February 12 2014

Mom’s Blueberry Dessert Muffins

From our mom:

I wanted to make blueberry muffins because I had a small container of fresh blueberries. But it didn’t measure quite a cup, which is the amount called for in the first recipe I found. Found another container of blueberries I’d tossed in my freezer some time back, and also about ¼ cup of frozen raspberries left in a bag. Now, I was going to double the recipe!

Not a problem, because I love blueberries and blueberry muffins so much.

But then I decided I wanted to add yogurt to my batter, which was not called for in my first recipe, so I found another recipe. I wasn’t really sold on either one, so I decided to combine the two, alter them and go for broke! So glad I did. These smell yummy, almost like chocolate chip cookies (thanks to the slight addition of brown sugar to the batter) and they taste fabulous. Be sure to have one or two while still quite warm. I think these qualify as dessert muffins. Maybe warmed up and served with a side of vanilla ice cream.

This recipe turns out about 32 muffins and of course, can be made with all blueberries or a combination of berries, fresh or frozen.


  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • scant 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar: I used mostly white, with about ½ cup raw sugar (I would have used more raw, but that was all I had) and ¼ cup brown sugar. I recommend using a ratio of mostly white or raw to some brown. Don’t overdo the brown sugar, though. It can be too heavy, if too much is used. 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk 
  • 1-1/4 cups yogurt (plain, vanilla or blueberry) 
  • 7 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled (I used a whole stick, which is 8 tablespoons, but I think you can definitely cut back at least one tablespoon.) 
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest or about a half teaspoon lemon extract
  • 2 cups berries


Preheat oven to 375.

In a medium sized bowl, stir together the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. (I am sure you could use some whole wheat flour in this recipe, but I used all-purpose flour exclusively.) In another bowl, stir sugars together first. Then add yogurt and stir this into the sugars until you get a nice mixture. Then add eggs and combine. Then add melted butter and combine. Now add milk, lemon zest or extract and cinnamon and combine.

Add dry ingredients to wet. Do not overmix. Gently fold in berries.


Fill muffin cups ¾ full. Many cupcake recipes tell you to go only 2/3 but not this one. You can go almost all the way to the top. I used muffin liners because I love them, but if you don’t have them, I think you probably don’t need to grease the pan. 

If desired, top with crumb mixture before baking.

Crumb topping: ½ cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, ¼ cup butter cut into pieces, 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix together with fork and sprinkle over top of muffins prior to baking.

Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes until a pick inserted in muffins comes out clean and tops are a little bit brown.


December 25 2013

Slightly spicy sweet potato, spinach, and red bean stew

This recipe comes together pretty fast and has more than one super food in it.  Also tastes really good. Make it!


1 large sweet potato

1 package of fresh baby spinach, washed and torn into pieces

1 can of kidney beans, drained & rinsed

1 8 oz can tomato sauce (not pasta sauce)

2 -3 T sauce from a can of chipotle in adobo (or use some of the actual peppers if you like it more spicy)

1 onion, minced

1 c. broth

1 tsp. oregano

salt, pepper, olive oil


1. Scrub the sweet potato & poke a few holes in it with a fork.  Microwave it for 5 to 7 minutes to par-cook it. When cool enough to handle, chop into 1/2 to 1 inch cubes (or cube-ish shapes).

2. In a large pot or deep pan, saute the onion in the olive oil with a dash of salt until it becomes translucent. 

3. Add the sweet potato, kidney beans, tomato sauce, adobo sauce, broth, oregano, and a bit of salt & pepper.  Stir to combine. Bring to a low boil, then reduce to simmer and cover. Simmer until the sweet potatoes are softened, adding more water or broth if it starts to get too dry.

4. Add the  spinach and cook an additional 5 minutes to 10 minutes, depending on how wilted you want the spinach to get. I liked it quite disintegrated until it really becomes part of the stew. 

5. Taste and add more salt if needed.

November 20 2013

Mom’s Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Mom made these incredibly adorable and unbelievably delicious carrot cake cupcakes for my baby shower a couple weeks back. They were super yummy and I wish I could have taken a dozen home on the train with me! The shower was a lot of fun and everyone loved all the food — there were brownies, chocolate cupcakes, spinach balls, tofu nut balls, and mini quiches, too — all of our favorites!


