Tag Archives: parve

Avocado Deviled Eggs for the Win!


Alex, I’ll take “foods Sherri’s mother never cooked” for 400 please. Originating in Italy, this round food is often filled with a mixture of egg yolk, mustard, and hot sauce.* Alex… What are deviled eggs? That is correct!

If this was a real episode of Jeopardy I would be $400 richer right now. Aside from my opening little joke, I have no cute story to tell for these eggs. All I have to offer is a beautiful photo and delicious recipe. They were not part of my mother’s recipe box or mine for that matter. It was found quite accidentally sitting in a basket, next to the avocados at my local grocery with no name or website attached.

The minute I saw it, just knew I had to try it. I don’t like regular deviled eggs. I’m not a fan of the filling. This recipe seemed perfect and while I was supposed to add the egg yolk to the avocado and mash them together, I must have missed that step somehow. I’m glad I missed it; I think it would have been too rich and mellowed the flavor of the avocado. The original recipe called for a sprinkling of paprika on top. I love the flavor of Za’atar and thought the sesame seeds would add a nice texture. I was right! These are the perfect little bite.

They make a great quick breakfast, light snack, or very deserving as an appetizer. All that’s left my friends is to Enjoy! Let me know what you think.

3 hard-boiled eggs (I like to use extra-large)
1 large avocado
3 teaspoons lime juice (lemon will work as well)
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch of salt and pepper
dash of hot sauce (optional)
sliced scallions
Sprinkle with Za’atar (or other spice you like)

Boil the eggs using my method. Click here for the instructions. Cook, cool and carefully peel the eggs. Use a sharp knife and cut the eggs in half vertically. Remove the cooked yolk from the egg and put aside.**

Add the avocado into a wide flat bowl and mash. Add the lime juice, garlic powder, a drop of hot sauce, salt and pepper. Mix together and spoon into each half. You can sprinkle them with any seasoning but I really like the flavor Za’atar adds. Place a couple of scallions on top and that’s it!

*FYI… the hot sauce gives it heat, which is why deviled eggs are called “devil”ed
**Instead of discarding, you could put them aside and make my mom’s thumb cookies with them! Or, if you want, add them to the avocado.

 

 

Pumpkin Pancakes with Maple Yogurt Cream and Pumpkin Seed Brittle


As if I even need a reason, one of my favorite things about these pancakes beside the obvious (hello – they are PANCAKES!), is they use a whole can of pumpkin puree! No smidgen of pumpkin left behind in the fridge for weeks until it’s unrecognizable. Despite all of your good intentions to make something spectacular with ¼ cup of pumpkin, it always goes unused – but not anymore! Topping them with a maple yogurt cream (of course you could use a maple whipped cream too – I won’t tell) and a pumpkin seed brittle puts them over the top. They are so light, fluffy, and delicious you will want them every day of the week.

So why did I decide to make them? Yesterday morning I looked in my pantry and found I had 6 cans of pumpkin, which for some reason have no memory of purchasing! There must have been an after Thanksgiving sale, or like rabbits – they are just multiplying. Nevertheless, I was extremely happy to find them. Gone are the crisp days of autumn, when everything was made with pumpkin and I miss that. Plus, pumpkin has so many health benefits. They are rich in vitamin A, fiber, beta-carotene, have more potassium than bananas, and some studies say they keep your skin looking young, In addition, the pumpkin seeds may help elevate your mood – what’s not to love about that? Maybe I should call these happy pancakes – they did make me happy!

Years ago, I came up with a basic pancake mix which has just a few ingredients. I have never liked using pancake mix from a box; it contains so much sugar and salt. I took that recipe and tweaked it by adding pumpkin and spices to it plus a healthy addition of yogurt for a little extra protein. They are ready in less than 30 minutes start to finish – which is a plus. If I plan ahead and measure out my dry ingredients the night before, when I wake up in the morning, I’m that much closer to eating these mouthwatering, and healthy pancakes. Let me know what you think. Enjoy!

