Category Archives: Freezer Friendly

The Perfect Apple Cinnamon Muffins

 

Apple Cinnamon Muffins with Almonds

Apple Cinnamon Muffins without Nuts

Moist Apple Muffins

I think the perfect apple muffins

a) have a cinnamon-sugar topping

b) have small chunks of apple throughout

c) are not overly sweet

d) are moist

e) taste good with or without nuts

and here they are….


Perfect Apple Cinnamon Muffins
Compliments of JennaDish
adapted from Nigella Kitchen by Nigella Lawson
MAKES 12 MUFFINS

If some in the family don’t like nuts, and some do, only add nuts to the tops of a few muffins.  And leave them out of the batter.
 
2 apples (I used Granny Smith, but Pippin, Rome, or Winesap would also bake well)
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar, plus 4 teaspoons for the topping
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1/2 cup raw (unblanched) almonds, roughly chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 400o. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper muffin cups. (No need to spray with oil – they come out of the paper cleanly).
Peel the apple and chop into small dice and set aside.
Whisk together in large bowl the flour, baking poweer, and 1 teaspoon of the ground cinnamon.
In a medium bowl, place 2/3 cup brown sugar, the honey, yogurt, vegetable oil, and eggs.  Whisk until well blended.
If using nuts in the batter, add half of them to the flour mixture now, and put the other half aside.
Now fold the wet ingredients into the dry, until just mixed.  Add the chopped apple until just combined – don’t overmix.
Spoon the batter into the muffin papers.  They will be filled to near the top – don’t worry that they look too full, just make sure all the batter is used and is evenly distributed in the 12 muffin liners.
In a small bowl, mix together the second teaspoon of cinnamon and the 4 extra teaspoons of brown sugar.
You would also add the remaining chopped nuts now if you are putting nuts on all the muffins.
Otherwise start without the nuts and sprinkle the desired amount of muffins, then add the nuts to the bowl and finish topping the remaining muffins.
Bake for 20 minutes until golden.  Remove from the oven and let sit on a wire rack in the muffin pan for about 5 minutes.  Carefully remove them from the pan to a wire rack and let cool slightly.  Best eaten the same day.

Red Thai Tofu


Red Thai Tofu_text

Serve this tofu dish over your favorite rice.  The cookbook this came from suggests a pineapple rice.

 

Red Thai Tofu
Compliments of JennaDish

from Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

SERVES 4

1 block extra-firm tofu (about 14 ounces), cubed
1 teaspoon oil
1 red pepper, seeded and sliced thinly
1/2 cup sliced shallots
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon light agave nectar
15 leaves fresh Thai basil

Preheat a cast iron or heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat. Spray with a little cooking spray. Add the tofu and cook for about 10 minutes, flipping it with a thin spatula once in a while, until it is browned on most sides. The thin spatula is important because you should be able to slip it underneat the tofu and flip it easily, keeping the tofu intact. About midway through, drizzle with 2 teaspoons of the soy sauce and toss to coat.

Remove the tofu from the pan and set aside. Saute the red pepper, shallots, garlic, and ginger in the oil, using a little cooking spray if needed. Cook for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the curry paste, water, remaining soy sauce, agave. Add the tofu back the pan along with the curry paste mixture. Cook for another 5 minutes. Add the Thai basil and toss to wilt. Serve! 

Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

Whole Wheat All-Purpose Pizza Dough

You can make your own healthy, whole wheat pizza dough with a nice, crispy crust – all without any expensive equipment or fancy culinary skills.

Make this simple Martha Stewart dough with half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose white flour, and make 6" rounds for individual pizzas. 

6 inch individual pizza dough

Use whatever you need and freeze the rest in between sheets of parchment.  (Wax paper will stick to the dough.)

Frreeze Ahead Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
This is what the frozen round looks like out of the freezer.  It got a little thin in one spot.  This dough isn't as thick and sturdy as a store-bought pizza crust.  So after about 1 minute, this crust was flopping over.  So no need to let it thaw – you can take it out of the freezer, put your toppings on, and bake.

