Saturday, March 16, 2013

Beer Bread!!!!!!

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I baked this hearty, simple and tasty beer bread.It only has 5 ingredients and only takes 5 minutes to make.

Pre-heat oven to 375F

3.5 cups all-purpose flour
3 TBS sugar
1 TBS baking powder
1.5 tsp salt
12 oz beer 

Bake until the loaf is crusty and a toothpick comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

The nice thing about this bread is that its flavor changes with the different beer flavors. I prefer a dark beer like Guinness to give it a rich, sweet flavor. It is delicious served hot and buttered with soup and, of course, your favorite beer.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Incredible Indian Potato Pie

On these cold winter nights, comfort food is essential for survival and feeling good.  Thank you very much to Mom who sampled this recipe and sent it to me.  My bestie, Lori, and I whipped this up on a chilly Saturday night in Austin and we couldn't stop eating it.  The original recipe can be found at:  You can easily modify it and add more tasty ingredients.

Preheat oven to 375F.
Cook 1 large russet potato and 2 large sweet potatoes until soft:  boil or microwave.

Saute in a pan with some olive oil:
1 onion
2 teaspoons ground cumin
4 garlic cloves
1 red chili pepper
1 thumb sized piece of chopped ginger
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon salt
cooked potatoes, chopped into large chunks

Add in some water (1 cup) and 1 cup frozen peas.  Bring to a boil, then let simmer while you prepare the pastry.

Line a pie pan with sheets of filo dough brushed with butter (approximately 14 sheets).  Scoop potato mixture into the pan.  Cover with sheets of filo dough brushed with butter (14 sheets).  Tuck the edges of the top and bottom sheets together.  Poke several slits into the top of the pastry, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with poppy seeds.  Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until pastry is browned and flaky.

Served here with some sauteed cabbage.  Awesome pie, made by some awesome girls, who had an awesome weekend : )

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tasty Treats: Raw Balls

I've been trying to eat healthy, high protein snacks (especially after working out), but we're on a budget and we try to avoid overly processed foods.  I found this tasty recipe for Raw Balls in The Kind Diet.  I made them with a few changes and I can't stop snacking on them!

Combine in a food processor and process until a paste:

1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 to 1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Add in 1/2 cup chopped pecans and hand mix.  Rolls tablespoon balls in coconut flakes.  The paste is pretty sticky and tricky to deal with, but just get in there and get your hands sticky.  Once you start rolling them in coconut, they form nicely into balls.  Freeze them.  They are delicious frozen or thawed.  Enjoy!!!

Vegan on FoodistaVegan

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Awww, Azuki Beans and Butternut Squash

This is a simple dish that is quite tasty and satisfying.  I started with a recipe from The Kind Diet and fixed it up from there.  Azuki beans are these nice little red beans from Asia that often are used in sweet desserts that contain "bean paste."  They are high in flavor, fiber and protein.  Butternut squash is always a winner, especially this time of year.

Soak one cup of azuki beans overnight in water.

Saute in a large pot:

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chopped and peeled butternut squash (1/2 large squash)
1/2 large onion
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 teaspoon sea salt

Add azuki beans and cover with 2 inches water.  Bring to a boil, then lower to simmer.  Serve when beans are split and soft.  You may season with garlic salt for extra flavor.  Here, I garnished with steamed edamame.  Enjoy!!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Sometimes you get stuck in a rut and overwhelmed with life.  As my absence attests, I was victim to both situations.  Thanks to a new job and the support of friends (thanks Diane and Kiran), I am inspired to post today.  It is beautiful in Houston (75 degrees!) so we had a nice trip to the farmers market.  The pickling cucumbers were abundant and a good deal, so I picked up a small bucket to turn into spicy tart pickles.

If you are interested in canning, I recommend The Big Book of Preserving the Harvest.  It has tons of information on pickling, canning, jamming. jellying, drying and any other form of preservation.  If you haven't canned or pickled before, it has lots of key information to doing so safely.  The pickle recipes tend to be large volume, but you can do some math to reduce the recipe or improvise.  You can either make these pickles in regular jars and refrigerate or use sterile canning jars and water seal them.

Here is a good basic Pickling Spice recipe:

2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
2 teaspoons whole allspice
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
2 teaspoons dried dill weed
2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns

To make pickles:

Use as many pickles as you like:  whole, quartered or chopped.   Pack them into jars.  Add at least two tablespoons of pickling spice per jar.  For spicy, garlicky pickles, I added 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes and 3 cloves minced garlic per jar. 

Boil (microwaving works well) enough vinegar to top the cucumbers within 1/4 inch of the jar's opening.  If you like them really tart, use white vinegar.  If you want a more mellow taste, use 1/2 white vinegar and 1/2 apple cider vinegar.  Cover cucumbers with vinegar, place the tops on the jars and refrigerate or water seal them.  They should be ready in about 24 hours, but for a deeper flavor I like to let them sit for several weeks. 