This recipe makes 20 delicious 4” pancakes or 16 delicious 5” pancakes

Ingredients
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon ginger
1 ¾ cups regular milk at room temperature (I used almond milk*)
1 – 15 ounce can pumpkin puree (I used Libby’s)
2 extra-large eggs (at room temperature)
¼ cup fat free vanilla Greek yogurt (can be omitted to be dairy free)
3 tablespoons real maple syrup (honey or sugar would work too)
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter melted (or sub a healthy oil to make them non-dairy)
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter to butter the griddle (or spray oil)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Toppings:
Maple syrup spiked Greek yogurt cream
½ cup vanilla fat free Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon real maple syrup

Pumpkin seed brittle
½ cup pumpkin seeds (also called pepita seeds)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
pinch of salt

Directions

Before prepping your ingredients, heat a non-stick griddle or large frying pan on medium heat.

In a medium size bowl add all the dry ingredients, whisk together and set aside.

In a larger bowl, add the wet ingredients and mix until well blended. One notable tip, when using a spoon or spatula, make sure not to use one which is clear or white. The pumpkin will turn it orange. I learned this the hard way!

Add the dry ingredients into the wet about 1 cup at a time until combined. Then let the mixture sit for a couple of minutes. Butter or spray your pan and pour the batter onto the hot griddle. So they come out the same size, you can use a measuring cup or I like to use a large ice cream scoop (aka a disher). Depending on the size of the pancake you want, use a 1/3 cup for a 4” pancake and ½ cup for a 5” pancake. I think I have every size scoop and some doubles to keep one parve and one dairy. They are the best kitchen investment you can make.

The pancakes are ready to flip when they brown slightly around the edges and you see bubbles starting to form. They are pretty thick and may brown before they bubble so keep an eye on them. It should take about 2 or 3 minutes per side. Flip, plate, top with the yogurt and brittle and enjoy!

For the yogurt topping, mix together ½ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt. For the brittle, place the pumpkin seeds in an 8” frying pan on medium/low heat. Stir them around until they toast lightly about 4 minutes. Add the pinch of salt, maple syrup and cook until the liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes. Pour them onto parchment paper to cool.

*I have made these pancakes so many times and tried different milks, they all work well. I generally use almond milk as I did with this recipe.

Pumpkin Muffins with Crumb Topping… Top of the Muffin to Ya!


This morning I made pumpkin muffins with crumb topping. Why? Because it’s pumpkin season plain and simple. I was not in the mood for pumpkin muffins, but I found a can of pumpkin in my pantry (which I tend to always have) and decided to make them. Why I always have a can of pureed pumpkin is a mystery, but I think most bakers do. At least I hope I’m not alone in this! Isn’t the weekend always made better with a basket filled with muffins on the table and the smell of cinnamon in the air?

Maybe it’s all the subliminal messaging I feel I’m getting. Every time I walk into the grocery store (especially Trader Joe’s) right in the front display are the pumpkin Jo-Jo’s and everything pumpkin spice. It doesn’t stop there; pumpkin and pumpkin spice has found its way into coffee and tea, cereal, granola, ice cream, cookies, tortilla chips, salsa, biscotti, cream cheese, bagels, candy, and even challah bread! When did this happen? And what ever happened to the good old pumpkin muffin? Why has it been pushed aside? Shouldn’t it play a leading role in pumpkin season? I think so. That’s why I set out to make what I think is the most perfect, moist, and delicious pumpkin muffin with crumb topping.

I went through a lot of cookbooks and websites searching for the perfect muffin. Then I wrote down everything I love about them. I made about 4 batches before hitting on the perfect marriage. These are not too sweet and they stay nice and soft for a few days.* Raisins add a nice surprise and you know I’m crazy for crumb topping so both have a major role in my final version. I also used the whole can of pumpkin to see what would happen, and it was perfect. I just hate having a smidgen of pumpkin left in my fridge.

I also made a tray with sunflower seeds sprinkled on top which are very worthy of a mention here. If you prefer to skip the crumb, by all means sprinkle them with sunflower or even pumpkin seeds – both add a nice crunch to the top. I’m including the photo above so you can see how tender the cake is and how cute they are with sunflower seeds! Am I right?

