Friday, November 27, 2009

Spinach Dip

The other night we had a family gathering and I took a few dips for the veggies I brought. The most popular one was the spinach dip. It's easy to make and looks great.

I generally add this and that until it looks about right. So I tried to estimate amounts below. I will say that this recipe makes a lot. If you have the 10 oz. boxed frozen spinach, then your ingredients should be reduced. As always, adjust amounts as needed for your taste. Enjoy!

Spinach Dip

2 cups (more or less) mayo (homemade or other vegan mayo, I used Vegenaise)
1 pound bag frozen spinach (thawed and squeezed out)
1 (8 oz.) can water chestnuts, chopped (or 1/4-1/2 cup finely chopped celery)
1-2 Tablespoons finely chopped onions
1/2 - 1 teaspoon dill weed
1/2 teaspoon dried onion
1/4 teaspoon dried garlic
salt or seasoned salt, as desired

Mix well and chill.
For a great presentation, put in a (hollowed out) round bread "bowl" beside veggies and whole grain crackers. Great as the "mayo" on a lettuce and tomato (or other veggie) sandwich.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Applesauce Oatmeal Cookies

This is another recipe I found in a children's magazine. This makes a large batch. You can freeze unbaked dough, or for that matter, bake them ahead and freeze the cookies.

Applesauce Oatmeal Cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix together the following:
7/8 cup oil
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup honey
2 cups applesauce (unsweetened)

Mix together separately and add to the wet ingredients:
2 cups flour (I used whole grain soft wheat)
6 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups raisins

The original recipe reads "drop by teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet." (I used a cookie scoop (like a very small ice cream scoop) and put on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. I think it would've been fine as suggested in the original recipe.) Flatten some before baking as they will not flatten on their own. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until done.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Stuffing Anyone?

I was making vegetarian stuffing for our Thanksgiving banquet at church yesterday and thought it would be a timely post for this week.

I found the recipe by Anne on vegweb.com. I made slight changes, so I am posting my version. The original recipe had a few optional ingredients and slight differences from my version. This tastes similar to that "stove" stuff. It's really good and everyone will enjoy it, vegetarian or not.

Vegetarian Stuffing with Gluten-Free Option

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Put into a 9 x 13 baking pan in the oven to toast, about 15 minutes, watching closely (can even use a dry skillet on stovetop if needed, toasting the bread cubes in batches):
8 cups cubed bread (gluten-free bread can be used instead... great either way!)

Put in a large skillet:
2 Tablespoons coconut oil (or other high heat oil)

When heated, add and saute the following three (or four), over medium heat until onion is translucent:
1 medium onion, diced
3 stalks celery, sliced
2 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
chopped or sliced mushrooms, amount as desired (optional, but makes it a more of a main dish)

Separately mix the following together:
1/4 teaspoon rosemary
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon sage
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon salt (or seasoned salt)

Add the seasoning and nuts to the toasted bread.
Carefully drizzle with:
2 cups vegetable stock (gluten-free, if needed)

Mix gently. Bake, uncovered for 20-30 minutes.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Applesauce Quick Bread

I found this recipe in one of my children's magazines (recipe by Denise Super-Braith). It is simple and the only thing I changed was the sweetener. I added (half as much) honey instead of sugar. Because I made homemade applesauce this year (might make more), I had some in the freezer to use.

Applesauce Quick Bread

Mix liquids together in one bowl:
2 cups unsweetened applesauce
1 cup sugar (I used 1/2 cup honey)
1/2 cup oil

Mix dry ingredients in another bowl:
2 1/2 cups flour (I used whole wheat)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/3 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Combine wet and dry ingredients together, mixing well. Bake in a greased and floured bread pan at 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the bread cool, then slice when ready to serve.

(When I made this the first time, I actually didn't have the cinnamon, so I added the cloves along with some allspice and nutmeg. Still came out great!)

This would probably do great as cupcakes too, just adjust for less time and watch your oven.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Cooking with Oils

I have always known that there are certain oils that can be used in cooking (heated) and some that are best used in a cold state for full benefit.

The Spectrum company has a great online resource that can be useful in the kitchen. It's a kitchen guide that shows which oils can take heat and how much. It also shows you which oils should not be heated and the best Omega 3-6-9 sources. I printed one out so I can use it as a reference. I will put it into my 3 ring binder along with my recipes.