Monday, June 7, 2010

Lean Up Your Grocery Bill

Well, after a long hiatus, I am blogging again.  And eating healthy!  I ran across this internet article about saving at the grocery store and I like its "basic foods" approach.

Here are 5 tips for saving money:
  1. Make a grocery list and check it twice.
  2. Stop clipping worthless coupons.
  3. Watch the price scanner.
  4. Buy generic over brand names.
  5. Skip the cans, buy dried beans in bulk.
I can attest to these tips.  Also, watch out at the bulk stores like Costco and Sam's Club.  Do you really need 5 pounds of biscotti?

Check out the entire article HERE.

P.S.  Photo from the market in Catania, Sicily.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Grow Your Own Food

It's spring in Houston which is quite wonderful.  Actually, we only have two seasons here:  nice and hell.  The nice months are wonderful (October to May) and summer is just something we try to survive.  After a fairly stressful winter- it was cold and the construction workers trampled everything in our entire yard- I am back in the garden.  We have started our seeds, got the beds rebuilt and turned, the compost is recomposing and we are almost ready to get our garden on!

I have been studying the gardening patterns of Houston and I am excited about my new gardening calendar from Houston Grows.

Pretty soon, we will have the following vegetables:  leeks, beets, green onions, lettuce, arugula, turnips, radishes, garlic, peppers, heirloom yellow tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli,  collard greens, carrots and more!

I'll update you with pics of my new babies and recipes!  I hope you find time and a little bit of space to start your own garden.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Last Organic Outpost

I had the most interesting adventure the other day.  I visited a local urban farm and selected my hand picked vegetables for the week!  The Last Organic Outpost is a not-for-profit urban farm project in Houston's Fifth Ward (Emile Community Farm) and Third Ward (Live Oak Outpost).   The project was started in 1999 as Joe's personal project and bloomed into a not-for-profit local initiative to teach Houstonians about farming and to provide local, fresh produce to an under served urban area.  Now the Last Organic Outpost hosts dinners, movie nights, cooking, agricultural, building and irrigation classes.  The project assists with local food pantries and schools.
Marcella and Farmer Joe run the farms and are super friendly hosts.  I arrived at the farm and Marcella promptly introduced herself and everyone else there, told me the history of the project and gave me a tour of the farm. Marcella hand picked my vegetables and invited me to all the upcoming events.  She introduced to several new vegetables and gave me some handy gardening tips.  I left with two Huge bags of produce that included:  kale, kohlrabi, mixed salad greens, romaine lettuce, beets, and onions.  Regrettably, I did not have my camera with me, so the photos are from the Last Organic Outpost website.
Since I have never had kohlrabi (German turnip) before, I followed Marcella's advice for cooking this delicious root vegetable.  I stir fried the tops and the vegetable (which must be peeled) in a little bit of Earth Balance butter and served it up.  It was a new adventure and it was delicious!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Babette's Feast

This is a beautiful and simple film based on a book by Danish author Isak Dinesen.  It is a Dutch film about a cook/servant who wins the lottery and treats her homeowners and friends to a wonderful home cooked meal.  It shows that preparing food, sharing a meal and sharing company are love.

This trailer is sort of old, but this discussion by New York Times critic A.O. Scott is a fantastic dissection of the film.  So, I hope you enjoy this film!  Food is love.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

It's Saturday, it's sunny and it's time for a mostly silly movie. I LOVED this film as a child and appreciate it even more as an adult. I like it so much because I have a massive sweet tooth. I like the old school version with Gene Wilder. Johnny Depp did an amazing job in Tim Burton's version, but I like the innocence of the original film.  Whenever I watch this movie, I leave with a craving for some yummy dessert and I'm singing the songs.  Enjoy!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Food, Inc.

Yeah, Food, Inc. has arrived at our house! Food, Inc. reveals surprising—and often shocking truths—about what we eat, how it's produced, who we have become as a nation and where we are going from here. We're going to watch it tonight and it's just in time for the Oscars! This film is nominated for Best Documentary Feature. I'll let you know how it is. If you want to find out more about the subject and cause, check out the website Food, Inc. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Eat Drink Man Woman

I love this movie! It's about a Chinese family and the patriarch who is a famous chef. The family shares its meals together, which leads to some bonding as well as some interesting conflicts. Overall, it shows how food and especially meals, bring people together. When I was in Ecuador and Mexican, we ate all our meals huddled over a fire. Other cultures sit in a circle or around a large circular table and eating together is an daily ritual. I am thankful that when I was growing up, we ate breakfast and dinner together at the table, with no TVs or telephone. It is a great way to connect daily. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Super Size Me

This movie is interesting, educational, funny, scary and overall important to watch. We saw this movie a few years ago. I thought we were doing pretty well with our nutrition, but it definitely motivated me to do better. Enjoy this movie with a healthy snack. Remember, if you're going to eat junk food, make it yourself!

If you want to watch the entire movie, just click on the link below to stream it via youtube.

Monday, March 1, 2010

It's Movie Week!

