Thursday, November 11, 2010

A way-too-late post + delicious dinner

Hi, everyone!

So sorry I haven't blogged in FOREVER. Things have been pretty crazy around here... We went out of town at the end of October, and spent a week in Rhode Island and New York City. We got to eat at some delicious vegan and vegetarian restaurants, though, and it was such a great experience to go to as many neat sites as possible in RI and NYC while we were there. Check out my Yelp reviews for details on where and what we ate, and what we did on our trip. :)

However, this post would not be complete without some recipes of what I made tonight! Unfortunately there aren't any pictures, I haven't been quite "in it" enough lately to cook, much less take pictures. Sorry! The next time I make something fabulous I'll be sure to document it in pictures.

Anyway, for dinner tonight, I'd been really wanting to try this lentil soup recipe from 101 Cookbooks that I've had bookmarked for some time. That site is very inspirational to me, and I'm grateful that my mom's friend Pam introduced me to the site awhile ago. The recipe was for "Lively Up Yourself" lentil soup, and I honestly had no idea what to expect when I made it. The end result was delicious, warming, and perfect for a "chilly" fall evening in San Diego.

Here's the link to the recipe: Lively Up Yourself Lentil Soup
It's great on its own, however the saffron yogurt REALLY adds a nice touch. I was very pleased with how it all turned out. I followed the recipe to a t, except for using non-fat Greek yogurt instead of 2% (higher protein in the non-fat, it turns out, so I opted for that).

This soup was great with stoned wheat crackers from Trader Joe's, but would also be great just on its own or with whole wheat toast of some kind (or nice crusty bread, yum!)

Dessert was a total spur of the moment decision. I wasn't even going to make anything, but Jon was complaining about the apartment being cold, so I figured if I turned on the oven to bake, that would warm it up a bit (and it did!) I decided to use this recipe: Pumpkin Apple Strudel Muffins that I've actually made before, but I tweaked it SO much, that I'm going to post my new "original" recipe on this page. Basically, I veganized it, made it healthier, and didn't add the strudel on top. The end result was really tasty, lightly sweet, and fairly dense (which I really like). These will make excellent breakfast muffins, too.

Healthy Vegan Pumpkin Apple Muffins

1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/4 cups whole spelt flour
(you could also just do 2.5 cups of ww pastry flour if you don't have spelt flour)
1 cup of maple syrup (I used grade B)
1 tsp baking soda
1 heaping tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (or just ground nutmeg if you don't grate your own)
1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil
1 cup canned pumpkin (or fresh puree, but I'm not that ambitious)
Ener-G Egg replacer [soy free!] (follow the directions on the package) or 2 eggs
2 cups finely chopped, peeled apple chunks

In a large bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, salt, and all the spices. Whisk together until well incorporated. In a separate smaller bowl, mix the prepared egg replacer (or two eggs), 1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil (or canola oil if you don't have coconut), maple syrup and pumpkin puree. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, and mix until just incorporated. Fold in the apple chunks.

In a 350 degree oven, bake the muffins in a lightly greased (or lined with muffin cups) muffin tin for 25-35 minutes, testing for doneness (it took my oven 25 minutes, and the recipe says 30-35... our oven is wonky). Let the muffins cool a bit before trying to get them out of the pan... Mine slid right out without any hassle after 10 minutes or so. :) Enjoy!

Let me know if you try either of these recipes, and how you like them!


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