Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Easy Empanadas

These empanadas use canned black beans, frozen corn, and jarred salsa for the filling, so making the dough is the only time commitment they require.

The Ingredients:
1 1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 c cornmeal
1 t sugar
1 t baking powder
1 t salt
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t mustard powder (optional)
6 T margarine
1/2 c + 1 T almond milk

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1/2 cup salsa

The Process:
  1. Pulse together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, garlic, and mustard in a food processor until combined.  Add margarine and almond milk and process until dough holds together.  Knead dough a few times with your hands, then divide into 6 equal pieces. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. To make filling, mash beans lightly with a fork, then stir in corn and salsa.
  4. On a floured surface, roll each piece of dough into a 6-7 inch circle.  Place about 1/3 cup of filling on half of each circle, leaving a 3/4-inch border.  Fold dough over to enclose filling, and crimp with a fork to seal.
  5. Bake on a baking sheet for 20-25 minutes or until edges are golden.  Let cool a few minutes before serving.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Plum Crumb Cake

I'm always searching for ways to use up plums this time of year, so I modified my favorite applesauce cake recipe to use pureed plums.  The resulting cake is not too sweet, and works just as well for breakfast as it does for dessert.

The Ingredients:
3 c flour
1 c sugar
2 t baking soda
2 t cinnamon
1 t salt
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 t cloves
1 1/2 c pitted, pureed plums (about 12 small plums)
1 c water
2/3 c oil
2 t vanilla
1 c raisins
6 chopped, pitted plums

crumb topping:
2/3 c brown sugar
2/3 c rolled oats
2 T margarine, melted
2 T flour
1 T cinnamon

The Process:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and cloves.
  3. Stir in plum puree, water, oil, and vanilla until well-combined.
  4. Fold in raisins and chopped plums, and pour into a 9x13 pan.
  5. Mix together all crumb topping ingredients with a fork until crumbly.  Sprinkle topping over cake.
  6. Bake until cooked through, about 45-50 minutes.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Banana Pudding Pie with Peanut Butter Drizzle

Pudding pies are a great no-bake option when it's too hot to turn on the oven.  For this one you don't even need a stove.

The Ingredients:
For crust:
10 graham crackers (counting 1 "sheet" as 1 cracker)
1/4 c margarine, melted
3 T sugar

For pudding:
1 12.3 oz package firm silken tofu
1/3 c sugar
2 T coconut oil
1 1/4 t vanilla
2 1/2 bananas

For topping:
1/4 c sugar
2 T almond milk
2 T peanut butter
1/2 a banana, sliced
1/4 c peanuts, chopped

The Process:
  1. To make crust, combine graham crackers, margarine, and sugar in food processor and pulse until crumbs form and mixture holds together.  Press crust firmly into a pie pan.  Refrigerate while preparing filling.
  2. To make filling, combine tofu, sugar, coconut oil, and vanilla in food processor and process until smooth.  Add bananas and continue to process until very smooth..  Pour pudding into prepared crust and refrigerate while making topping.
  3. For peanut butter sauce, combine sugar and almond milk in a bowl, and microwave on high about 1 minute.  Whisk in peanut butter, and continue whisking until smooth and glossy.  Set aside for 10 minutes to allow sauce to cool, then whisk again.  
  4. Arrange banana slices and chopped peanuts on pie, and drizzle with peanut butter sauce. Any remaining sauce can be saved to use as ice cream topping.  Refrigerate pie until ready to serve.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Ginger Almond Granola

If you like granola, it's a great thing to learn to make yourself, since prepared granola is  pretty pricey, but oats are super cheap.  Making your own also lets you experiment with unorthodox flavors, or just use up whatever odds and ends of nuts, dried fruits, and seeds are in your pantry.

The Ingredients:
5 c rolled oats
1 c almonds, chopped
1 c raisins
3 T margarine
1/3 c agave
2 T maple syrup
2 t lemon juice
2 t ground ginger
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 t almond extract
1/8 t salt

The Process:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt margarine.
  3. Combine oats, almonds, and raisins in a mixing bowl.
  4. Mix agave, maple syrup, lemon juice, ginger, vanilla, almond extract, and salt into margarine until well combined, then pour this mixture over the oat mixture.  Mix thoroughly (hands work best for this) until all the oats are coated.
  5. Spread on two cookie sheets and bake until golden-brown, about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.  Let granola cool completely before storing in an airtight container.