Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pizza Pockets

When in need of a fast lunch, I have enjoyed Amy's Kitchen Organic Pizza Snacks. Of course, I wanted to find a way to make them from scratch and was very glad to find a recipe at Heavenly Homemakers! This went together very quickly. Changes to the recipe include:
- I had to use 1/2 organic whole wheat bread flour because I ran out of regular organic whole wheat flour (hmmm, must be due to all of the recent baking!)
- I had some homemade sauce that I used so I did not use her recipe.
- In my pizza pockets I put sauce, parmesan cheese, mozarella cheese, onion and garlic powders.
- I did not use a fork to seal them, my hands were already messy in the dough so I just sealed with my fingers :)
- Before baking I brushed olive oil on the dough and sprinkled parsley and oregano.
- Next time I want to try using olive oil to make the dough instead of butter.
Yum! We are going to freeze what we didn't eat (the recipe made 10 and 1 1/2 was plenty with a salad for a meal).

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


This recipe uses a variation of my Cottage Cheese Herb Rolls for a stromboli crust. I have another crust recipe I will use and post with pics the next time I use it. Of course try to make as many ingredients organic as possible!

For the crust:
1 pk yeast
1/2 c warm water
2 1/2 c flour (I used organic whole wheat bread flour)
1/4 c sugar (I used Sun Crystals and cut to 1/8 cup)
1 tsp oregano (I probably used more, I don't like to measure spices)
1/3 c flaxmeal
1 c sour cream
1 egg
olive oil (as needed)

Dissolve the yeast in water and set aside as you prep other ingredients. Turn on oven to 200 degrees. Once it is done heating, turn off. In large bowl mix flour, sugar, oregano, flax, sour cream and egg. Add yeast/water mixture. If consistency seems a little dry, add a small amount of olive oil. Knead on floured surface until smooth (about 5 minutes). Place in bowl sprayed with nonstick spray, set in dough and cover with tea towel dampened with hot water and set in oven 30-40 minutes.

Stuffing Ingredients:
parmesan cheese
swiss cheese
mozarella cheese
deli ham (I use Nature's Promise and rip into smaller pieces)
onion, garlic powders
olive oil

Punch down the dough when done rising and lightly knead. Roll into a rectangle (I usually roll it out on a greased piece of foil to make it easier to move to the baking sheet). Layer ingredients on half the dough leaving a small edge to seal the two layers. I would like to try with green peppers and onions in as well, so feel free to add whatever you like! I also like to put the onion and garlic powder inside. Then fold the top half of dough over the stuffing (this is where the foil comes in handy to help keep it together) and seal by pressing the two layers together. Then lightly brush with olive oil, sprinkle with oregano and parsley. Bake at 350 for about 15-25 minutes until lightly browned and smelling delicious! This will vary depending on the amount of stuffing ingredients and the thickness of the dough. Enjoy! I like to dip in spaghetti/pizza sauce.


Peanut Butter Crispies

Yum! Another winning dessert! I made this one to take to dinner at my dad's (he has to eat a gluten free diet). I followed this recipe. I used a brown puffed rice and added mini organic chocolate chips to the top. These were so good and very filling!

Monday, December 27, 2010

"Mock" Tarts

*Update* I have found that the empanada maker from Tupperware makes the best poptarts! The dough has also been the flakiest when using my homemade yogurt. Yum! They freeze/refrigerate well, then just pop in the toaster (on defrost if frozen) and they are as good as fresh out of the oven!

3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (I usually use Bob's Red Mill whole wheat pastry flour or King Arthur All-Purpose flour- both organic)
1 teaspoon sea salt (I don't measure this exactly)
1 cup melted butter (I use 2 Earth Balance sticks)
1 cup plain yogurt (I use my homemade vanilla yogurt)
1 jar organic jam (I found strawberry/blueberry/raspberry work best, grape tends to soak into the dough)

Combine all ingredients. Roll out about 1/4 of dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper. If using the empanada maker, just cut circle using the bottom of it, or cut into desired shape. Place about a tsp of jam in the middle and cover with another piece of dough of similar size and seal with fork. Bake at 350 degreees for about 10-15 minutes. If you want to make an icing, combine 1 c powedered sugar with 2 tbsp milk and a little vanilla.

