The Sensitive Kitchen

Monday, July 31, 2006

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

I put the dry and wet ingredients together to take to a friend's cabin to bake there over the weekend... then forgot to bring the bananas and chocolate chips. So I made them this morning instead. They were surprisingly good.

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp baking powder1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 overripe bananas (with lots of brown spots), mashed well
1 large egg
1/2 to 2/3 cup Sucanat or other whole sugar (depending on ripeness of bananas)
4 Tbsp sunflower oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup (1/2 of a 12-ounce bag) semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375. Stir dry ingredients together with a whisk. Set aside. Mash bananas. Add egg, sugar, oil and vanilla; mix well. Fold in dry ingredients until barely incorporated, then fold in chocolate chips. Spoon batter into 12 muffin papers in a muffin tin; cups will be nearly full. Bake for 18 minutes or until done and nicely browned. Makes 12.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Favorite Iced Almond Latte

My daily morning indulgence. Gives me a little extra go-juice to help me deal with my early riser, an overenergetic almost-3-year-old.

1 cup double-strength hot coffee
Stevia to taste
2 cups ice cubes
1/2 cup Almond Breeze unsweetened original almond milk

Add stevia to hot coffee. Pour over ice. Add almond milk and stir. Sip at leisure.

For an almond mocha latte, use unsweetened chocolate almond milk.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Three Faces of Eve Cake

Happiness can be found in even the saddest accidents, such as forgetting an entire Costco-sized bag of Ghirardelli semisweet chocolate chips in the trunk of your car in Phoenix in the summertime. Besides, what better way to devil up an otherwise angelic cake than with a little ground chocolate?

Raspberry makes a wonderful counterpoint for a third dimension of flavor. And what to do with all those leftover yolks? Well, you could always make zabaglione!

1/2 cup cocoa powder
3 Tbsp whole wheat pastry flour
3 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
12 large egg whites
3 Tbsp Chambord
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp instant coffee
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla
6 Tbsp ground semisweet chocolate

Stir together cocoa, flours, cornstarch, salt, and half of sugar. Set aside.

Beat egg whites, Chambord, lemon juice, instant coffee, cream of tartar and vanilla on low speed in the work bowl of a stand mixer for 1 minute. Increase speed to medium and beat until mixture increass in volume 4 1/2 to 5 times and resembles a bowl of slightly translucent soft foam composed of tiny bubbles. This should take anywhere from 1 1/2 to 3 minutes. The foam will hold a very soft, moist shape when the beaters are lifted.

Beat in gradually on medium speed, 1 tbsp at a time, the other half of the sugar. This should take 2-3 minutes. When the entire 3/4 cup sugar has been added, the foam will be creamy and hold soft, moist, glossy peaks that bend over at the points.

Remove bowl from stand mixer. Sift the flour gradually over the top of the foam, about 1/8 at a time, and fold gently with a rubber spatula only until flour mixture is nearly incorporated. Repeat, folding in the last addition until no traces of flour are visible. Fold in ground chocolate in the same manner.

Pour the batter into an ungreased 10" angel cake pan. Tilt or spread batter to level the top. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven until a toothpick comes out clean, 35-40 minutes. Turn upside down and let cool at least 1 1/2 hours.

Raspberry Coulis:

12 ozs frozen organic raspberries, thawed
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
3 Tbsp Grand Marnier

Blend raspberries and sugar in a blender until completely smooth. Press through a fine-mesh sieve to remove seeds. Stir in liqueur and transfer to a squirt bottle.

To serve, slice cake into thin wedges. Arrange on a plate atop a pool of raspberry coulis. Drizzle cake with additional coulis and garnish, if desired, with fresh raspberries.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Banana "Ice Cream"

A wonderful dairy-free afternoon snack. I feel good about giving this to Adri as it is mostly fresh fruit. But how does it taste? Well, she has had real ice cream, including gelato, and she still gobbled this without a second thought.

3 overripe bananas
2 Tbsp chocolate syrup
1/4 to 1/3 cup vanilla almond milk, as needed

Peel the bananas, cut in chunks, spread in a single layer and freeze uncovered until hard, about 2 hours.

Place frozen banana chunks in work bowl of a food processor. Allow your child to drizzle chocolate syrup over them. With processor running, slowly drizzle almond milk in until mixture comes together into the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. For best consistency, process at least 30 seconds. Spoon into bowls and serve immediately.

