Category Archives: Home Cooking

Felt Like Springtime

Sweet Potato Falafels

with Garlic Hummus

Sweet Potato Falafel

Welcome to March’s Secret Recipe Club Post!  It’s a little strange how excited I get when I find out what blog I’ve been assigned, and this month was no different.  This month I was given Isabelle’s Crumb Blog and I was hooked from the moment I saw her intro.  This ”coffee-chugging, booty-shaking, bargain-shopping, cookbook-collecting, photo-snapping, trucker-swearing, farmers-market-loving self-taught cook with a Mister and two cats to feed” chick has a blog chock full of recipes, for which I can overlook her being a cat person.  I want to say I pinned close to 30 recipes are my first go thru, before finally narrowing things down to the top 5.  In the end it became a battle between Saag Paneer and Sweet Potato Falafels, with the inability to find any paneer being the deciding factor.  I loved that the falafel recipe was really three recipes in one, though in the end I only did two of the three.  I have attempted, and failed, at making falafels before but these held together amazingly well making it super easy to fry them up.

Sweet Potato Falafel

Serves: Yields 12 Falafels

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (19 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and thoroughly drained
  • 1 cup mashed sweet potato
  • ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1?2 tsp chili flakes
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. Place the garlic, chickpeas, sweat potato, bread crumbs, and herbs in a food processor or blender. Process until almost pureed and then form walnut sized balls then place on plate and cover in plastic wrap. Place in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a deep frying pan until 375 degrees. Remove the falafels from the fridge and use a slotted spoon to place in the hot oil. Cook for 3-5 minutes on each side, using the spoon to gently flip them.
  3. Set aside finished falafels on a cookie sheet covered in a paper towels.
  4. Allow to cool and enjoy
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/03/felt-like-springtime.html

Garlic Hummus

Serves: Yields 1/2 cup Garlic Hummus

Ingredients

  • 1 can (19 ounce) chickpeas, well rinsed but reserving 1 tbsp of liquid
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Place everything in a blender and puree until smooth. Place in fridge, well covered, until time to use.
  2. Serve with the cooked falafels, either as a dip or as part of a falafel sandwich and Enjoy!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/03/felt-like-springtime.html

I served these without the pita per husband’s request along with some vinegar carrots, cucumber, greek yogurt, and (of course) the garlic hummus from the original post.   They were delicious and as a bonus heated up rather well the next day for lunch!  Needless to say another awesome recipe thanks to SRC.

Been Waiting

Poached Cinnamon Caramel Apples

Poached Apples

Poaching is nothing to new to me, at least not anymore.  Which is why when I first saw poaching as the theme for /52weeksofcooking I really wasn’t that worried.  Until I tried to figure out something to poach that: 1) was vegetarian and 2) I hadn’t poached before.  This eliminated a fair amount of things, so I started checking out my cook books to see if any of them could offer insight.  In doing so I found more than a few recipes for poached pears, which I’m not a fan of, but realized I could use that same concept on apples.  Unsure of how they would turn out I grabbed three varieties at the store: granny smith, honeycrisps, and pink ladies – figuring I would test them all and see what worked the best.

Been Waiting

Serves 2-4

Ingredients

  • 2 Pink Lady Apples (or Granny Smith), cored and sliced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp caramel syrup (I used torani)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a large pot and bring the liquid to a low simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, or until the flesh of the apple is soft.
  2. Remove the apples using a slotted spoon (or pasta scoop) and place over (or in) your desired meal.
  3. Serve and enjoy!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/02/been-waiting.html

In the end the pink ladies won for me – the skin stayed crisp while the flesh was moist and delicious.  Plus it still had the same tart/sweet contrast as the granny smiths, which become all soft.  The honeycrisps were just a disaster, falling apart in the pan and having to be skimmed out…which was a total pain. I served the pink ladies over oatmeal (pictured), while the granny smiths topped a mini-dutch baby.

Faith in Love

Vanilla Ricotta Bread

Vanilla Ricotta Bread

Following behind again with /52weeksofcooking but only one week behind so that’s not tooooo horrible – right?  Anyway, last week the theme for /52weeks was (is?) vanilla!  Simple enough ingredient but of course I couldn’t do something simple, I had to think of something non-dessert.  Which is why I’m a week late with posting this deliciously amazing Vanilla Ricotta Bread.  While I debated going full savory with vanilla, and also debated going crafty with vanilla (bad idea), in the end I decided to go with something somewhat familiar in order to lessen the odds of full failure.   I had made a ricotta bread a few months ago, pre-move, but it was just a bit blah.  I had expected the ricotta bread to have a sweetness to it, nothing as crazy as ricotta cookies – but maybe somewhat close.  Which led me to the awesome decision to add vanilla extract to the bread, and it worked!

