All posts by rblander

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Now these are just yum! This is a project I have been working on for a while, which started originally when I realllyy wanted to bake cookies but we were out of eggs in my house. For years this is something I have been working to prefect and now I bring you the best, most yummy, you have no idea that these are vegan cookies.

Soft, chewy, flavorful – you’ll be making these all the time – their perfect if you want a cookie and have no eggs, of if you have a vegan friend or a friend who is allergic to eggs…actually, you don’t need an excuse to make these cookies – just make em.

In seminary this recipe came in handy as well when it was someones birthday and I wanted to make them one large cookie, but I didn’t want to make it so big so I would make this…I also called it “I really want a cookie but don’t have an egg recipe.”

Either way these cookies are easy, simple and yum!

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Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 12

Ingredients:

1 1/4 C. Flour

1/2 Tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp Vanilla sugar

1/4 C. Sugar

Pinch of salt

1/4 C. Oil

1/4 C. Water or Coffee

1/4 – 1/2 C. Chocolate Chips

Mix the flour, baking soda, sugar, and salt. Add in the oil and water or coffee and mix. Add in the chocolate chips and mix.

Bake for 8-10 minutes at 350.

Enjoy!!

 

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Pizza Latkes

This recipe combines 2 of my favorite things – latkes and pizza! YUM!! As my family can tell you – I loveeeee sauce and cheese! It is one of my favorite combinations and I eat it on things all the time. So when I started to think about chanukah I thought – hmm why not combine a yummy crispy latke with pizza and BOOM! We have the yummiest latke out there.

So some historical background on latkes in general and why we really eat them on chanukah. First, because the big miracle of chanukah is with oil, it is traditional to eat oily, or fried foods to commemorate that.

My question on that was always – so why latkes and why potatoes. After some research I found out that originally, the first mention of latkes on chanukah was from a Rabbi Kalonymus ben Kalonymus (c. 1286-1328) in a poem he wrote talking about cheese latkes on chanukah. So how did cheese turn into dairy? Well, in the mid-1800’s there was a bad crop in Europe which led to the mass planting and abundance of potatoes! Hence giving lead to our potato latke of today.

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Additionally , these are dairy latkes – which connects to chanukah through the story of Yehudis who fed the Assyrian General cheese and wine until he passed out. She then killed him which helped lead to a Jewish victory by the Maccabees.

So anyway onto the pizza latkes. I am including my own latke recipe, but feel free to use your own and just add the pizza steps at the end.

Happy Chanukah!

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Pizza Latkes

Yield about 10 latkes

3 Idaho potatoes, scrubbed clean

1 small onion

1 egg

1 tsp potato starch

1 1/2 tsp salt

pinch black pepper

Oil, for frying

10-12 tsp tomato sauce

10-12 tsp shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Grate the potatoes so that you get strands of potato (not a potato mush). Grate the onion and add it to the potato mixture. Put the potatoes in a strainer and squeeze all of the liquid out of the potatoes. Allow to sit for 2-3 minutes and squeeze again. Transfer potato mixture into a bowl and add the egg, potato starch, salt and pepper. Mix through.

Pour oil into a pan about 1 inch high. Allow to heat up. Fry latkes and place aside.

When all latkes are fried, transfer to a tin or baking sheet. Place about 1 teaspoon of sauce and 1 teaspoon of cheese on each latke. Place in oven and bake for about 5 minutes, until cheese is melted. Enjoy!!

Low-fat Sweet Potato Soup

Winter weather is acomin’ and that means soup time! My favorite thing to have in the winter is a thick, bone-sticking soup. It warms me up and makes me just feel happy.

The problem with a lot of thick soups is that they often have a lot of cream, or something of the sort making them full of fat, and anything but healthy. My solution is using nutrient-rich more starchy vegetables to thicken up the soup. Just because a vegetable has a bit more starch doesnt make it unhealthy, and sweet potatoes are full of nutrients and make a really filling dish…or soup in this case.

Some background/ historical information about sweet potatoes: contrary to the belief – sweet potatoes are not that closely related to a regular potato. Sweet potatoes originate from the Americas and made their way to Europe when via Spain and Portugal. Sweet potatoes have vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin B6. In addition, they have a high fiber content, protein, iron, calcium and even more.