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Quick Tuscan Pasta with Beans

Tuscans are called mangiafagioli, "bean eaters," by other Italians. So I suppose I'll call this Tuscan pasta. I could, of course, just as easily call it "Can't Be Bothered to Do More Than Boil Water and Open a Can to Feed My Child pasta." But that doesn't have as nice a ring.

1 1/2 cups dry whole wheat fusilli
1 can Trader Joe's Tuscan Bean Medley, undrained
3 Tbsp finely chopped basil
2 ounces grated pecorino romano or crumbled feta cheese (optional, but tasty)

Cook fusilli in salted boiling water until just under al dente. Drain water and return to pan with undrained can of beans. Cover and cook a few more minutes, then uncover and stir briskly over heat to evaporate some water. Stir in basil and cheese, if using. Plop onto plates and devour. Serves 2 adults and one hungry preschooler.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Zabaglione for a Crowd with Fresh Fruit

I made this dessert for our 4th of July pool party and dinner. Since then Adri has been asking every day for "that foamy yellow dip we had when our friends were over." It's so cute that she can't pronounce zabaglione properly. But no matter, neither can I. Besides, I'm so proud of her sophisticated palate. Is this the same little girl that eats her scrambled eggs with peas and ketchup?

12 egg yolks
2/3 cup turbinado sugar
1/4 cup brandy
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Whisk egg yolks, sugar and brandy together in a large glass or metal bowl. Scrape the sides clean with a spatula then set the bowl over (not in) a pot of simmering water. Whisk furiously until sauce has thickened and quadrupled in volume. Be careful not to heat the mixture too quickly or it will cook before it fluffs up. If you sense this happening, remove the bowl from the heat and whisk until it cools, then return to heat and continue whisking.

Remove the zabaglione to a bowl and eat immediately (or within the next half-hour) with firm-textured fruit for dipping. If you are happening to make this on the Fourth of July, arrange strawberries, bananas and blueberries in the shape of an American flag, then stand back and watch as the children fall on it like wolves.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Lentil Sloppy Joes

Another family favorite, this one adapted from 125 Best Vegetarian Slow Cooker Recipes.

2 tsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup lentil cooking liquid or water
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp Sucanat
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
3 cups cooked lentils

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring, until softened. Add celery and cook until that softens. Add oregano, salt and pepper; cook 1-2 minutes more, until fragrant. Set aside.

In the stoneware insert of a slow cooker, combine ketchup, lentil cooking liquid, balsamic vinegar, Sucanat and mustard. Stir well to combine. Add onion mixture and lentils; stir well.

Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours or on High for 3 hours, until hot, bubbling and thickened. Serve on toasted whole-grain buns.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Jalapeno Cilantro Hummus

I made this today to take to a friend's house. Why pay $2.49 for a 6 ounce container when you can make your own for next to nothing and it tastes better?

3 cloves garlic
1 small bunch cilantro, washed
1 jalapeno, seeded and roughly chopped
1 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
2 cups cooked chickpeas
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
chickpea cooking liquid, olive oil or water

Process garlic in food processor until minced. Take cilantro bunch in your hands and twist to separate stems from leafy tops. Place leafy tops in food processor with jalapeno. Process until minced. Add tahini, lime juice, chickpeas, salt and pepper. With processor running, drizzle in liquid of your choice just until tahini comes together and begins to blend. You want it as thick as possible. Taste and adjust seasonings. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight to allow flavors to meld.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Kerala Egg Curry

We had this for breakfast this morning with dosas. A nice change. Would also be good with chapatis or rice.

2 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
6-8 curry leaves
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp ginger-garlic paste or 2 tsp each minced ginger and garlic
1/2 to 1 tsp masala spice blend
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/8 tsp cayenne
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 cup light coconut milk
6 hard-boiled eggs, shelled and halved lengthwise
Salt and pepper

Heat oil in a skillet over high heat. Add mustard seeds and cover. Once seeds have spluttered, add curry leaves and stand back. Then add onion, ginger-garlic paste and season with salt and pepper. Stir, turn heat down to medium-high and cook until onions are browning. Then add spices. Stir and cook 2 minutes.

Add tomatoes and coconut milk. Stir well. Set hard-boiled egg halves on top, spoon a bit of sauce over, turn heat down to medium, and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes until sauce is thickened. Stir gently and season with salt and pepper. Serves 4-6.

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