We survived Eating In Week and overall it was a good experience.  We saved some money and tried some new recipes.  We have lots of leftovers, so we'll still be eating in a lot this week.  I have lunch date at home with the hubby today.

Okay, now on to the most important TV night of the year for me- The Oscars!  I love movies and I love to watch the entire event.  So, in honor of the big event this weekend, I am featuring food movies this week.  If you haven't seen any of these films, considering adding them to your queue.  Some of them will make you hungry or motivated and some will make you want to improve the world of eating.

To start of the week, we watched Julie and Julia over the weekend.  It was fun to watch a fellow blogger share her food world and Meryl Streep's Julia Childs was incredible.  It made me hungry, but not for butter and duck!  So, here's a preview and please enjoy some movies this week.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Eating In Week Day 6: Peanut Butter Pie

We've done a good job of eating in this week and so for Saturday night, we are going to have dinner at some friends' house.  We're bringing my favorite dish: Dessert!  Okay, I wish that I had the most wonderful rich and fluffy photos of this pie, but more often than not, the worse it looks, the better it tastes.  So, this looks like a mess, but it is tasty, indulgent and so rich!

I mashed together about 3 recipes to come up with a taste and texture that I liked.  Sources include The Kind Diet, Marantha Nut Butters, and Compassion Over Killing.

Pie Crust
You can use a premade pie crust (graham cracker or chocolate) or make you own:

Crush 20 graham crackers (or 2 cups chocolate cookies).  Blend with:
3 tablespoons safflower oil, margarine or butter (I used Earth Balance)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons cocoa powder (optional)

Press into a pie pan.

Pie Filling
Blend together until creamy and silky:
12 to 16 ounces of firm tofu
1 1 /2 cups peanut butter (or to your taste)
1/4 cup maple syrup (add more or less depending on your sweet tooth)

Refrigerate 2 hours.  You can top with whipped cream, nuts or a chocolate coating.

Chocolate Coating
Melt 12 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips.  You can add vanilla extract, vanilla soy milk or maple syrup to taste and desired consistency.  Spread over top of pie.  Allow to refrigerate another hour.

Indulge and Enjoy!

Friday, February 26, 2010

My 15 Minutes

You've probably read about The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone many times on this blog.  Well, Alicia Silverstone also has a blog called The Kind Life.  The other day, I sent in the recipe for Gnocchi with Spicy Vodka Tomato Cream Sauce and Alicia kindly posted the recipe on her blog!!  Check out her blog and my 15 minutes HERE!

Eating In Week Day 5: Tempting Tempeh Tacos

Well, Eating In Week is going well and we have stuck to it!  The only challenges have been all the dishes and leftovers.  The more we cook, the more we have of both.  We were both a little tired today, so we grilled up some tempeh with Patak's Sweet and Smoky Marinade, chopped it up and served it in tortillas with black beans and onions.  It was an interesting Indian-Mexican fusion.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Eating In Week Day 4: Spring Rolls

It's Day 4 of Eating In Week and I had a lunch date with Emily at my house.  I've been craving Asian food, so I made spring rolls for the first time!  To prep for it, I made some baked tofu.  You can purchase spring roll wrappers (rice paper) at Asian grocery stores, in the Asian food section or at Whole Foods.  Then you slice up some vegetables, make some rice, wet the rice paper (5 minutes in warm water), roll up the veggies, tofu and rice and serve with soy sauce or Asian peanut dip.  

We stuffed our rolls with baked tofu, cucumber, red pepper, cilantro, green onion, rice, carrots, and purple cabbage.

The whole experience was fun, interesting and a nice way to spend some time with my friend.

Silky Asian Peanut Dip

 Yummy!  I found this recipe at and decided that it would be a great spread and dip.  You can put it on bread, toast, apple or carrot slices, dip spring rolls or chips.

Blend in a food processor or with beaters:

8 oz silken tofu
1/2 cup peanut butter (chunky or creamy, depending on your palate)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 (or more) teaspoon of cayenne pepper
2 cloves minced garlic

Boy Oh Boy! Baked Tofu Slices

Well, I have never been much of a tofu eater or cooker, but Eating In Week is inspiring me to try new things.  These slices are nice to have on hand for munching, making sandwiches, stuffing in pita or tortillas or making spring rolls.

Start with 16 oz firm tofu.  Drain excessive packing water off.  Place on a plate, put another plate on top and heavy weighted item on top of the plate to press off excess water.  Since my father loves to give me decorative paperweights, I found a nice heavy one to do the job.  Let sit 30 minutes.  
Drain off water, slice into 1/2 inch strips (or whatever size you like). 

Marinate with your favorite marinade for 20 to 60 minutes.  I used the following mix:

1 clove garlic
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
juice from 1/2 lime
sprinkle of cayenne pepper

Bake at 375 on a greased cookie sheet for 40 to 60 minutes, until desired chewiness.  Serve in strips or chop up.  Enjoy.