I almost forgot to share this fun little tidbit about Ohio life with you. Last weekend was the Circleville, Ohio Pumpkin Show. It’s a whole weekend dedicated to pumpkins. In 14 years I have never been. Thanks to my friend Andrea, I can share her photo of the 2 largest pumpkins this year. A 1,701 pound pumpkin would sure make a lot of muffins! Usually I would end with Enjoy! But this time I’m going to end differently… You’re Welcome!

Ingredients:
1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour spooned in and leveled
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ginger
1/2 cup extra light olive oil,** or other vegetable oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
1 – 15oz. can Libby’s 100% pure pumpkin***
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature (large will work here as well)
1/4 cup milk (I used almond milk) at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup white raisins
confectioners’ sugar (optional)

Crumb topping:
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter melted (make these dairy free by using Earth’s Balance soy free sticks)

Directions:
Place rack in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray or line with cupcake liners. This recipe makes 16 to 18 muffins, so prepare 2 muffin pans accordingly and set aside. total time including prep 30 minutes

Start with the crumb topping: whisk the flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt together until combined. Using a fork, stir in the melted butter until crumbs form breaking up any big pieces. Set aside.

Make the muffins: In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt together until combined. Set aside. In a larger bowl, whisk the oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin puree, eggs and milk together until combined. If you are using raisins, add them at this time and mix in. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, then fold everything together gently just until combined and no flour pockets remain.

Using a 2 ½ in cookie scoop, scoop the batter into liners. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of crumbs evenly on top of the batter and ever so gently press them down into the batter. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes total or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. I like to bake them for 10 minutes, then turn the pans and bake for another 10. After that I keep a close eye on them setting the timer for 2 minutes at a time. That’s what makes the difference between a moist muffin and one which is a little dryer. For mini muffins, bake for 11-13 minutes also at 350°F

Let cool in muffin pan and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar if you would like.*I leave them out very lightly covered and suggest warming them in the toaster oven after day 2 (if they are still around). That will crisp up the top a bit and who doesn’t’ love a warm muffin?

**You may notice I use extra light olive oil, sunflower oil, or grape seed oil, in most of my baking when oil is called for. I think they are the perfect baking oils, and the healthiest. Any good vegetable oil would be a great sub.

***Different brands of pureed pumpkin will yield different results. I tried two others and felt Libby’s had the best flavor and end result. If you use a different brand, I can’t promise the same results so bake at your own risk!!!!!!!

Baked Apple Doughnuts with Spicy Cinnamon Sugar

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Baked apple doughnuts with cinnamon sugar is an oldie but a goodie so I’m replaying it! This recipe was originally published in October of 2015. I made them the other day and thought it’s a perfect recipe to replay for apple season and the holidays. Enjoy the rewind!

You guessed it… Another apple recipe! That basket on my kitchen counter is getting smaller by the day! This time it’s baked apple doughnuts with cinnamon sugar. Why baked doughnuts you ask? Because they are delicious – that’s why! When my family was at Lynd Fruit Farm a couple of weeks ago, their snack stand was open where they sell a variety of goodies. They make fresh kettle corn, roasted candied nuts, hot cider, funnel cakes, fresh doughnuts and apple fritters among other things. Usually we will buy one doughnut and one apple fritter and split it among the family, then go back for 2 more!

On this visit, it was Pumpkinpalooza day at the farm and to say it was extremely busy is an understatement! I guess the word palooza should give you an idea to the fun activities they had going on! In the urban dictionary palooza is defined as an all-out crazy party; partying at one place with a ton of people like there’s no tomorrow! It wasn’t quite that crazy, but the line was pretty long and we were tired from the couple of hours we just spent apple picking and shopping in the farm stand, so we went home. However, the sweet smell of the candied nuts, doughnuts and cider never left me and have been on my mind for the past couple of weeks.

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I love doughnuts, but I don’t like eating fried foods. I save that for times I want a really special treat. My search for a healthier doughnut lead me to this baked doughnut. I found it on the King Arthur Flour website and promise you won’t miss the extra calories frying would add! It tastes like an old-fashioned cake doughnut, which was my father’s favorite! This recipe uses 100% whole wheat flour, and apple sauce which makes a very tender and delicious cake style doughnut. I changed it up quite a bit due to the ingredients I had on hand (or didn’t have on hand in this case), and added more spices to it. Their recipe calls for orange juice and apple cider reduction which I didn’t have and they gave substitutions for. I always have small cans of pineapple juice in the house and it’s a wonderful sub for orange juice. I’m anxious to try the cider reduction one day, I think it will add great flavor to this already yummy treat!