1 and 1/4 c. salad oil

2 c. brown sugar

4 eggs

2 tsp baking soda

1 c. walnuts

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg or cloves

2 c. flour

3 c. (1 and 1/2 lb) finely grated carrots

1 c raisins (optional)


Grease your cupcake tins. Heat oven to 325. Blend oil and sugar with mixer in a large bowl. Add eggs one at a time; beat well after each addition. In another bowl, sift dry ingredients together. Add to egg mixture until thoroughly incorporated. Next, using a wooden spoon beat in the carrots and nuts, and raisins if using. Mix all together. Pour batter into cupcake molds to 2/3 full.  Bake 35 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool cupcakes before frosting with Cream Cheese Icing ( must have this icing!!)

Cream Cheese Icing

8 oz cream cheese

4 T butter, melted

2 T vanilla extract

1 lb (or less) confectioners sugar

Beat cream cheese until light and fluffy.Gradually add melted butter. Add vanilla and sugar until you have the consistency and taste you like!

August 21 2013

Carrot Butternut Soup


It was fall-like in London, so we made a fall soup last night. 


  • One medium onion, diced
  • One garlic glove, diced
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • Chili flakes to taste
  • Salt and pepper
  • About 6 large carrots, grated
  • One butternut squash, boiled for 10 min and then cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup of milk
  • Creme fraiche for topping

Saute the onions in olive oil until they start to become translucent, then add garlic and spices (ginger would be good too, we just had none). Saute for 2-3 more minutes, then add carrots, squash, and water. Let simmer for 20 minutes, or until it starts to break down. At this point you can either use a stick blender to make it really smooth or just mash it with a fork or potato masher. Cook another 10 minutes until it starts to become smooth, then add the milk and stir. Cook to desired consistency and spice as you go.

Serve with crusty bread and a dollop of creme fraiche!


August 14 2013

Power Penne Primavera


I made this up for dinner. It’s got a ton of protein in it. The red lentils have 13 grams per 1/4 cup (dry) and the green peas have about 8 grams per cup. Pasta itself has protein, too. And if you top it with cheese, there’s even more.  It’s nicely filling and the red lentil tomato sauce has a great texture and might be a good substitute for people who like meat sauce ( I don’t know?).  It comes together pretty fast, too.


3/4 to 1 c. rinsed red lentils (gotta be red, don’t use brown)

1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce (not spaghetti sauce)  -  I used Contadina

1 zucchini, thinly sliced

1 onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 an orange, red, or yellow pepper, diced

1 and 1/2 c. frozen green peas microwaved and drained

olive oil

salt & pepper

red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp. Better than Bouillon (concentrated stock ) or use more of the other seasonings

1/2 a lb. of penne

fresh lemon to squeeze on top

feta to top, optional


1. Saute onion & garlic in a small pot in olive oil until softened & slightly browned.  Add tomato sauce. Fill the can halfway with water & add that too. Add lentils. Bring to a boil and turn down to simmer. Cover and let simmer, stirring occasionally, until lentils are softened and completely ready to eat - about 20 minutes. The lentils should still hold their shape, but should be completely softened & mushy. Do a test taste. 

2. Put up water to boil for pasta and cook according to box directions.

3. In a large pan saute zucchini and bell pepper in olive oil until just softened and beginning to brown. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.  Turn off heat and add microwaved & drained frozen peas. Stir to combine.

4. When tomato lentil sauce is ready, add that to the vegetables and mix. Add 1/2 tsp Better than Bouillion and swirl around to mix completely. Add the pasta and stir it all up. Taste and correct seasonings. 

5. Serve with feta to top and lemon wedges to squeeze on top. (Don’t skip the lemon!) 


August 11 2013

Crustless carrot quiches

This was supposed to make 24 mini appetizer style quiches, but we just gobbled almost all of them up for lunch. They were so delicious!