Anyway, on to the soup!!

sweet potato soup 1

Low Fat Sweet-Potato Soup

Ingredients:

3 sweet potatoes, cut into chunks

2 carrots, cut into chunks

1 small onion, cut into chunks

8-8 1/2 C water

3-4 tsp salt

Pepper, to taste

Place the vegetables and water in a pot. Bring to a boil. Lower the flame to a simmer and add the salt and pepper. Let cook for about 1 hour, or until the vegetables are soft. Turn off the flame and blend the soup together. If you want a less thick soup, just add another 1 cup of water and 1 tsn of salt and blend again.

Enjoy!!

 

History Information from:  http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Sweet_potato

Oven BBQ Chicken

Sadly not only has summer come to an end, but so has summer weather (truthfully I actually like the cold weather). And the end of summer usually signals the end of BBQs also 😦 . My family knows that if they want to make a yummy dinner for me just grill me up some chicken on the bone and I cant be happier. So when the cold hits and no one really wants to go out to grill I needed to find a substitute.

Enter oven BBQ chicken. Yes, I know sounds simple, and in reality it is but sometimes we all need reminders of these simple easy recipes that literally take 5 minutes to throw together and taste insane! This is one of them. Oh and did I mention its 1 pan meal. Yeah I went there. Yummy, easy and quick.

It’s a 1 pan meal. You cut everything up, lay it in a pan, flavor it and bake. That’s it.

Also perfect for a yontif (if you keep your oven on and cook yontif).

So some history on barbeques you ask. Well according to some sources the original BBQ wasn’t throwing food on a grill over fire, but rather cooking the food over an indirect heat. When Christopher Columbus came to an island off America he discovered that the tribes there would cook their food on a piece of wood (usually greenwood) over heat. The greenwood would prevent the food from burning while still cooking it…although the food could be over the fire for up to 16 hours until it finished. Very different from the BBQs that we have now. Overtime, with different influences from various tribes and other countries the BBQ transformed into what we know now. And the variation from state to state depended on the type of animals that they breeded and the different tribes who lived there.

History aside, while it is interesting, I am just happy that we have BBQs that Americans and the world knows today because… well just yum.

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**side note -this recipe can easily be doubled either into a second tin, or into a larger tin

Oven BBQ Chicken

Ingredients:

1 tsn oil or spray oil

5-6 chicken bottoms, or 10 drumsticks, or 5 chicken tops (or any other combination that would fit in a 9×13 pan)

1 butternut squash, cut into chunks

2 sweet potatoes, cut into chunks

2 potatoes , cut into chunks

10 mushrooms, halved

1-2 medium onions, cut into half rings

2 tsn salt

1 tsn ground pepper

2 tsn garlic powder

2 tsn onion powder

2 tsn paprika

1/2-3/4 c your favorite barbecue sauce

Pre-heat an oven to 350. Oil the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Place the cut up vegetables on the bottom of the tin. Place the prepared chicken on top of the vegetables. Sprinkle the spices on top. Spread half of the BBQ sauce on top of the chicken (reserve the rest for the end). Cover the pan with tin foil and bake for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, take off the tin foil and place the rest of the BBQ sauce on top of the chicken. Turn the oven to broil and broil the chicken for 3-5 minutes, until the tops start to brown and crisp.

Enjoy!!!

 

 

History information from:
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/the-evolution-of-american-barbecue-13770775/
http://time.com/3957444/barbecue/

Siman Quinoa Salad

So life’s about to get pretty busy…Grad school started…started my first teaching job :)…and then the Yom Tovim! (High Holidays). But, before things got too busy I needed to share this insanely yummy salad – which is perfect for Rosh Hashana and is a healthy way to start off the new year.

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So this salad is everything you want – filling, healthy, sweet and unique without being too weird. Rosh Hashana is the Jewish New Years. On Rosh Hashana there is a custom to eat certain foods that have symbolic meanings, called Simanim about having a good year. Some examples are: carrots, pomegranates, apples and honey, fish, a fish head, beets, dates….

Image result for simanim

This salad is inspired by the Simanim – hence the name Siman Quinoa Salad…there are beets, carrots, and dates with a really yummy pomegranate dressing. Sweet, tangy, crunchy, soft…perfect combo in your mouth.

