing away from animal products as much as I can just to try and live a healthier lifestyle and keep a cleaner body (on the inside. Not to say I'm not clean on the outside, which I so am).
So I found these two cookie recipes which I had to try out. One came from which is a Chai Spiced Cookie and the other is from and its a peanut butter ball cookie. I'm a big fan of chai tea. Well of course I am, I'm Indian. So I was totally interested by the fact that someone decided to incorporate the chai spices (which includes cinnamon and cardamon) into cookie batter. Once again I took the liberty to make a few changes to the recipe. For instance, in the chai cookie I placed a small piece of chocolate in the cookie to give it a gooey centre. Its so good when you take a bite and that warm chocolate just oozes out.
With the peanut butter balls I used raspberry extract instead of vanilla. I think both cookies came out great. Definitely go check out the recipes. Its a def tasty alternative to the regular peanut butter cookies. When you take a bite they melt into your mouth.
I think next time I'm gonna try the sugar cookies. I wonder what I can do to jazz it up some...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Lasagna Soup for the Soul

Cooked Kstead's favorite tonight...lasagna soup! Today really felt like Fall and what a perfect meal to have on a chilly day. You can choose any small pasta you would like. I started off making this about a year ago with farfalle but Kstead suggested ditalini tonight. You can find it at any grocery store.

Lasagna Soup
Serves ~6
1 large onion, diced
5 links of mild Italian sausage, remove casing
2 cups dry ditalini pasta
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 dried basil
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
4 cups chicken broth
Grated Parmesan cheese and/or provolone cheese to garnish

In a large pot over medium-high heat, add sausage and cook until browned - crumble the sausage as you go with a wooden spoon. Add the onions and cook for 3 minutes. Mix in the garlic, basil, oregano, red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute. Pour in broth, tomato sauce, and fire roasted crushed tomatoes. Bring to a boil and add in the pasta. Simmer soup until the pasta has cooked - about 12 minutes.

To serve, place diced provolone cheese in the bottom of the bowl and pour soup over top. Or sprinkle with Parmesan cheese over soup.

Okay...this picture may be a year late but the fact that I am still making this after a year's post means that this is still damn good ;)