A long time ago my family ate Poptarts frequently. I was able to switch them to a "healthier" version but knew deep down that they were still unhealthy. So, thanks to Heavenly Homemakers again (do you get the idea that I love this site???), I have a delicious homemade version! I have not tried soaking my grains yet, but might do that overnight so I can make some more tomorrow, they are so good! I made half a batch since this was a trial run. I made some with organic strawberry jam and some with a mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon, flour and honey. The strawberry ones are delicious and I can't wait to try with other jam flavors. The brown sugar and cinnamon taste good but the filling is a little dry, so I'm on the search for how to make the middle more "gooey" like the original. I think this would make a great apple or cherry turnover crust as well. I followed the crust recipe exactly except I added a drop of vanilla...just seemed like it was needed!

Fresh out of the oven!

Inside the strawberry deliciousness:

 Inside the brown sugar cinnamon:

Update: I made another batch soaking the grains overnight in plain yogurt. I do not prefer that method as it makes the crust heavier and less flaky. I do want to try soaking grains for other baked goods but probably won't for ones that I want to have a lighter feel to them. I also made some with raspberry jam and grape jam- yum! I even think you could make one with peanut butter and jelly, bake and eat for lunch and it would be MUCH healthier than some other "crustless" sandwiches!(Oh yeah, these did not seal as well as the unsoaked version, thus more oozing of the jams!)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Donuts

I have been working my way through as many recipes from the Heavenly Homemakers site and decided that Christmas morning would be a great time to try the whole wheat donuts recipe. I followed it exactly as listed except I only did half a batch and definitely added more cinnamon than called for, and will probably add even more next time :) I also used organic sucancat for the first time in my baking. I used coconut oil to fry and loved it! I will definitely use it more often. I'm thinking about coming up with a coconut shrimp recipe... Anyway, here's a few pictures of the donuts and holes, minus the organic powdered sugar we added before munching down! Half a batch made 6 full size donuts and about 15 or so holes. This will definitely be a treat to make again!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Vegan Pumpkin Pie with Gluten-Free Crust

I have been bugging my sister, April, for a while to be a guest blogger on here. And today is the day! She posted this recipe on FB and is allowing me to post here. Yay! I have to say I haven't tried this recipe yet but fully take her word on it and hope to try it out over the Christmas break! Thanks, April, for sharing with us!

Vegan Pumpkin Pie with Gluten-Free Crust

The Crust:
1.5 cups of Bean and Rice Flour (mostly Bean)
1/4 cup Cornstarch (I use organic non-GMO)
1/4 teaspoon Salt (optional)
1/4 cup Sugar (optional)
1/2 cup Butter (I use Earth Balance brand to make the crust vegan as well)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine flours, cornstarch, butter, salt & sugar until it's a pebble crumb consistency. If you use a pastry cutter for this it makes it a lot easier, otherwise you can "cut" the butter into the flour by using two butter knives and slicing them together in the opposite direction.
3. Next press mixture into 9x9 pie pan, I use a glass cup at first since the mixture is quite crumbly and then finish by using my hands.
4. Bake for 10-12 minutes until light brown.
*This crust is amazing, I LOVE it, so light and crumbly goodness:)!

The Pie Filling:
2 cups Pumpkin Puree
1/2 cup Soy, Rice or Coconut Milk (I used the coconut milk you drink, not out of the can, though it would prob work too:)
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar Cane Syrup (if you don't have this I'll tell you an easy way to make it below)
1/4 cup Cornstarch (again, organic & non-GMO)
1/2 Tablespoon Molasses
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon Allspice