Crusty Bottom Pizza Dough Baked on a Ceramic Tile

To get a crust crispy and brown on the bottom and edges,  some people turn their oven up to 500o but I don't like to do that – it's just too hot and unnecessary.  To get my crust looking like this…

How to Get your Homemade Pizza Crust Crispy on the Bottom

I preheat my oven to 450o and use baking stones.  If you don't want to spend $30-$50 on a baking stone that's not big enough to hold more than one pizza (and sometimes cracks), use this cheap trick ….

Ceramic Tile Baking Stone

Go to a home improvement store like Home Depot, and purchase two 12"x12" ceramic tiles (floor tiles) for about $3 each, and they should fit perfectly, side by side, across your oven.  Once these stones are heated up, they will crisp your dough up nicely.

The best way that I've found to get fresh, sticky pizza dough in the oven, and a hot, slippery pizza out of the oven, is to place the dough on a piece of parchment paper.  No pizza peel needed.

Oh, and you save money and you save your family nasty, overly-processed ingredients from store bought pizza.


Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

Compliments of JennaDish

from Martha Stewart

MAKES TWO 1-POUND BALLS (about 6-8 six-inch pizza crusts) 

1 1/2 cups warm (115 degrees) water
2 packets (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for bowl
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for
kneading

2 cups whole-wheat flour (spooned and leveled)

Place water in a large bowl; sprinkle with yeast. Let stand
until foamy, about 5 minutes. Brush another large bowl with oil.

In bowl with yeast, whisk sugar, oil, and salt. Stir in flours
with a wooden spoon until a sticky dough forms. Transfer to oiled bowl; brush
top of dough with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; let stand in a warm spot
until dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface. With floured hands,
knead until smooth, about 15 seconds; divide into two balls.

Set balls on a plate (they should not touch); freeze until firm,
about 1 hour. Then freeze in a freezer bag up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in
refrigerator.

Divide each ball of dough into 4 pieces. Using your hands,
stretch each piece into a 5-inch disk (if dough becomes too elastic to work
with, let it rest a few minutes).  Jenna's Note:  Spread a little semolina on your working surface, then push the edges of the dough out while constantly rotating it.  Don't flip the dough over which will work the semolina into the dough.  You want to keep the semolina on the bottom which helps it to not stick to your work surface.

 

Strawberry Coconut Shake or Healthy Popsicle: A Raw Food Treat

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True to my cookbook form, I bought Ani Phyo's book, Ani's Raw Food Kitchen: Easy Delectable Living Foods Recipes, about a year ago.  And I'm just now making something from it.  

Ani's Raw Food_Strawberry Coconut Shake
I'm starting small.  A shake, of which all ingredients are in my kitchen. No extra shopping required.

The theory behind raw food, is that you are eating food in it's most natural and nutritious form.  Food is not heated more than 104 degrees because the thought is that heat removes nutrients.

Raw_Frozen Strawberry Coconut Shake
The shake tastes great.  And you could opt to freeze it …

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… in a paper cup.

Raw_Strawberry Coconut Popsicle
It holds up pretty well.  Even with laying around a bit. I don't like it when it all falls off the stick. This one doesn't.

Raw Food_Strawberry Coconut Shake Ingredients
The recipe (from Ani Phyo):  2 cups filtered water, 2 Tbsp virgin coconut oil, 1/2 cup raw cashews, 1/2 cup pitted dates, 3 cups strawberries (hulled), 1/2 vanilla bean (I just scraped the bean).

Put all in blender according to your blender directions (mine says put liquid in first).  Blend until smooth. Drink it or freeze in molds.  MAKES 4 TO 6 SERVINGS.

I drank about 8 ounces.  Then there was enough to make 4 popsicles in about 6 to 8 ounce paper cups.

 

Vegan: Nutty Crunchy Veggie Burger

Our 6-Week Vegan Challenge

Nutty Veggie Burger with Onion Rings
Nutty Veggie Burger
After the last veggie burger turned out a little more soft than Alyssa liked, she went on a search for something a bit more chunky.  Less beans, more variety, more dense, firm but not dry.

