Saturday, April 20, 2013

Roasted Garlic Twice Baked Potatoes

Believe it or not I have never made a twice baked potato. In fact, until last night, I am not even sure I have ever eaten one.  I am not sure what even made me think about twice baked potatoes but something did and so I decided to try making them.

I am sure a plain 'ol twice baked potato is delicious, but I decided to spruce mine up a little using some roasted garlic, and it was quite good.  I will definitely make them again.

Roasted Garlic Twice Baked Potatoes

2 Baking potatoes
4 Cloves roasted garlic
1 Tbsp vegan butter
2 Tbsp non dairy milk (I used So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut)
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Wash and pierce the potatoes and coat them lightly in olive oil and sprinkle with a little bit of salt.  Wrap them in foil and bake in the oven for about 45 minutes or until they are soft.

Remove from the oven, allow to cool until they are easily handled.  Remove the foil, cut the potatoes in half and hollow out the middles, leaving you with a potato "bowl".  Put the removed potato into a bowl and add the butter, non dairy milk, roasted garlic, salt and pepper.  Mash well with a potato masher ensuring the garlic is distributed throughout the mixture.

Place the filling back into the potato shells and return to the oven for another 25 minutes at 400 degrees.

Serve immediately.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Couscous Beet and Fennel Salad

What a busy day today.  Up and out the door by 7:15, a crazy commute on the train due to equipment problems followed by back to back meetings.  I truly ran non stop today.

Toward the end of the day I got a message from Mr. Meat and Potatoes saying that he would feed the kids. Their choice tonight- couscous.  He told me he would make it with olive oil so I could eat some when I got home.  Very thoughtful and nice.

Then I got a second message asking "What is that stuff on the counter next to the stove?"  I replied "Champagne vinegar" to which he replied "well there may be some vinegar in your couscous."  I said that was OK just to leave it, I would figure it out when I got home.

I started thinking about a cold couscous salad dressed with champagne vinaigrette.  Sounded pretty good.  So when I walked through the door at 7 PM I rummaged through the fridge and got the beets that I had roasted, cooled and peeled on Sunday.  I found a bulb of fennel and some mint and thought, "yep, this is going to work out just fine."

I put the salad together in no time, and it was delicious and filling- exactly what I needed after a long, jampacked day.

Couscous Beet and Fennel Salad

1 cup cooked cooled couscous
2 roasted beets, cooled peeled and chopped
1/4 cup thinly sliced fennel
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
2 tbsp Champagne vinegar (adjust to taste)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (adjust to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste

To assemble, mix the couscous, mint champagne vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper in a bowl. Top with the beets and fennel.  Garnish with some extra mint or fronds from the fennel.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Coconut Waffles with Banana and Chocolate Maple Syrup and Ginger Lime Fruit Salad

Bobby Flay, I owe you an apology.  I thought I did not like your food. I thought you were a touch arrogant and leaned to heavily on spicy ingredients.  I thought your cooking was a bit too "one note" for me. I am the first to admit when I am wrong and I was wrong.

I recently watched Brunch with Bobby which featured an Island themed meal. The coconut waffles and ginger lime fruit salad looked so good!  Good enough that it got the wheels turning on a vegan version of the waffles.

I adjusted the recipe to substitute the milk and eggs, substituted Earth Balance for butter and used avocado oil instead of canola. They turned out perfectly. In fact, I served them to the whole family, and everyone liked them. And, having just returned from Aruba the tropical flavors were very much welcomed!  Too bad every morning cannot start like this.

This made enough to feed four of us, and I had a few waffles left over to freeze for another morning. Bonus!

With my newfound respect Bobby and his food I am now off to peruse some of his other recipes.  Thanks Bobby for the inspiration for this awesome meal!

For the waffles:
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp organic cane sugar
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1 1/4 cup non dairy milk (I used So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut)
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
2 tbsp melted vegan butter, slightly cooled
3 tbsp avocado oil (or other vegetable oil)
3/4 cup apple sauce
1/3 cup toasted sweetened coconut flakes plus extra for garnish
2 large bananas sliced

For the syrup:
1 cup maple syrup
3 oz vegan semisweet chocolate
Pinch sea salt

For the fruit salad
1/4 cup organic cane sugar
1/4 cup water
1 3" piece ginger, sliced
Zest of one lime
2 kiwis, peeled and sliced
1 mango, peeled and sliced
2 oranges, peeled and sectioned
1 small pineapple peeled and cut into chunks
1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
Fresh mint, rough chopped

Make the waffles:
Mix the flour, sugars, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.  In a separate bowl mix the non dairy milk, coconut milk, melted butter, avocado oil and apple sauce. Fold in the toasted coconut flakes.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Stir until a thick batter is formed.  Cover and refrigerate for 1/2 hour.

Heat a waffle iron according to the manufacturers directions. Lightly spray the iron with cooking oil spray and pour about 1/3 cup of the batter onto the waffle iron and cook until golden brown.

Make the syrup:
While the waffles are being made make the syrup by heating the maple syrup over a simmer until warm.  Add the chocolate and sea salt and stir until smooth.

Serve the waffles with the slice bananas and top with the chocolate maple syrup and garnish with toasted coconut.

To make the fruit salad (can be made a day ahead):
Heat the sugar, water, ginger and lime zest until they come to a boil and cook until sugar is dissolved.  Remove from the heat and place in the refrigerator until cold (about an hour).

Combine all fruit into a bowl. Strain syrup and pour over fruit. Toss to coat. Cover and put in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

Serve with chopped mint.