Saturday, January 31, 2009

Three Super-Simple Desserts

Admit it. Dessert is the best part of any meal (oh wait, is that just me?). Desserts don't have to be complicated to be tasty and give you that little bit of sweetness at the end of a meal. Try these:

Fruit & Ice Cream

What you need:
  • Frozen Fruit (I used wild blueberries - they are very tiny)
  • Ice Cream (I eat vanilla soy cream - makes a vegan dessert)
What you do:
  • Take out desired amount of fruit and let thaw
  • Scoop and eat!

Easiest Peanut Butter Cookie Ever
What you need:
  • 1 cup of peanut butter (I prefer crunchy to give a bit of texture)
  • 1 cup of sugar (try sugar in the raw or turbinado for a healthy alternative)
  • 1 egg (brown, cage-free, vegetarian-fed)
  • Enough mini chocolate chips to satisfy your sweet tooth :)
What you do:
  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir together
  • Scoop balls of dough onto a sprayed cookie sheet and press cross-ways with a fork
  • Bake at 375 for ~ 12 minutes
Warm Apples & Ice Cream

What you need:Bulleted List
  • 1 apple, thinly sliced (I LOVE honeycrisp for their unique flavor)
  • Brown sugar
  • Honey
  • Butter (I used Smart Balance with Flax Oil - a vegan substitute)
  • Ice Cream (again, I used vanilla soy cream)
What you do:
  • Put enough butter in a medium-sized frying pan to melt and cover the bottom
  • Throw in apple slices and allow to very slightly brown on both sides
  • When just about finished, add a spoonful of honey (I buy local honey - helps your allergies) and a sprinkling of brown sugar; stir everything in pan
  • Spoon into bowl(s) and add a spoonful of ice cream on top

Friday, January 30, 2009

Turkey Burgers

I used to love beef - ribs, steak, pot roast, cheeseburgers, etc. I stopped eating beef three years ago, so I had to find substitutes for any of those things I wanted to still eat. Enter: turkey burger.

What you need:
  • 1 package 99% lean ground turkey (I like Shadybrook Farms the best)
  • 1 large carrot
  • Seasonings (I use Season-All as a shortcut)
  • Baby spinach
  • Cheese (for this one I used shredded Mozz; provolone would also be good)
What you do:
  • take out desired portion of turkey to make burger; put in a bowl
  • wash and peel the carrot, then shred with a cheese grater to make it extra fine
  • add your seasonings
  • knead the ground turkey, carrot and seasonings so everything mixes well
  • on medium heat, put patty in frying pan and cook on both sides until the center cooks through
  • when meat is just about finished, lay a few spinach leaves on top with the cheese over them and continue to heat in pan until the cheese has melted
Note: Since you only use a few spinach leaves for each burger, use the rest to make side salads! This one has spinach leaves, shredded carrots, chickpeas, avocado, shredded colby jack cheese, chow mein noodles and raspberry pomegranate dressing.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Falafel is one of my FAVORITE dinners to make. It's a little more labor-intensive than some options, but it's totally worth the time and work. There are a few shortcuts you can do to make the preparations a bit easier, so I will {note} those along with the traditional way.

What you need:
1 16-oz can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1 white onion
2 garlic cloves {or 1+ tablespoon(s) pre-chopped garlic from a jar}
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley {or 2 teaspoons dried parsley}
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons (a couple large pinches) flour
oil for frying


What to do:
  • drain and rinse canned chickpeas
  • boil chickpeas for 10-15 minutes; drain and cool
  • if you want, separate any skins already coming off the chickpeas
  • i use a hand blender to mash the chickpeas, which makes the process much easier
  • put 1/2 the chickpeas in the blend cup with a spoonful of water and blend; add the remaining chickpeas and another spoonful of water and blend
  • mince the two cloves of garlic and as much onion as you want (i end up using about 1 to 2 tablespoons); put in a medium-sized bowl with the seasonings and flour
  • combine chickpea paste with the rest of ingredients in bowl to stir together
  • before cooking the falafel, cut the pita bread in half and put in the oven (200 F) to warm while you do the rest of the prep work
  • traditionally, falafel is prepared in balls and deep-fried. at home, it is easier to make the falafel in patties. let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes to firm up, then press into thin patties, slightly smaller than your palm.
  • use just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan - too much will be absorbed by the falafel patties and they will crumble instead of cook. heat the oil and drop in the patties. you may want to use a splatter screen or cover the pan, because the oil can start to pop out as it gets hot. flip patties and cook each side until a golden brown.
  • when falafel is finished cooking, place on paper towel to absorb excess oil
  • slice the tomato and avocado
  • stuff your pita and enjoy!
One of the great things about falafel is that even if it doesn't look pretty when you're finished cooking it, it doesn't matter! It's going to be stuffed into a pita anyway, and chances are, it still tastes good :) Making falafel is definitely a learning process and might take a couple of times to get it just right (right amount of flour, right amount of oil, etc.)

Avocado Sandwich

This is a refreshing, vegetarian meal. It's quick to make, easy to clean up and filling!

What you'll need:
  • Whole grain baguette
  • Avocado
  • Tomato
  • Sprouts
Note: for the sprouts, don't think you have to settle for alfalfa! There are so many kinds of sprouts with different flavors and sizes. Try pea sprouts, bean sprouts or clover sprouts.

What to do:
  • Split the baguette and toast it
  • Slice the avocado and tomato
  • Pile all the veggies into the baguette and enjoy!