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Siman Quinoa Salad:

Yield: about 5-6 side dish portions

Ingredients

1 C. Uncooked Quinoa

2 C. Water

1 tsn salt

1/4 tsn pepper

1 large red beet (or 2 small), roasted

1 large yellow beet (or 2 small), roasted

3/4 C. chopped dried dates

1 carrot, shredded

3/4 C peas, defrosted

Dressing:

2 Tbsn pomegranate jelly

2 Tbsn balsamic vinegar

1/3 C. oil

1 clove garlic, crushed

3 tsn honey

2 tsn kosher salt

1/4 tsn pepper

Place the quinoa, 1 tsn salt, 1/4 tsn pepper and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and let cook covered for about 20 minutes, until the water evaporates. Set aside in a bowl to cool.

Cut the roasted beets into cubes and add to quinoa. Add in the chopped dates, shredded carrots and peas.

In a separate bowl, or in a food processor, whisk or process the ingredients for the dressing. and Pour over the salad.

Enjoy and chag samayach!

 

Pea-Corn Salad

Summer ain’t over yet! Yes, maybe I start class tonight, and maybe it is the end of August, but that doesn’t mean we have to let go of summer yet!

Two of my favorite summer vegetables are peas and corn. The crisp sweet pieces of corn and peas will never get old! And best thing about them is that you can get them frozen – which keeps this salad going all year ’round.

pea-corn salad 2

So some history of peas is that they have been around forever! There is evidence of the pea plant from about 8000 BCE – AKA the beginning of time. Peas came to America with the Pilgrims on the Mayflower om the 1600’s. Which brings us to corn. Corn is most known as one of the vegetables that the Native Americans taught the Pilgrims to plant when they came over from Europe. While this is how we first learn of corn, or maize, as it was called back then, due to recent discoveries there is evidence of a type of corn-like plant that dates back about 9000 years in Mexico.

But, now enough history and to the most light, and yummy summer salad there is.

pea-corn salad 1

Pea – Corn Salad

3 – 3 1/2 C. frozen peas, defrosted

1 15 oz can of corn, or the kernels of 2 husks of boiled corn

1/4 purple onion, diced finely.

1/2 C. mayonnaise

3 Tbsn apple cider vinegar

3 Tbsn sugar

2 Tbsn mustard

1 tsn salt

1/4 tsn cracked pepper

Place the peas, corn and onions in a bowl and set aside. In a seprate bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper. Pour over the vegetables and toss to combine.

Enjoy! 🙂

 

 

** some of the history information gotten from:
http:/www.nytimes.com/2010/05/25/science/25creature. html
http://collections.jic.ac.uk/celebrating-the-history-of-peas-and-the-international-year-of-the-pulse/

 

Lime n’ Wine Cocktail

Been FOREVERRRR since I posted…been super busy running a dining room and kitchen in a camp, but before camp I tested out a couple of recipes to try to post over the summer. While camp is almost over, its better late then never…and this one is worth the wait too.

Delicious and refreshing wine n’ lime cocktail. Sweet, alcoholly, and tart, this drink is a keeper. Plus it’s a pretty color too. Its perfect for a hot summer day (but you can totally have in the winter too 😉 ). My dad came up with this when we had an abundance of limes in the fridge…we all fell in love and demanded he make it more often.

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Very easy to make and it keeps in the fridge, so you can make for the week.

This recipe does not have exact measurements, because it is dependent on the amount you want to make. This is measured out in proportions – if you want to make a small amount do 1/4 cup or less. If you want to make a big batch, you can use 1 cup as the base measure. Either way its easy and yummy to make, so enjoy!

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Lime n’ Wine Cocktail

 

Lime Simple  Syrup: 

1 C. Sugar

1/2 C. Lime Juice (fresh is better but use what you have)

Combine the sugar and lime juice in a pot and slowly bring to a boil, until the sugar is dissolved. Let cool.

 

Lime n’ Wine Cocktail:

Sweet red wine, like a Cream Red Concord, or Tokay (or any other sweet wine of your choice).

Lime Simple Syrup (recipe above)

Vodka

The proportions are: 2 Wine: 1 Lime Simple Syrup: 1 Vodka

For example for those who might be confused :

1 C. Sweet Red Wine

1/2 C. Vodka

1/2 C. Lime Simple Syrup

or

1/2 C. Sweet Red Wine

1/4 C. Vodka

1/4 C. Lime Simple Syrup

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