1/2 cup sliced scallions (about 3 large ones)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups shredded carrot ( about 3 handfuls of baby carrots, put through the food processor using the shred blade)
3 slightly beaten eggs
1 1/2 cups shredded Jack or cheddar cheese (6 ounces) (I used less, about 4 oz)
3 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Nonstick cooking spray

Directions :

1. Cook scallions and garlic in butter in a large skillet until scallion is tender but not brown. Add carrot; cook about 2 minutes more or until crisp-tender. Remove from heat. Stir together eggs„ cornmeal, basil, and nutmeg in a small bowl. Stir in carrot mixture. Add cheese and sprinkle with salt and pepper ( just a bit ) and mix well, Coat twenty-four 1-3/4-inch muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the carrot mixture into each muffin cup. Mine only filled 22.

2. Bake in a 325 degree F oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until set. Let stand 2 minutes. Remove from pans. (Or, pour all the batter into a 9-inch round pie plate or quiche dish coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until set. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut quiche into 12 wedges; cut each wedge in half crosswise.) Serve hot.

- Aliza

April 07 2013

Super Veggie Enchiladas

This recipe is really all about the sauce. The filling is very simple - sauteed vegetables, black beans, and some cheese - but paired with the sauce it is perfect.  My go-to enchilada recipe had been Mollie Katzen’s Eggplant Almond Echiladas, which is amazing, but a ton of work and actually kind of expensive.  This recipe is much easier, but just as delicious.

I found the sauce recipe on Food.com and made it exactly as it was written, even though a lot of the commenters said they made changes to it. 

This made 2 pans of enchiladas. I used really large burrito tortillas and filled 7 of them. You could use normal burrito size tortillas and probably fill about 10 - 12. This is more a function of the size of your pans than anything.

So here it is:


For the Sauce:

3 T chili powder

3 T flour

1 t. cocoa powder

1/2 t. garlic salt

3 c. water

1 eight-ounce can tomato sauce (not spaghetti sauce)

For the echiladas:

7 or 8 large (10”) tortillas or 10 or 12 regular (8”) tortillas 

2 small zucchinis, sliced into half moons

2 onions, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 box of mushrooms (white or baby bella), chopped

1 can of black beans, drained

8 oz package of shredded jack & cheddar cheese

salt & pepper

olive oil


1. To make the sauce:  Combine the dry ingredients (spices, cocoa powder, flour) in a medium pot (one that will hold at least 3 cups).  Stirring constantly, add enough of the water to make a thin paste. Once you have a thin paste and no lumps, add the rest of the water. Place over medium heat, and stir constantly until it thickens ( 5-10 mins). Once it thickens, stir in the tomato sauce & remove from the heat. Set aside.

2. Make the filling: In your biggest pan, saute the onions in a bit of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.  Once they start to get soft, add the garlic and zucchini and a sprinkle of salt & a grind of pepper. Saute a couple minutes more and then add the green pepper and mushrooms, and another sprinkle of salt & grind of pepper. Saute until all is tender, but not mushy (remember it will bake in the oven too).

3. Assemble your enchiladas: Place a bit of sauce in the bottom of the pan(s).  Lay out a tortilla and put a couple spoonfuls of the veggie mixture, a spoonful of the beans, and some of the cheese down  the middle of the tortilla. Roll up and place in the pan, seam side down. Do this for each tortilla, or until you run out of filling or room in your pans!   But try to leave some cheese for the tops. Pour the rest of the sauce over the enchiladas in the pan(s) , making sure to cover everything and not just let it run off into the sides.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese and any remaining veggies.

4. Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes in a 375 degree oven.


February 24 2013

Baked Oatmeal

I have been making this for the past couple of months and eating it for breakfast nearly every day. You make a big pan of it and then its ready to go every morning for at least a week.  It is very filling and definitely gets me through to lunch.

