Baked Brunch Apples

Sarah’s Notes: We do not use the dried cranberries; we find it makes this too sweet. We just use fresh or frozen cranberries in the same amount. We also tend to cut down the brown sugar by a third or so. Extra cinnamon – even up to an additional teaspoon – also works. I usually like to do the whole thing the night before, including the nuts and cook it with a cover so as not to lose the water to steam, since the saucy part is especially good on yogurt or oatmeal.

From Cooking Light

Chop the nuts and apples the night before, and combine with the rest of the ingredients in the morning. Serve these juicy baked apples over slices of Spiced Pumpkin Bread, warm bowls of oatmeal, or pancakes. Ida Red and McIntosh apples also work well.

2 cups dried cranberries Baked brunch apples
1 1/4 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup water
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
6 Gala Apples, cored and chopped (about 3 pounds)

Combine all ingredients in a large microwave-safe dish. Microwave at high 20 minutes or until apples are soft, stirring occasionally.

Yield: 6 cups (serving size: 1/4 cup)

CALORIES 126(29% from fat); FAT 4.1g (sat 0.4g,mono 0.6g,poly 3g); PROTEIN 1g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 16mg; SODIUM 4mg; FIBER 2.3g; IRON 0.5mg; CARBOHYDRATE 23.7g

Rita LaReau

Cream of Wheat Berries With Cranberries and Cardamom

Sarah’s Notes: This is a true favorite. A real treat to wake up to hot oatmeal in the morning. We change up the grains on this all the time as well. Quinoa is a bit bitter, but amaranth is nice in small amounts. The current favorite combo is oats and farro.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Cooking time 6 to 8 hours

1/2 cup wheat berries
1/4 cup cracked wheat
1/2 cup rolled oats (not instant or quick-cooking)
4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt (maybe less)
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries

In a 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker, combine the wheat berries, cracked wheat, oats and water. Stir in salt and cardamom. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Stir in cranberries just before serving. Also good with Baked Brunch Apples

Cheesy Cauliflower Soup

Serves 4

2 cups chicken broth
2 (8-ounce) packages frozen cauliflower
1 medium stalk celery—cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium carrot—cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 small onion—cut into eighths
1/2 teaspoon thyme
salt and pepper—to taste
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups low-fat cheddar cheese—shredded

Throw all ingredients except milk and cheese into a crockpot and cook
on low until vegetables are very tender, about 4-6 hours.

Carefully pour mixture into work bowl of food processor fitting with
steel blade or into blender container. Cover and process until
smooth. OR, if you like it a little lumpy and bumpy like I do, use a
potato masher and have at it in the crockpot itself–mash to your
heart’s delight.

Place your cauliflower mixture into a saucepan; stir in milk and
cheese. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until cheese is
melted and mixture is hot.

Per serving: 235 Calories; 16g Total Fat; (59% calories from fat);
15g Protein; 8g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 46mg Cholesterol;
701mg Sodium
Food Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 0
Fruit; 2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: A big green salad and some whole grain rolls
make for a nice supper.

Bhanu’s Chai Masala

Makes 1½ cups

¼ cup whole white peppercorns
¼ cup whole black peppercorns
¼ cup whole ganthoda (or 1T of ground ganthoda if available)
¼ cup cardamom seeds
1 T ginger powder
1 whole nutmeg
4-6 pieces cinnamon sticks

1. Preheat oven to 300 F
2. Warm all whole ingredients in the oven for 20 minutes & let cool
3. Grind finely in a mill
4. Mix in the powder(s)
5. Store in an airtight container.

Note: Will keep for several weeks. Be sure to cool ingredients completely before grinding.

Bhanu Hajratwala
February 24, 2003

Baked Eggs and Mushrooms In Ham Crisps

Sarah’s Notes: Adapted from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, these are showy and tasty. I make a batch of mushroom duxelles in the slow cooker and freeze it it muffin-tin sized portions to make the mushroom step as easy as thawing stuff in the microwave. I also scramble the eggs rather than bake them whole, usually.

Active time: 45 min Start to finish: 1 1/4 hr

3/4 lb mushrooms, finely choppedHam Crisps served with coffee and muffins
1/4 cup finely chopped shallot
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
2 tablespoons cream cheese
12 slices Black Forest or Virginia ham (without holes; 10 oz.)
12 large eggs
Garnish: fresh tarragon leaves
Accompaniment: buttered brioche or challah toast
Special equipment: a muffin tin with 12 (1/2-cup) muffin cupsPreheat oven to 400°F.

Prepare mushrooms:
Cook mushrooms and shallot in butter with salt and pepper in a large heavy skillet over moderately high heat, stirring, until mushrooms are tender and liquid they give off is evaporated, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in tarragon.