I did try the maple glaze and while it was very good, it was too sweet for me. Instead, I went with a dusting of cinnamon sugar and my family agreed it was a winner. It is very close to the cinnamon sugar doughnuts they had at the farm-stand. This is an adapted version of the King Arthur Flour recipe. They came out fantastic, are quick to put together, and are a healthier doughnut, using white whole wheat pastry flour, very little oil and baking instead of frying. The only problem… they don’t last long – I can promise you that! Enjoy!

2 cups King Arthur white whole wheat flour*
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1  1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1  1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon apple pie spice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1  1/4 cups granulated sugar
1  1/8  cups plus applesauce
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons pineapple juice (or orange juice)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
cinnamon sugar (1/2 cup sugar plus 2 teaspoons cinnamon**)

Glaze recipe (if you’re a glaze lover!)
1  1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup***
3/4 teaspoon maple extract
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons milk or heavy cream (enough to make a spreadable glaze)
Mix all the glaze ingredients together until smooth
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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease or spray two standard doughnut pans.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, apple pie spice, and ginger then set aside. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, oil, applesauce, pineapple juice, and vanilla. Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients just until combined.

Spoon the batter in the doughnut pans, filling each one a little more than three quarters full. Some people use a pastry bag for this step. I was fine spooning the batter in the wells of the doughnut pan. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then take them out. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. While still warm, dip each doughnut into the cinnamon sugar to coat on both sides. Set on a wire rack to cool. If you’re glazing, allow the doughnuts to cool completely before spreading on the glaze.

This recipe yields 12 to 18 regular size doughnuts or 48 mini doughnuts

*White whole wheat flour is lighter in color and milder in flavor than 100% whole wheat flour with all of the same benefits. If you want to substitute all-purpose flour use 1  3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons.

**I use Vietnamese Cinnamon in all my baking. It’s strong, rich and has a sweet flavor I really like. It can be found in most groceries or specialty spice shops.SONY DSC

 

Soups on! Tuscan Vegetable Soup with Canellini Beans

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I truly have no story about this soup. It’s not linked to a family memory, favorite restaurant, or anything in particular. I was planning my husband’s birthday dinner last week and needed a starter to go with the meal. It was very cold outside so I knew I wanted to make a soup. My main dish was simmering away on the stove and I needed something quick. I searched online for mediteranean soups and came across this Tuscan Vegetable Soup from Ellie Krieger. It’s made with ingredients I had on hand, makes 6 servings and only took 30 minutes to make from start to finish. This seemed like a winner plus it got a review of 5 stars. I would like to add my 5 stars to that review! Enjoy!
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The recipe is adapted from Ellie Krieger’s Tuscan Vegetable Soup with a few changes. She uses zucchini which I didn’t have so I substituted two peppers and also boosted the amount of vegetables a little. The recipe called for thyme and sage which I also did not have so I used Herbes de Provence which contains both sage and thyme. All we need is parsley and rosemary and we have a song! You know Simon and Garfunkel…
Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
Remember me to one who lives there
She once was a true love of mine
I can’t be the only one that sings that when I’m cooking with these herbs. Am I?
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1/2 large onion, diced (about 1 cup)
2 to 3 carrots, diced (about 1 cup)
2 to 3 stalks celery, diced, (about 1 cup)
2 peppers cut into 1″ pieces (I used one yellow, one red but any combination is fine or use 1 small zucchini)
32 ounces vegetable broth
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium canellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups chopped baby spinach leaves (or combination kale, Swiss chard and spinach)
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons herbes de provence*
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (or more to taste)
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan (optional)
Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, salt and black pepper. Cook stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Now add the peppers and or zucchini, mix and cook for a couple of minutes longer.Add the vegetable broth and diced tomatoes with the juice and bring to a boil. Add beans and cook for about 5 minutes, then add the spinach leaves and cook until it’s wilted, about 3 minutes more.Serve topped with fresh grated Parmesan, if desired.
*or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
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