Faith in Love

Serves: Yields 1 Medium Loaf

Serves 12-14

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter/margarine
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp yeast

Instructions

  1. Add ingredients to bread machine in specified order - for mine all dry ingredients (but yeast) go first followed by the liquid ingredients.
  2. Add yeast to bread machine's yeast container, or directly to the mixture.
  3. Set bread machine to standard and if you have the option set loaf to medium.
  4. Allow to cool for at least 30 minute before attempting to cut as bread is very fluffy.
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/02/faith-in-love.html

This bread was fantastic fresh, awesome toasted with butter and jam, and scrumptious with nutella.

Starts to Snow

“Franks” and Beans

"Franks" and Beans

Welcome to a BONUS Secret Recipe Club posting!  This month I’m featuring an orphan blog from Group C as part of Group D’s link-up, with my normal Group A recipe coming next week.  I’m so excited to be starting another year with SRC, I have meet so many amazing bloggers and found so many incredible recipes.  Which is why I jumped at the chance to adopt and orphan blog, and what led me to Mary Anne and Mariel’s Feast on the Cheap.  This mother-daughter duo focuses on meals that can feed your entire family on a budget that won’t break the bank.  They also have one of the more extensive recipe pages out there, focusing not only on the type of meal but also what budget category it fits in.   I was immediately drawn to the picture for the $10 meals, but made sure to check all of her categories to insure I found the perfect recipe.  In the end I “narrowed” it down to five recipes before finally deciding that the Franks and Beans were too good to pass up – after a slight twist.  I’ve never been a fan of cold beans while Joe is not a fan of raw red onions, so I decided to serve this salad hot.

"Franks" & Beans

Serves: Serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 package soy chorizo (or tofurkey) sausages, sliced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 2 sweet potatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 cups Kidney beans, presoaked, drained, and well rinsed
  • 2 cups black beans, presoaked, drained, and well rinsed
  • 3 tbsp fresh cilantro

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a deep saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes before adding the sliced sausage. Cook for 6 minutes, or until sausage is just starting to brown on each side.
  2. Meanwhile mix up the dressing by combining the cider vinegar, olive oil, dry mustard, and ginger.
  3. Add the jalapeno along with the diced sweet potato. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Add the pre-mixed dressing, bring to a quick boil and then turn down to a simmer before adding the beans. Cook for 10-15 minutes, the sweet potatoes should be soft with slight browning on the outside.
  4. Top with the fresh cilantro and then serve with some fresh greens and Enjoy!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/01/starts-to-snow.html

This dish was perfection!  Per the original suggestion I served with some leafy greens, massaged kale in this case, and added some fresh sourdough bread to round things out.  Originally this dish had corn in it, but from the grocery store to my house the corn went MIA so I added a bit more sweet potato which worked very well – tho I do want to try this dish again with the corn.   I’m also hoping to make her s’more brownies because they sound beyond insanely good.

 

Close Your Eyes

Red Beans and Rice

Red Beans and Rice

I’m a HUGE fan of one-pot wonders, mostly because I am NOT a fan of dishes – and while hubby does his part more often then not I’m the one on dish duty.  Needless to say this week’s challenge (yes – posting on time!) for /52weeksofcooking was right up my alley.  I actually made a few dishes for this “challenge”, mostly because this time of year I tend to rely heavily on my slow cooker and dutch oven.  Any recipe that allows me to toss everything in and then forget about it for a bit of time is a winning recipe, and while this requires a bit of massages for the most part it really is a fix it and forget about it.

Red Beans and Rice

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups red beans, presoaked - or 2 cans 14.5oz
  • 2 cups brown rice, precooked
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 beefsteak tomato, diced
  • 1 serrano or jalepeno pepper, diced (for less spicy deseed)
  • shredded cheese (optional)
  • sour cream (optional)

Instructions

  1. If using fresh beans, prepare the 1 1/2 cups per bag instructions. Rinse and set aside.
  2. Soak the brown rice in room-temperature water for at least 15 minutes, then drain and rinse and set aside.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 7-10 minutes or until garlic starts to turn golden. Add the presoaked rice along with the cumin and chili powder, cook for a minute stirring the entire time.
  4. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil, then cover and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the lid, then add the beans and tomato along with the pepper. If needed add more vegetable stock, otherwise cook for a final 5 minutes before serving.
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/01/close-your-eyes.html

This dish was fantastic and much better than any boxed versions I’ve had – makes me wonder why I resorted to them in the first place.   I topped mine with a bit of sour cream while Joe added cheese, lots and lots and lots of cheese.   For lunch the next day I enjoyed it naked, adding a little water to the bowl before reheating.  I’m not sure how traditional this dish is but it was insanely good and will probably join the monthly rotation!