Posts Tagged ‘desserts’

Sesame Noodles…and PUMPKIN CRISP!

I’ll quickly tell you about my dinner last night. After all, you need to have dinner before getting dessert…

I was inspired by the cookbook I got from the library, The Natural Gourmet, to make some sesame noodles. Happily, this recipe gave me a chance to use some of the tahini that had been sitting in the fridge for a long while. I’m not particularly fond of tahini, so I was hoping that this recipe would – disguise it a bit.

I forgot to add the apple cider vinegar, but otherwise, I mostly followed the recipe.

Buckwheat soba noodles along with a sauce that has a base of tahini, along with dollops of maple syrup, soy sauce, and tablespoons of fresh-made tea. Other additions included minced garlic and chopped scallions.

This came out okay, but I wasn’t going for seconds. Next time I would add some more soy sauce to balance out the bitterness of the tahini.

What I liked better was the cabbage, which I had steamed for 5 minutes and then dressed with EVOO, minced garlic, lemon juice, & salt & pepper. The cabbage had a nice tang from the lemon juice and was super tasty.

Okay – you guys ate your vegetables. Now – onto dessert!

As I mentioned, I was exceptionally sleepy the other night. During that time, an idea popped into my head. It went something like this: Everyone loves apple crisp. Everyone loves desserts made with pumpkin. What if I made pumpkin crisp?

The next morning I used google to try and find recipes. Every recipe seemed to include some form of boxed cake mix. I do not like to cook with prepackaged processed ingredients, so I decided that I should be brave and…make up my own recipe.

I believe that this is the first baked good recipe I’ve made up completely on my own. Sure, I’ve done substitutions and alterations to already-existing recipes… but this one was crafted totally on the fly. And it turned out to be one of the best desserts I’ve ever had.
(Don’t worry, I wrote down all of the ingredients I used, after I made it! So you can re-create it at home.)

Here’s the recipe:

Base:
One 15 ounce can pumpkin
1 cup milk
1/2 cup honey
2 eggs, mostly beaten
2 cups spelt flour
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon baking powder

Crumbly topping:
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup Sucanat
1/4 cup walnuts
3/4 cup Earth balance spread
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Here’s the simple procedure:

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Mix together all of the base ingredients in a large mixing bowl until combined well.
3. Pour mixture into greased pan. (I used coconut oil as the ‘grease’.)
4. Mix together ingredients for crumbly topping, by using a fork and your hands to achieve a crumbly consistency.
5. Evenly coat the pumpkin mixture already in the pan with the crumbly topping.
6. Bake for 50-55 minutes.
7. Cook on a wire rack. You can try tasting at this point when it is hot, but it will be super crumbly and kind of fall apart as you slice it.
8. Put in refrigerator to completely cool. (I left mine to cool overnight.)

The aromas that this produced while baking were amazing. The final product was… the definition of scrumptious.

I’m looking forward to trying this out paired with some French vanilla frozen yogurt.

Happy Baking!

-Danielle

Staying Healthy… And What It Really Means

Why are we doing this – we ‘healthy living’ folk? Why don’t we just eat whatever the *!@# we want?

I think we have different reasons. Some people want to lose weight. Others want to have a lot of energy. Some want to be in peak athletic shape, to participate in their favorite sport. Still others want to live a long, radiant life.

Today I visited the page of one of my favorite DJs from NYC – the great John Bell, who was unfortunately laid off from a radio show he helped to make great. John Bell has taken to posting on this page since then, and I enjoy checking his posts a few times a week. Today, I was surprised to see that none of the usual updates were there – instead John Bell had a dedication post. Today is the day when TV works for good, as advertised in this post – when TV people group together to help fight the battle against cancer.

My father passed away from cancer, when I was still in high school. Cancer doesn’t just strike elderly people, as I’m sure you’ve seen. I’m sure many or most of you reading this know someone that was affected by cancer who was middle-aged.

Study after study has pointed to the fact that a healthy diet can help people to live longer, healthier lives. I don’t really need any more studies to convince me to avoid chemicals, preservatives, and pesticides in food. It makes sense. It’s not really that difficult to realize that things you ingest will have a drastic effect on your well-being.

Of course, food is only one piece in the puzzle. If you eat healthy foods, but are too stressed to properly digest your food – getting digestive disturbances due to mental distress, the healthy foods can’t work their full magic. Nothing can work its full magic when its under stress. So much stress is pointless, too – feelings of tension over fleeting things that won’t amount to anything. When that stress builds and turns into a stress mountain, it’s dangerous. It’s not worth it.

Anyway – on a different subject…

For dinner tonight, I tried one of the Ezekial Sprouted Tortillas for the first time. I assembled some black bean salad to go inside the tortilla, with beans that had been soaking along with kombu the whole day in the refrigerator. Kombu is supposed to improve the digestibility of beans, along with adding some great nutrients. After I cooked the beans, I added some olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, cilantro and yellow tomato – which together had a nice zing. To add some texture and flavor inside of the tortilla, I crumbled some feta cheese. On the side was a fresh spinach salad with Caesar dressing.

Dessert was blog-inspired: Vegan Spiced Pumpkin Pie Glo Bites. I made a few alterations, which included 1) not using a muffin pan, 2) using spelt flour for the filling, 3) using regular milk instead of almond, 4) using ‘pumpkin pie spice’ in lieu of the cinnamon and nutmeg, 5) not using vanilla, 6) using honey instead of sugar in the filling. Basically – I didn’t have some of the ingredients, so I figured I could substitute.

These were super tasty. Angela always has such great recipes. And even better – the recipes on her blog are presented in a context of truly caring about and nurturing oneself. They’re about taking the time to use the best kind of ingredients to truly help your body + mind thrive.

Long post I have here. I guess that for me, Fridays are about processing ideas.

I hope that you have a great weekend and – enjoy each moment!