Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Indonesian Peanut & Vegetable Saute (Vegan)

My life has been so busy lately. So sorry for the lack of recipes! I miss cooking. The other day I went through my obese binder (which looks a bit like George Costanza's wallet) to pick out all my spring recipes. I'm excited to whip up new recipes with asparagus, squashes, peas, and other lovely vegetables and herbs. I thought spring weather was here but it suddenly got cold, leaving me wanting my dad's chili again. 
I've been drinking a lot of hot tea. My sister-in-law mailed me some coconut green tea that is fabulous! I have yet to try it iced. I mostly drink black teas. English Breakfast is my daily brew of choice. I love it any time of the day. 

My mom isn't a fan of peanut dishes or most curries. She wasn't having dinner tonight so I thought I would give this recipe a try. This dish tasted very similar to Noodle & Company's version of Indonesian Peanut Saute. I got this recipe from Vegetarian Times

Indonesian Peanut Sauce 
  makes 1 1/2 C. of sauce

2 t. peanut oil (I used walnut)
1 lg shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 t. red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/2 C. creamy peanut butter
1/2 C. coconut milk
1 T. soy sauce or tamari 
2 t. dark brown sugar
2 t. fresh lime juice

Teebs' addition to the recipe

1 head of broccoli, trimmed
1 bell pepper (or a mixture of 2), sliced
1 zucchini/yellow squash, sliced
(basically any vegetables you want. I would suggest pea pods, green beans, carrots, eggplant...as some additional delicious possibilities) 
1 T. olive oil
Noodles or rice (I used tagliatelle pasta)

Prepare noodles or rice according to package directions.
Meanwhile, begin the sauce:

Heat oil in sauce pan over medium-low heat. Saute shallot in oil 2 minutes, or until beginning to soften. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, and saute 1 minute more, or until just fragrant. Whisk in peanut butter, coconut milk, soy sauce, brown sugar, and 1/2 C. water until smooth, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Right before serving, stir in lime juice.

While sauce is simmering, heat oil in a wok or skillet. Add all vegetables and saute until crisp and just barely tender. In a serving bowl, toss noodles, sauce and vegetables until mixed. If you would like, top with crushed peanuts, chopped cilantro, and bean sprouts. Serve with lime wedges and your favorite hot sauce. I recommend Sriracha. :)

 This recipe is so delicious! I couldn't believe how fast I had it on the table. It was so easy to throw together. Have fun with it and add some greens, more spice, no spice, sesame seeds, more or less garlic.. make it your own. 

I hope you are enjoying your almost-spring...

God bless,

Chef Teebs

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sticky Date & Coconut Cake

Unfortunately my work schedule has been hindering my ability to make dinner lately. I managed to make roasted vegetable pizza last weekend and decided to top the meal off with a delicious dessert. I found this recipe in Cooking Light a couple years ago for this "pudding-like" cake made with dates topped with a brown sugary/coconut mixture. Oddly we had dates in the fridge and had no agenda for them. Honestly I thought this cake could be really good or a big disappointment. It turned out to be very delicious. It was more of a fudgy/chewy texture than it was pudding-like. It was very easy and quick to throw together. Try it out!

Sticky Date and Coconut Cake

  1 C. chopped pitted dates
  1 C. water
  1 t. baking soda
  3 T. butter (vegan butter or margarine)
  dash of salt
  1 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
  1 t. baking soda
  1/2 t. salt
  1 C. granulated sugar
  1 t. vanilla extract
  1 egg, lightly beaten (I use Ener-G Egg Replacer)
  cooking spray

  2/3 C. packed brown sugar
  1/2 C. flaked sweetened coconut
  2 1/2 T. butter
  2 t. milk (soy, rice, or whatever kind you use)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
To prepare cake, combine first 5 ingredients in a small saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, and let stand 10 minutes or until dates are tender. 
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, and 1/2 t. salt in a bowl. Stir in date mixture, granulated sugar, vanilla, and egg (or egg replacer mixture) until well combined. Pour batter into a 9" springform pan coated with cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes. 
To prepare topping, combine brown sugar and remaining ingredients in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 1 minute. Pour brown sugar mixture over cake; bake for an additional 13 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes on a wire rack. Run a knife around outside edge. Cool completely on a wire rack. 
One suggestion I would make is to add a little chopped pecans or walnuts to the topping mixture. Don't get me wrong, the cake is absolutely delicious even with out the nuts! I will definitely add this one to my recipe collection.
God's blessings to you,

Chef Teebs

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Best Pancake Recipe Ever! (Pumpkin Version included)

My mom has taught me most of what I know about food and health. Her diet has changed drastically over the years. She's usually reading several books at the same time. One author (and doctor) who has continued to be an inspiration for her is Dr. John McDougall. He's written several books, has his own medical center/program,  and was an important part of the successful and life-inspiring film, Forks Over Knives. In his book, The McDougall Program for Women, there is this pancake recipe that I would say is the best I've tasted! Fortunately, the recipe always leaves me with extras. So I'll usually take them to work for my break. There is a girl at work who requested me to make them for her birthday because she liked them so much. 

My mom recently used pumpkin in a dish, so the leftover puree has been glaring me in the face every time I open the fridge, so I decided to add it to this recipe... 

Best Pancakes Ever

1 C. whole wheat flour
3/4 C. rolled oats
1/2 C. cornmeal
2 t. baking powder
3/4 C. soy milk
3/4 C. water
3 T. honey (or agave nectar, for vegan)
1 T. Ener-G Egg Replacer mixed well with 4 T. very warm water
*for pumpkin version: use about 1/4 C. pumpkin puree in a sandwich bag with a dash of each of the following: nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, & all spice and squeeze until mixed well. Cut on of the corners and squeeze out into the batter and lightly fold in.

Mix the flour, oats, cornmeal and baking powder together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the milk, water, honey, and egg replacer mixture. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and combine thoroughly. Let the batter rest for 5 minutes. *If using pumpkin mixture, wait the 5 minutes and then add to batter. 
Heat a griddle until a drop of water will bounce on it. Ladle the batter onto the griddle. Turn the pancakes over when bubbles start to form on top and the edges are beginning to dry. Cook until lightly browned. Repeat with the remaining batter. 

Serve with syrup, applesauce or fruit spreads. I served mine with a dab of vegan butter and a dash of cinnamon sugar. YUM!
You've got to try these, as-is. Next time, toss in blueberries, add the pumpkin mixture, carob chips, or any other add-ins you may like. As I mentioned above, I like to top em with a cinnamon sugar mixture. I got the idea from Franks Diner, in Kenosha, WI. They were featured on Food Network's Diner's, Drive-Ins and Dives. It's a funky little diner built in an old railroad flat car. The waiters are kinda "rude" in a funny way. I only wish they had better vegetarian/vegan options. But every fall they have these amazing pumpkin pancakes.
P.S. After looking over this post, I realized how funny it is that the featured picture has a big slab of butter on it and yet Dr. McDougall doesn't use any added fat in his program. Oops.

Chef Teebs