I’ve tried lots of variations, so I am posting a list of the building blocks that are needed and then I will list two variations I’ve done recently.  The original idea is from the blog Budget Bytes and she has some more variation and pictures here . I didn’t even try to take pics of mine — just look at hers. They’re very nice :)

Basic Ingredients:

2.5 cups old fashioned oats (not quick oats)

1.5 cups milk or soy milk

1.5 cups mashed banana or applesauce (or combination of both)

2 eggs

2 tsp. sugar (can omit if using vanilla soymilk)

1 tsp vanilla extract (can omit if using vanilla soymilk)

scant 1 tsp salt

1 tsp. baking powder

1-2 cups of chopped fruit 


Blueberry, Cranberry, Pecan:  use 8 oz frozen blueberries, a large handful of dried cranberries, and a large handful of chopped pecans. Go with applesauce (not banana) for this one.

Apple/Pear Pie: Use the applesauce. Use 2 chopped apples or pears for the fruit. Add in 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/8 tsp ground cloves. Throw in a handful of butterscotch chips if you happen to have those around :)

On the Budget Bytes blog she has a chocolate banana version, a peach & blueberry one, and a blueberry banana one.  I tried her blueberry banana one and I liked that too. 


1. In a large bowl combine the wet ingredients: egg, milk, mashed banana or applesauce and vanilla .  

2. Measure the oats into a small bowl and add the dry ingredients to them — baking powder, sugar, salt, and any other spices. Stir a bit just to distribute the baking powder, sugar & salt.  Then add the dry to the wet.  Stir well. 

3. Add the fruit and stir gently.  (Alternately you can follow the directions on Budget Bytes, which say to put the fruit at the bottom of the baking dish for more of a cobbler-like result.)

4. Lightly spray an 8x8 or 7x11 baking dish and pour the mixture into it. 

5. Bake at 375 for 30 -45 mins (depending on if you had frozen or fresh fruit and the particulars of your oven. Just check if after 30 mins by sticking a knife or fork in — you want the knife or fork to come out clean).


February 18 2013


I had a couple of old boxes of veggie burgers in my freezer and was looking at them, wondering if I should use them or throw them away. I read the ingredients on them and got inspired to make some more natural veggie burgers with less fillers and weird unpronounceable things in them.

In the last two weeks I have tried 4 veggie burger recipes, which will all be included in this post. I liked them all!  I didn’t really eat any of them with buns, because veggie burgers often have some kind of starch in them already. I like them over salad, or just on a plate with lots of toppings. Heidi Swanson from the 101 Cookbooks blog makes the veggie burgers into the buns themselves, by cutting them in half and filling them with what would have been the toppings - cheese, sprouts, lettuce, onion, etc.  I don’t think I could successfully cut it in half horizontally without it falling apart, so I haven’t tried this, but maybe in the future I would make thinner burgers and just use two.

Here are the  burgers I tried and some toppings to go with them.

#1) Smokey Black Bean Burgers with Avocado & Lime (and mango salsa)


This came to me via Mom. She found it on a blog somewhere & I think posted it on our blog a long time ago. I made a couple of changes, so here is my version. I liked it a lot and so did Chris.


Olive oil

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1- 2 T sauce from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (you can use the peppers in a recipe for black bean dip i will post soon)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup fresh cilantro

One 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1 avocado

1 lime


Mango Salsa ( I got some fresh from Whole Foods)

*Note: Original recipe had an egg in it. I didn’t put it in because they were already holding together just fine.

1. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a saute pan. Add the onions, and cook until they are just beginning to brown. Add the garlic, and cook for an additional 30 seconds.

2. Transfer the onion mixture to a food processor. Add the cilantro, and process for just a few pulses until the mixture is roughly chopped. Add the beans, and pulse just a few more times until the beans are broken down but still in small chunks. You do not want a puree.

3. Transfer the bean mixture to a bowl, and add the bread crumbs, chili powder, cumin, and a sprinkle of salt. Mix well, and form the mixture into four burgers.

4. Heat another drizzle of olive oil in the saute pan. Add the burgers, and cook for approximately 3 minutes to brown. Flip the burgers when they are brown.