Assemble and bake:
Fit 1 slice of ham into each of 12 lightly oiled muffin cups (ends will stick up and hang over edges of cups). Divide mushrooms and cream cheese among cups and crack 1 egg into each. Bake in middle of oven until whites are cooked but yolks are still runny, about 15 minutes. Season eggs with salt and pepper and remove (with ham) from muffin cups carefully, using 2 spoons or small spatulas.

The eggs in this recipe are not fully cooked, which may be of concern if salmonella is a problem in your area.

Makes 6 servings.

Lisa Lau’s Brownies with a Kick

Prep time: 20 minutes plus waiting | cooking time: 35-40 minutes | makes 12

These are incredibly rich, somewhere between fudgy and cake-y brownies. They are always a hit with vegans-and non-vegans alike. They take a little work, but no one said the perfect vegan brownie would be easy.

Sarah’s Notes: Surprise! They’re vegan. And awesome.

9×13 pan

1/3 cup flour
2/3 cup cold water
12 oz. extra firm silken tofu (the vacuum packed kind, like Mori-Nu)

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use double chocolate Ghirardelli)

1 3/4 cups sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla

3/4 cup good quality unsweetened cocoa powder (Droste or Ghirardelli)
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cayenne pepper or to taste

1/2 cup oil

In a blender puree the tofu, flour and water until smooth. Pour it into a sauce pan, and whisk constantly over low heat until it thickens (it should not boil, if it starts to turn the heat down). This takes about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate chips, salt, vanilla and sugar. Stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted. Set the mixture aside to cool completely.  (It can take about 20-30 minutes to cool, give it a stir once in a while and stick it in the fridge to make it cool faster)

Preheat your oven to 350.

Sift the 1 1/2 cups of flour, cocoa, baking powder and pepper together.

When mixture is cool enough, mix in the oil.

Fold the tofu mixture into the flour mixture until well combined and smooth.

Spread evenly in a greased baking pan for 35-40 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean.

Dad’s Favorite White Chili

Sarah’s Notes: I’m not a huge chili fan, but the cumin and, surprise!, cinnamon, make this a flavorful variation on your typical chili.

Serves 7-8

1 large jar of Randall’s White beans or 1lb. of dry white beans soaked overnight
3 T olive oil
1 large diced onion
3 cloves garlic minced
2 4oz cans of chopped green chilies
1 T ground cumin
1 T dried oregano
1-2 tsp cinnamon
cayenne pepper to taste
8-10 cups chicken broth
4 cups cooked chicken chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

shredded Monterey jack cheese
sour cream
minced fresh cilantro

Heat oil in large pot, sauté the onion about 10 min.  stir in garlic, cumin, chilies, oregano, cinnamon and cayenne.  Sauté for 3 min

Add beans and broth.  Simmer 2-3 hours.  If mixture is too thick, add more broth.

Stir in chicken and heat

Serve with garnishes: cheese, salsa, sour cream, cilantro


Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Serves 4 to 6 Jarred roasted red peppers create a rich soup that requires almost no work. Garnish with croutons. Serve as a first course.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 medium cloves garlic , slivered
1 medium red onion , chopped
Table salt
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups jarred roasted red bell peppers , drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
5 sprigs fresh thyme
3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water 3/4 cup heavy cream Ground black pepper

1. Heat butter in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just melted. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Add onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until beginning to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add flour and stir constantly until flour is lightly toasted, about 45 seconds. Add red peppers, pepper flakes, thyme sprigs, broth, and water and bring to boil. Reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer until peppers are soft, about 20 minutes.

2. Remove and discard thyme sprigs. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth and creamy. Return soup to clean pot over low heat, stir in cream, and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Serve soup when hot.

Walnut-Crusted Fish

Fish Ingredients

1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
2 eggs
4 mild fish or tilapia fillets (about 6 ounces each; 1/2 inch thick)
Salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Dill-Tartar Sauce Ingredients

1/3 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped dill pickle
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
Salt and black pepper

1. In a small bowl, combine walnuts, thyme, and lemon peel. In a shallow bowl, lightly beat eggs. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Dip fish in egg, then in walnut mixture, coating completely; place fillets on a wire rack to dry slightly.

2. Warm a large heavy skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and add oil. When oil starts to sizzle, add fish, skin side up. Cook 3 minutes, shaking pan occasionally to keep fillets from sticking. Turn fish; cook 3 minutes. Turn off heat, but leave fish in skillet to finish cooking.

3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, pickle, lemon juice, and dill. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with warm fish.

Nutritional Information:
383 calories
26 g total fat (5 g sat)
186 mg cholesterol
5 g carbohydrate
31 g protein
1 g fiber
340 mg sodium

Chez Naaski Simple Margaritas

Sarah’s notes: Developed while living with my sister Rachel Naasko Maki

1/4 cup (2oz.) frozen limeade concentrate
1/4 cup (2oz.) tequila
2 T. (1 oz.) triple sec or Grand Marnier
2 c. ice cubes

Blend till smooth and serve in a BIG glass.

Serves 1