Monday, March 21, 2011

Dulci's Famous Vegan Apple Cake made Gluten Free!

There are a lot of recipes that I used to make but have not been able to because two out of four of us are gluten free.  One of our favorites was this vegan/lenten (we are vegan at certain times of the year due to fasting in our church) apple cake recipe given to us years ago by our koumbara (we are godparents to their daughter).  Anyway, I miss this cake.  And while it is not sugar free (I am one of those crazy people who does not eat sugar or artificail sweeteners- DH is not sugar free)- it is nice to, on occasion, have a decent lenten/vegan dessert that you can bring to a potluck or serve to guests. 

About six months ago, I discovered Jules Gluten Free flour mix and have had wonderful results making GF bread in my bread machine and following Jules' recipes for making cookies, pizza, etc.  And nothing tastes like it is GF- you know what I mean- slightly gritty, maybe with a "bean" aftertaste.  I have 5 or 6 of her ecookbooks and use them often.  So I made a GF Irish Soda bread the other night for St. Patrick's day and it was amazing.  I decided, ok. let's put this flour to the test and try a recipe that we loved but haven't been able to eat in a few years. 

It turned out great!  I took it to our mom's potluck last night.  There is one piece left and I am going to save it for DH while I take the boys to the monastery for the night.
Here is the recipe (I 1/2'd the recipe because if it didn't turn out, I did not want to "waste" that much flour as it is kind of spendy- but in one of Jules' cookbooks she has the ratio for her flour mix and sometimes I buy the flour and sometimes I mix it myself).
Dulci's Famous Vegan (and now Gluten Free) Apple Cake

6 apples, peeled & sliced (like for a pie)

1.5 c sugar
1/2 c veg oil
1/2 c olive oil
1 t vanilla
combine apples & sugar in a pot over LOW heat. When sugar melts, add oils & vanilla & stir

In a large bowl combine
3 c flour
1 t soda
1 t cinnamon
1 t cloves

When apple mixture is ready, stir it into the flour mixture until it's well combined - it will be gooey!
Bake at 350 for 40-50min in a greased & floured 9x13 cake pan. The top will be a dark golden brown & slightly crispy.

NOTE: for the oil, I used coconut oil.  You can use any combination of oil to make this- I probably wouldn't use all olive oil, though.  But a combination of coconut oil and olive oil would work nicely.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Treacle Tea Cake (aka Irish Soda Beer Bread) (also dairy, soy, nut & egg-free!)

Treacle Tea Cake (aka Irish Soda Beer Bread) (also dairy, soy, nut & egg-free!)
In Celebration of St. Patrick's Day. Next, I am going to attempt a St. Phanourios cake using Jules' Gluten Free Flour mix. But that will probably be for next week.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

New Recipe...

and, wow, has it been a long time....
First, Happy Feast of the Entry of the Theotokos into the Temple!

We are now well into the Nativity Fast.  For this year, I wrote up a list of all our favorite Lenten recipes and then a second list of new recipes that I would like to try.  Most of the next 40 days we will have meals that I have already published the recipes on this blog.  Especially from last Nativity Fast (when I attempted as many new recipes as possible).

Anyway, last night I tried one of those new recipes and I am posting it for you now:)


Greek Ragout
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions quartered and very thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 pounds boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks
28 oz diced tomatoes, drained
3/4 lb trimmed fresh green beans
1/4 vegetable broth
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. sugar
salt and pepper to taste
juice of half a lemon (1 1/2 Tbs- which I actually forgot to add to last night's meal so it tastes pretty good without it)

In a medium stockpot, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add onions and garlic and cook over low heat.  Cook about 15 minutes until very tender.  Add potatoes, tomatoes, green beans, broth, oregano, sugar, salt and pepper.  Bring to a brisk simmer.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer gently for 1 hour, stirring occasionally or until the veggies are tender but not mushy.Add lemon juice and cook for an additional 5 - 10 minutes.  serve warm.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Zucchini and Tomato Soup

Here is a keeper.  Even the children are eating it!