5. While the burgers are cooking, mash the avocado in a bowl. Add a sprinkle of salt and a squeeze of lime juice.

6. Serve the burgers topped with the mashed avocado and the mango salsa. I also served it with sweet potato oven fries. 




#2) Quinoa Lentil Burgers

Next I tried these. I liked these a lot, too, though they were very different from the black beans ones. I made them as smaller patties and took a few over salad one day for lunch. Chris ate some on a toasted bagel with pepper jack cheese, hot sauce, and arugula and was quite pleased!


1 c. cooked lentils (about a scant 1/2 c. dry)

1/2 c. cooked quinoa ( I think this works out to about 1/6 c. dry — I don’t know why this recipe is like this!)

1/2 c. mashed cooked sweet potato (I used mashed cooked butternut squash)

1/2 c. onion, finely chopped

1/2 c. shredded carrot (I left this out)

1/2 c. mushrooms, finely chopped (left this out, too)

1/4 raw sunflower seeds, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. olive oil

1/4 c.  chopped fresh parsley

1/2 to 1 tsp. chili powder

1/2 to 1 tsp. cumin

black pepper

1. Saute garlic & onion in 1 tsp. oil.  Add mushrooms & carrots and saute until mushrooms sweat.

2. In a bowl, combine cooked lentils, cooked quinoa, sweet potato or squash, cooked veggies, seeds, spices, parsley salt & pepper.  Taste and adjust salt & pepper or spices to your liking. 

3. Let rest a couple of minutes to firm up.

4. Form into 1/3 c. patties about 1/2 an inch thick.  

5. Heat olive oil in pan and saute for about 5 mins on each side til lightly browned.




#3) White Bean & Sweet Potato Burgers

These were the easiest of all four burgers.  Also different from the others, but also really tasty. We had them with a red cabbage & cilantro slaw and I will give them recipe for that, too. The burgers were fine by themselves (perhaps a tad dry) but with the slaw they were great!


2 cans of cannellini beans

1 large sweet potato, baked or cooked in the microwave til soft

1 -2 T tahini

1 T maple syrup

1 tsp cajun seasoning or lemon pepper seasoning

1/4 c. breadcrumbs

garlic powder, black pepper, cumin, salt, and any other spices you like

1. In a mixing bowl mash together the beans and the sweet potato and all the other ingredients, except bread crumbs.

2. Form patties and roll in the bread crumbs (preferably panko). 

3. Heat olive oil and fry on each side in the oil for about 5 minutes OR  place on a baking tray (lightly oiled on the spots where you are putting the burgers) and bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes. 

Red Cabbage & Cilantro Slaw

Mix together the following really well:

1 package of shredded red cabbage (I forget how much is in the bag, but I think it’s a standard size - maybe 2 or 3 cups)

a squeeze of lemon juice

1/4 c. white onion, finely chopped

2 T tahini

3 T cider vinegar

1/2 c. chopped cilantro

4 scallions, minced

1 T mirin

1/4 t. cayenne

salt, pepper

handful of dried cranberries




And… veggie burger #4…

Baked Broccoli & Chickpea Burgers with Tahini Dressing


Sounds weird, tasted great. Probably the most time consuming of the burgers to make, but I really enjoyed it.


1/3 c. dry couscous

1 c. water

1.5 c. steamed broccoli florets

2 t. olive oil

1/2 c. chopped yellow onion

1/2 c. chopped scallions

2 tsp. cumin

1 can chickpeas, drained & rinsed

1 T tahini

1/4 c. lemon juice

salt, pepper

1/4 c. fresh parsely

1/2 c. breadcrumbs


1/3 c. tahini

1/3 c. water

1/4c. +1T lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 tsp salt

1. Boil 1 c. water and add dry couscous. Remove from heat & cover. Leave it and let it fluff up for 10 -15 mins.

2. Saute the onions and scallions in the olive oil until softened and starting to brown.

3. Put the steamed broccoli, chickpeas, spices, cooked onions & scallions, lemon juice, salt & pepper, and parsley in a food processor and process until almost like a thick hummus.  Taste and add more salt & pepper if needed, You can also add some cayenne pepper at this point if you like. 

4. Scrape out into a bowl and add the cooked couscous. Combine well. Add the  bread crumbs. Taste and add more salt, pepper, or lemon juice. 