1. If you are using fresh pumpkin (can is fine but I prefer fresh:), you have to first cut & clean out the inside of the pumpkin, then either in the oven or on the stove top, place the pumpkin (meat side down) in water and cook for maybe 10mins, until pumpkin meat is soft. I like to place it in a large pot with a lid and maybe 3 cups of water. Once soft, remove pumpkin from pan and let cool so you can remove the meat from the skin. Next I used a hand mixer to smooth it out.
*You also eat the yummy pumpkin seeds, just rinse & eat, or place on a baking sheet with salt & bake for 5-10mins.
2. In a large mixing bowl add all ingredients and mix together with hand mixer until smooth (a large bowl is important since the pumpkin mixture will literally go everywhere:).
*If you do not have the cane sugar syrup, bring to boil a 1/2 cup of sugar(I use brown sugar) with a 1/4 cup of water. Once sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and let cool, then add it to the mixture. Easy as pie;).
3. Pour mixture into pie pan with already prepped crust. If you are use to making a traditional pumpkin pie you'll notice that this mixture is a lot more firm. You can also have fun making a cool design after it's in the pan (can't do that with traditional pumpkin pie:).
4. Bake for 30-40mins, until light brown on the edges. Note: This pie won't rise like a tradition pie made with eggs.
5. Once done, cool and serve, or cover and place in the fridge to serve later.

This pie is GREAT, soo much healthier and lighter. I honestly prefer it over traditional pumpkin pie! I do have a confession though, I have been using organic heavy whipping cream that I whip up and use as a topping (I know, NOT vegan, but I haven't searched for a substitute yet, baby steps in the vegan world for me:).

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bagels Part 2

Wow! So I tried a new honey whole wheat bagel recipe from Heavenly Homemakers. I was pleased with my first attempt but for some reason I always like trying 2 recipes before settling on one. This one seemed a little easier and the dough just had a better texture. I will not repost the recipe as I followed it exactly as it is on the other site. Mine aren't as pretty, but as I said, tasty! Here's a few pics taken by my daughter, Leah.

 Resting before baking

                                                 Boiling after broiling.

After boiling and ready to bake!

All done!

Yum! This is my favorite pic of them! It was so good toasted with an egg and spinach omelet!

Since we loved this recipe so much, we decided to try it again but this time making some various flavors. Here's what we did:
Cinnamon Sugar- rolled out the dough into a long flat snake, put a mixture of sucanat and cinnamon in the middle and then rolled it up and into a bagel shape (see pic below). This was delish!
Blueberry- rolled out the dough into a long flat snake, put blueberries in the middle and then rolled it up and into a bagel shape. I loved the way the blueberries popped into my mouth!
Garlic- kneaded in some Garlic Garlic dip mix from Tastefully Simple. This bagel turned out delicious but gave me garlic breath all day!
Sun Dried Tomato- kneaded in some sun dried tomato veggie dip mix from Tastefully Simple (I think this was only a summer item). This bagel turned out well.
We also made a few plain.

Oats and Granola

I have been trying ways to incorporate more oats into my diet. I have a hard time handling the texture of rolled oatmeal as a hot breakfast food. I tried one version of steel cut oats (much different texture than the rolled) with peanut butter and a little cocoa powder but I wasn't impressed. Thankfully, this morning I was able to come up with a winning recipe (not noted in the ingredients, but make as many ingredients organic! Especially the vanilla as it often contains HFCS. I want to try making my own vanilla using this recipe from Heavenly Homemakers, one of new fave sites!)!

Cranberry Almond Oatmeal (makes 2 servings)
1/2 c steel cut oatmeal
1 c water
1 tsp vanilla
2 T sliced almonds
1 T honey
1 T dried cranberries

Cook oatmeal according to directions. Mine said to boil water, add oatmeal, boil for 5 minutes then simmer for 30. This was for making a whole cup of oatmeal, but it didn't take nearly that long with only 1/2 cup. Add in the other ingredients and enjoy!

The next recipe I've made my own recently is the Chewy Granola Bar recipe from Heavenly Homemakers. I've tried 2 variations, the first with all steel cut oats which was alright, but the one below is GREAT! I realized that I needed to start making my own after becoming addicted to the Nature's Promise choco chip chewy granola bars. I knew that even though they were "natural" there were still ingredients in them that I didn't want in my body.

Choco Chewy Granola Bars
1 cup peanut butter
2/3 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 1/2 cup oats (1/2 rolled, 1/2 steel cut) if the batter is too gooey you can add more
2/3 c each slivered almonds, unsweetened dried coconut, pumpkin seeds
1/4 organic semi-sweet chocolate chips
Melt PB, honey and oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat and add oats, combine and then add seeds/chips. Add more oats if too sticky. Pour into 9x13" greased pan and place in refrigerator. Cut into bars when cool and hard. They pack well but should be kept cool or they will turn mushy. Delish!
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