Monday, March 31, 2008

Strawberry Nut Salad

They had huge packages of strawberries at Stop and Shop this week and it got me excited for the warmer weather. I love a nice crisp salad in the spring, and the strawberries in this are totally unexpected.

1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 cups packed torn fresh spinach leaves
2 cups halved strawberries
3 tablespoons sugar
2 cups packed torn Boston lettuce
1/3 cup dressing of choice (something balsamic-based is a nice counterpoint to the strawberries, but I imagine even those Nasoya "ranch" style dressings would be good too.)

Toss almonds with sugar in a medium nonstick skillet on medium heat
for 6-8 minutes (until sugar becomes syrupy and evenly coats the almonds).
Remove from heat and spread into a single layer on greased baking sheet or sheet of wax paper. When cooled, break into small pieces. Toss spinach, lettuce, and strawberries in large bowl. Drizzle with dressing, toss lightly, then sprinkle almonds on top.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Slow Cooker Lentil Stew

Okay, I am so in love with my slow cooker. Its sort of magical in a way...I fill it with an assortment of ingredients and a liquid in the morning and then go about my day. When dinnertime comes I open the lid and BAM. Piping hot meal, ready for me to eat. I don't even have to stir the thing! So today I decided to make some lentil stew with foods I had lying around the house.

1 bag of lentils
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
2 Roma tomatoes
3-4 cups vegetable stock
2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely chopped
Garam masala (to taste, I think I used around 2 teaspoons maybe?)
Cumin (again, to taste)
Cinnamon (I added probably 1/2 teaspoon)

Add ingredients to slow cooker. I put the lentils on the bottom, followed by the onion, garlic, carrots, celery and tomatoes. Pour vegetable stock over this until its covered. Turn slow cooker on low, leave for 6-8 hours or until lentils are soft and stew-like, and you're done.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sweet Potato Pudding

Man oh man is sweet potato pudding good. And easy! Oh, and packed with Vitamin A (and probably a few calories thanks to the brown sugar, but life is short)!

3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and grated
3/4 pound dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ cup cornmeal
1 cup raisins
1-2 cups water or coconut water
1 tablespoon vanilla
½ cup dark rum (optional)
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl, mix well, and pour into lightly greased 11 x 7 baking pan. Cover lightly with foil and bake 1 hour. Remove foil and bake 15 minutes until browned.

Veganbury Cream Eggs

So I probably should not have been so lazy and posted these in time for Easter, but I figure there is never a bad time to eat this delightful and vegan version of a confectionery classic!

½ cup light corn syrup
¼ cup margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
4 drops yellow food coloring
2 drops red food coloring
1 12oz bag chocolate chips
2 teaspoons vegetable shortening

Combine the corn syrup, butter, vanilla and salt in a large bowl, and beat well with an electric mixer until smooth. Mix in the powdered sugar, a little bit at a time, until creamy, then remove about 1/3 of the sugar mixture and place in a small bowl. Mix food coloring into this smaller portion of mixture. Chill the two mixtures for at least 2 hours until firm, then remove from the fridge and roll the orange filling into small, marble size balls. Wrap a small amount of the white filling around the orange balls and form into the shape of eggs. Place the formed filling on a lightly greased cookie sheet an chill for 4 hours. Combine the chocolate chips and shortening, melt and mix well. Dip each filling ball into the melted chocolate mixture and return to baking sheet. Chill again for 2 hours.