5. Form into a 4 or 5 patties and bake on a tray lined with foil at 400 degrees for 50 minutes, turning half way through. I also sprayed the burgers lightly with olive oil on each side to get a nice brown.

6. For the sauce, mix all ingredients together & drizzle over the cooked burgers!





January 21 2013

Lentil Pilaf

This is comfort food. Great for colder weather, makes a big pot you can eat all week. Probably makes about 6-8 cups. I adapted it from a recipe for “Lebanese Lentil Pilaf” from Epicurious. It’s not very photogenic, but it is yummy!


2 tsp. olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 large carrot, chopped

2 stalks of celery, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 and 2/3 tsp cumin

1 tsp cinnamon

2/3 tsp allspice

4 cups of broth (or 4 c. water & 3 heaping teaspoons Better than Boulllion)

1 c. brown lentils, rinsed and picked over

1 c. basmati rice, rinsed

red wine vinegar

optional: parsely & cilantro


Heat oil in a large pot. Saute onions, garlic, carrots, celery, and spices for about 5 minutes or until onions begin to soften.

Add broth and lentils.  Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes. Stir in rice and return to a boil. Reduce heat back down to a simmer and cover again. Cook covered until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 15 minutes more. 

Add salt to taste (depending on  how flavorful your broth is). Top with chopped parsley and cilantro, if desired. Just before serving, sprinkle with a bit of red wine vinegar, or let people add vinegar to individual servings. 

If tomatoes were in season, fresh tomatoes would be good on top!


January 04 2013

Spinach Pie


This turned out to be really tasty.  I knew it would be good as soon as I mixed all the filling part together and it smelled so good with all the fresh dill.  I think it’s pretty healthy, too, since it uses only 6 sheets of phyllo dough. It’s really mostly veggies :)  This makes 4 very large servings in a 7 x 11 inch pan. The original recipe called for an 8 x 8 pan, so I guess that size would work, too. 


Olive oil 

12 scallions sliced

16 ounces fresh spinach, roughly chopped

3/4 c. crumbled feta

2/3 cup low fat cottage cheese

1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped

2 eggs lightly beaten

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

6 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed


1. Preheat the oven to 350. Oil your baking pan (either 7x11 or 8x8 by brushing with olive oil or spraying with olive oil). 

2. In a  skillet heat 2 tsp. of olive oil. Add the scallions and cook for about 1 min. Add the spinach, stirring until just wilted. Drain off any excess liquid. 

3. Stir the cheeses, dill, eggs, and pepper into the cooked spinach. 

4. Lay down a sheet of phyllo dough into your prepared pan. Spray the sheet (with actual olive oil in a spray bottle - not nonstick spray) or brush it with olive oil and a pastry brush. Let the edges hang over the pan. Lay down a second sheet of phyllo and spray or brush with oil. 

5. Spread the spinach mixture over the phyllo.

6. Cover the filling with 4 more sheets of phyllo, spraying or brushing each one and tucking the edges of the phyllo into the pan.  Spray or brush the top.

7. Bake in the oven for 30 -35 min or until golden on top.



December 31 2012

Slow Cooker Curry

This is the first thing I have made with my second slow cooker. I abandoned the first one (along with many other kitchen tools… tear) in St. Louis. It just didn’t fit in the car when we moved back to DC and I was not a big fan of it anyway. I thought everything that came out of it was kind of bland and I had given up on it as just not useful for vegetarians.

So, why did I buy another one two years later? Because I want to make fondue for New Years Eve and I decided that purchasing a crockpot to keep the fondue warm on the table was better than purchasing a fondue set. More of a chance that I would use the crockpot again. So I decided to try slow cooking again and I did some research online about how to be more successful with it this time.

The main things I learned are use less liquid and more spice. And cook stuff that benefits from long cooking times. Curry seemed like a good thing to try, so after looking through a few recipes I made this one up and I am happy to report it is really tasty! I recommend it!

Chris wanted it to be spicier, but that is someone who LIKES it when their food is so spicy it makes them sweat. Not kidding.  I thought it was just right.