In comes a nice recipe from Whitewater Cooks by Shelley Adams, which needs to be altered slightly to be vegan-friendly, plus we didn't need 12 burgers, so a reduction in servings was needed!

Alyssa also made ONION RINGS to go with it! …. That post to come.

So, do you bake these or fry them?

To bake or to fry?  That used to be the question.  Now, not so much.  There was a recently published study that followed people who fried their food and those who didn't, and there was no noticable difference in their health.  Not to say you can fry everything, have fried chicken for breakfast, deep fry your veggies, etc.  I translate the study (link below) to say, 'hey, if you want to saute the following veggie burgers in a little healthy oil, go for it!'  But we baked this time.

Download Bmj.e363.full

Nutty Crunchy Veggie Burger
Compliments of JennaDish

adapted from Whitewater Cooks by Shelley Adams

Bake or fry.  You choose!  

MAKES SIX 5-OUNCE BURGERS

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
   3 vegan eggs =
   3 Tablespoons ground flaxseed
   1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon water
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano (or regular dried is fine) 
1 cup low-sodium black beans, drained and pureed
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/3 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
1/3 cup sunflower seed, toasted
1 1/2 cups soft bread crumbs (we used 3 slices sprouted wheat bread)
1 cup oat flour
1 Tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 cup finely grated carrot
    if frying:
flour for dredging
olive oil or canola oil for frying

Preheat oven to 350o if baking.  In a non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. 

Meanwhile mix the vegan eggs in a small bowl by stirring together the ground flaxseed and water.

Saute onions and garlic until softened and starting to brown.  Remove from heat and allow to cool. Add the cumin, chili powder and oregano to the onions and mix well.

In a large mixing bowl, add the remaining ingredients through the grated carrot, including the onion mixture.  Now add most of the vegan eggs (flaxseed mixture), leaving a tablespoon or less, and try to make a tightly formed ball or patty.  If it needs more egg mixture add the rest.  

To bake, place on a foil-lined baking sheet, sprayed lightly with cooking spray. 

Bake 15 minutes, then flip and bake another 10 minutes or until heated through.

HELPFUL HINTS BELOW:

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Finely grate the carrot with a cheese grater, if you have one. 

Vegan Eggs- Ground Flaxseed and Water
This is the mixture of ground flaxseed and water, which is used widely in vegan cooking as an egg replacer.  Once you mix it, let is sit a few minutes to thicken.

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If you don't have oat flour, grind your own.  Take old fashioned oats and grind them in a small food processor.  It should look like flour when your finished, but for this recipe you don't have to grind to a fine flour.  Some pieces in it is fine.

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You can learn how to Make Your Own Chili Powder, which has a fresher, deeper flavor.

Vegan Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Finally found some vegan chocolate chips.  That means only one thing.  Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies!

 

Heart Shaped Chocolate Chip Cookie

 

… and heart-shaped chocolate chip cookies …

 

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…and big, fat round chocolate chip cookies.

These are cakey cookies, which I love.

 

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Compliments of JennaDish

from Vegan Cookies Take Over Your Cookie Jar by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero

MAKES ABOUT 2 DOZEN COOKIES

1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup almond milk (or nondairy milk of choice)
2 Tablespoons tapioca flour (you can sub arrowroot powder or cornstarch – I used arrowroot)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350oF.

In a mixing bowl, mix together the sugars and oil for about a minute.  Add the almond milk and tapioca flour and beat vigorously until there are no clumps of tapioca left.  Mix in the vanilla.

Add half the flour, the baking soda, and salt and mix well.  Mix in the remaining flour.  Fold in the chocolate chips.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, or lightly greased.  Space the cookies about 2 inches apart and flatten them down a bit with your fingers.

Bake 10 minutes for soft, chewy cookies, 12 minutes for crispier ones.  When they're done baking, let th cookies rest on the sheets for about 5 minutes before transferring them to wire racks to finish cooling.

 

Dairy-Free Peanut Butter Blondies

 

No Dairy Peanut Butter Blondie

 

This may be one of the quickest, easiest desserts to throw together and bake.  And it's delicious – rich and fudgy, lots of peanut butter flavor – not too sweet.  Just a few tips to keep in mind… Oh yeah.  It's vegan.  No dairy or animal products used in the ingredients.

So here's the tip …

 

Peanut Butter Blondies Vegan

 

FREEZE IT.

The blondie will be very moist.  And if you use a natural peanut butter that needs to be stirred, like I did, the oil from the PB will make an even more moist blondie.  After it cools, pop it in the freezer in the same pan you baked it in, well-covered with plastic wrap.  The blondie will become cold, of course, but will not freeze, and will take care of the oil issue.  I froze this for two days then served it at work – it absolutely did not taste frozen or "day old".

 

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Peanut Butter Blondies
Compliments of JennaDish

from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero

3/4 cup peanut butter (see note)
1/3 cup oil (I used canola)
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup nondairy milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup peanuts

Preheat oven to 350oF.  Lightly grease a metal 8 x 8-inch baking dish.

In a mixing bowl, use a fork to vigorously mix together peanut butter, oil, and sugar.  Stir in the nondairy milke and vanilla. Stir in the flour, salt, and baking powder.  Once you get the flour somewhat mixed in, it's easier to just use your hands to knead the dough until soft.  It will be very very thick and won't spread on its own.  Transfer dough to the baking pan and press it into place.  Springkle on the peanuts and lightly press them into the top.

Bake for 22 to 25 minutes; the blondie edges should be just barely darkened.  The top will appear soft, and that's okay.  Remove the blondies from the oven and cool completely before slicing.

NOTE: The authors used a salted, no-stir creamy peanut butter but offer that a very well stirred natural peanut butter in which the oil has been incorporated should work as well.  You can use chunky PB also.

 

Sweet Wine Biscuits with Sesame

 Vegan Sweet Wine Cookies with Sesame

Sweet Wine Biscuits with Sesame

This recipe post is more of a report, not a ringing endorsement.  These cookies confuse me.  They taste OK, especially the sesame seeds.  But they just beg, "Improve Me," "Change Me."  Plus mine are tinged green inside…

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I think it might be the olive oil.  Maybe I'll use walnut oil next time. 

 

Sweet Wine Biscuits with Sesame
Compliments of JennaDish

from Vegan Cookies Take Over Your Cookie Jar by Moskowitz and Romero

1/2 cup sweet port wine
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup white sesame seeds, for rolling

Preheat oven to 350oF.  Line two medium-size baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together port wine, oil, sugar, and lemon zest until thick.  Sift in the flour, aking soda, and salt.  Mix until the dry ingredients are completely moistened and a thick dough forms.  The dough will be very sticky, so cover it with plastic wrap and let it chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

When ready to bake the cookies, pour the sesame seeds into a shallow bowl.  Scoop chilled dough into generous teaspoons, roll it into balls with lightly moistened hands, drop the balls into the sesame seeds, and roll to coat.  Place the dough balls on the baking sheets about 2 inches apart, and bake for 12 to 14 minutes until the edges are browned.  Using a spatula, transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool.  Store in a tightly covered container.

Amish Friendship Bread

 Amish Cinnamon Bread

 Amish Bread

Came home from work and fixed dinner.  Looked at my sad-looking plastic bag of Amish Friendship Bread Starter that has been laying around a few days.  Read the bag and discovered that today is Wednesday.  Day 10.  Oh crap. 

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This is the big day.  I'm supposed to add to the starter, and make 2 loaves of bread.  I have all the ingredients.  I even have the instant vanilla pudding.  I guess that means I should go ahead and do it.

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Helpful Hint:  Since you have to keep the starter outside of the fridge, I kept it in an urn-type holder to keep it protected from getting thrown around on the counter.

 

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 After mixing the batter and pouring in the pans, there are instructions that you can sprinkle a cinnamon sugar mixture on the top, or not.  So I decided to sprinkle it lightly on one and not on the other.  I can't stand overly sweet quick breads.

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 You can taste the cinnamon-sugar with both versions because of the sugar-dusted pan…

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but the big difference is what it does to the looks of the bread.  Crackled and rustic vs. smooth and pound-cake-like.  Again, both are awesome. 