1 14oz can light coconut milk

1 can garbanzos, drained & rinsed

1 T tomato paste 

2.5 T curry powder

1 t cumin

1” knob of ginger, peeled & grated or chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

a  few small pieces of banana pepper, chopped (depending on how much heat you like. I used about 1 -2 teaspoons of it, probably)

2 small potatoes, peeled & cut into chunks

1 Roma tomato (or other similarly sized tomato), cut into chunks

2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped

1 stalk of celery, chopped

1/2 c. green peas (frozen OK just defrost by running under hot water. Make sure they are dry when you put them in - you don’t want to accidentally add excess water)

2 -3 T golden raisins

salt to taste


In a 4 qt. slow cooker mix the coconut milk, curry powder, cumin, and, tomato paste until no lumps remain. Add the garlic, ginger, and chopped banana pepper.

Add all other ingredients EXCEPT the green peas, golden raisins, and salt. 

Cook on High for 4 hours.

Add the green peas and golden raisins. Cook 20 minutes longer. Salt to taste and serve over rice.  Enjoy! 

(Side note: You’re not supposed to open the slow cooker while it’s cooking, but I did once to stir, when it seemed like the sides were burning a little (the edges were turning darker) Probably fine either way.)


December 28 2012

Soba Noodles with Kale & Tomatoes in a Tahini Lemon Sauce

I was intrigued by this recipe Hannah found on Cate’s World Kitchen, so I decided to make it tonight. Seemed like an unexpected combination of ingredients. It turned out great. It is a very rich, layered flavor, somehow almost smokey. I love the lemon and tahini combination!

The only changes I made were to use soy sauce instead of Liquid Aminos and I used baby kale instead of regular kale so I didn’t have to cut it. I used ALL of the sauce :) 

Here is the recipe as written on Cate’s World Kitchen


  • 8 ounces soba nooodles
  • 1 bunch kale (curly or Tuscan - whichever you prefer)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 4 tbsp tahini
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp Bragg’s liquid aminos


  1. Cook the soba according to package directions, then drain and rinse under cold running water. Drain well and set aside.
  2. Chop the kale into bite-sized pieces
  3. Heat the oil in a skillet and cook the garlic for minute or two, until fragrant. Add the kale and red pepper flakes and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Whisk together the tahini, liquid aminos, and lemon juice.
  5. Toss the kale and soba together in a large bowl with the tomatoes, and add the tahini mixture to taste.


Nutella mousse jars


This was awesome! We basically followed this recipe: http://www.sheknows.com/food-and-recipes/articles/978089/layered-nutella-mousse-in-a-jar

Things to tweak:

- we used more like 3 tbsp Nutella 

- you need a little more Oreos than they say too, and Mom says you could leave out the butter. In her words, “Like, why?”

It’s cute and delish!


Tofu and Chickpea Curry with Green Peas


We adapted this recipe a bit from this original post: http://www.partial-ingredients.com/archives/3686. Came out very well!


  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 8 oz. tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 package firm tofu, cut into 1 inch cubes and dry fried until lightly crispy on the outsides
  • 30 oz. chickpeas, rinsed
  • 14 oz. coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup cream or milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 or 2 jalapeño peppers, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5-inch knob ginger, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups green peas
  • 2 tsp cumin, ground
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 1/4 tsp cloves, ground
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander, ground
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • steamed rice 


1. Mix the cumin, cinnamon, and cloves together in a small bowl. Heat up the oil in a big skillet and add the spices for 1 minute, until fragrant.

2. Add the chopped onions and saute over medium heat for 5 minutes, until soft.

3. Add the garlic, ginger and jalapeño; saute another couple of minutes. Then add the turmeric, chili powder and coriander and mix to combine.

4. Add the tomato paste, coconut milk, and milk or cream. 

5. Add the dry-fried tofu, chick peas, and peas (can still be frozen). 

6. Turn the heat down and simmer together for 10-15 minutes, salting/peppering to taste.

Serve with rice!



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Main dishes

Side dishes