Amish Friendship Bread Starter

These are the 4 additional (1 cup) starters it makes in addition to the bread.

 

Amish Friendship Bread

MAKES TWO 9” LOAVES and 4 cups of starter for friends

To be left on counter, not meant to be refrigerated.  Burp bag as needed.

Day 1 – receive the starter and do nothing
Day 2 – Mush the bag.
Day 3 – Mush the bag.
Day 4 – Mush the bag.
Day 5 – Mush the bag.
Day 6 – Add to the bag 1 cup each flour (I recommend unbleached, all-purpose flour), sugar (plain white) and milk (I used skim milk, but usually doesn’t matter). Mush the bag.
Day 7 – Mush the bag.
Day 8 – Mush the bag.
Day 9 – Mush the bag.
Day 10 – Follow these instructions:

1. Pour the entire contents of the bag into a non-metal bowl.
2. Add 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1 1/2 cups milk. Stir.
3. Measure one cup batter into four 1-gallon Ziploc bags and give to friends along with a copy of the recipe. (Keep one for yourself if you want to make bread again in 10 days.)
4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. (baked mine at 300 degrees on convection  setting)

5. Add to the remaining batter:

3 eggs (bringing eggs to room temperature is a generally accepted practice in baking)
1 cup oil (I used canola oil)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. cinnamon (I used Vietnamese cinnamon)
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups flour
1 large (5.1 ounce) box instant vanilla pudding (I used French vanilla flavor)
1/2 tsp. salt (I used fine grain sea salt)

6. Grease 2 large loaf pans (my instructions say glass, but I used metal and turned out great)
7. In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 cup sugar and 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Dust the greased pans with 1/2 of this mixture.
8. Pour the batter evenly into the 2 pans.  Optional: sprinkle the remaining sugar mixture over the tops of the breads. (I lightly sprinkled one loaf, none on the other.  The big difference is that the sugared version cracks and looks beautifully rustic.  The unsugared loaf remains smooth and looks like a pound cake. Both taste great.)
9. Bake 1 hour (until golden brown and firm on top.  I added an extra 5 minutes.) Cool the bread  a few minutes.  Run a knife along the edge of bread and gently turn out of pan onto a cooling rack. 

If you keep a starter for yourself, you will be baking every 10 days. The bread is very good and makes a great gift. Only the Amish know how to create the starter, so if you give them all away, you will have to wait until someone gives you one back. ENJOY!!

Here is a recipe for the starter that I HAVE NOT tried.  Got it from

Amish Friendship Bread Starter
This is the Amish Friendship Bread Starter Recipe that you’ll need to make the Amish Friendship Bread.

1 pkg. active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110°F)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 cup warm milk (110°F)

1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water for about 10 minutes. Stir well.
2. In a 2 quart glass or plastic container, combine 1 cup sifted flour and 1 cup sugar. Mix thoroughly or the flour will get lumpy when you add the milk.
3. Slowly stir in warm milk and dissolved yeast mixture. Loosely cover the mixture with a lid or plastic wrap. The mixture will get bubbly. 

Follow the 10-day instructions above for Amish Friendship Bread. The day you make the starter is Day 1.

Spiced Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

Spiced Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

 
This soup tastes great, and is one of the dishes that has helped me eat and feel full, while losing weight.

Also makes a great sauce for dry foods such as a baked potato or rice.

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Butternut Squash Apple Soup

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Spiced Butternut Squash Soup
Compliments of JennaDish

from Whole Living Magazine Jan/Feb 2012

Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add 1 chopped onion and 2 chopped garlic cloves and cook until tender, 6-8 minutes.  Add 1-inch grated fresh ginger (2 Tbsp), 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/8 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp cardamom, and dash ground cloves and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. 

Add 2 peeled and chopped carrots, 1 peeled, quartered, and chopped tart apple, 4 cups chopped butternut squash, and 3 cups water.  Bring to a boil; cover partially and reduce to a simmer.  Season with coarse salt and pepper. 

Cook until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.  Let cool slightly

Working in batches, puree until smooth in a blender.  Adjust seasoning, if necessary. 

Freezes well.