Zucchini Tomato Soup (you could leave out the zucchini and have a really good tomato soup)
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 med. onion, finely chopped
5 cloves of garlic (we like garlic- you could use less)
1 bay leaf
1 medium zucchini, halved and cut into 1/4 in. pieces
1 jar roasted red peppers (I didn't have any and it tastes great without it)
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1 tsp. oregano
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups macaroni type paste (i used gluten free)
1/2 cup white beans (already soaked and cooked)

Heat a pot over medium heat.  Add oil, onions and garlic.  Saute for a few minutes, stirring.  Add bay leaf, zucchini, salt, pepper, oregano.  Cover pot and cook five minutes.  Add tomatoes, tomato paste, broth, and water.  Bring to a boil.  Add pasta and beans.  Reduce heat and cook for 5-10 minutes (depending on how you like your pasta).  For a non fasting day, garnish with parmesan cheese!  Yum!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

St. Phanourios...

Tomorrow is the feast of St. Phanourios.  Right now, I am making my "phanouropita"- the cake that you make for St. Phanourious when you find something you lost.  A few months ago, it was my weekend to make prosphoro for church.  I get ready to make it and I cannot find my prosphoro seal that my DH bought from Mt. Athos.  Those at our church know that this is a really nice seal.  It's big.  It's carved very deep into the wood.  It is a great seal.  I search the whole kitchen and even in other areas of the house (I keep my seal in a specific place so it was odd that it was missing).  I let a friend borrow it, but I remember getting it back from her.  Did I let someone else borrow it and I just don't remember?  Fortunately for that Sunday, I had my yiayia's seal.  And it was nice to use her seal, although it is made of plastic.  And it is not as nice as my seal.  I ask around at church, no, it does not seem that I let someone borrow it.  I pray to St. Phanourios- help me to find my seal!  And, a few weeks later, I am taking something down from a shelf in the kitchen (the shelf where I also keep my seal) and there it is- seriously, it was not there and then there it was- so in keeping with tradition, I am baking a phanouropita.  This is actually going to be a gluten free apple spice cake.  I have baked the "traditional" cake but our priest says that any cake will do.  I have a mom's group potluck dinner tonight and I think I might bring it there to share with the women of our parish.  But, I will, of course, leave a few slices home for DH.  Thank you, St. Phanourios, the finder of lost things!  Through his intercessions, may the Lord have mercy on us and save us!!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day Three through the end of the journey....

Uhm, yeah.  So I stopped writing about our summer trip after day 2.  We were just a bit busy.  Now that my sister is back in Moscow, we are not so busy:)  So, for those of you who have been holding your breath to read about our trip to Crater Lake/Northern California, here is the condensed, one post verion.  This might be a long one (or it might not) so maybe you should go pour yourself a cup of coffe (or some green tea), pull up a chair, and read....

Day three we showered (yeah!) at Crater Lake (really, at the shower facilities in the campground- I think it was 75 cents for 5 minutes- I have to say it is nice that I get to take my shower all by myself and get ready, etc. while DH has both boys with him in the shower- the small things).  And started the next part of our journey.  With Mt. Shasta soon in our view (is that one beautiful mountain or what) we drove to Manton, CA to the Monastery of St. John of San Francisco.  Our original plan was to go to Mt. Lassen to camp for one night and stop by the monastery for a few hours on our way to San Francisco.  But, a few weeks prior to leaving, we receive an automated phone call cancelling our camp reservation due to snow- Mt. Lassen did not open up until July 8 (I believe that was the date).  So we missed it by a day or two, BUT we were happy to be able to visit the monastery (esp. because we have a friend who is working towards entering that monastery and we got to check it out- it was esp. good for Big P because he is close to this friend and we talked a lot about where Mr. J would be living and becoming a monk, in general).  The boys loved it.  They have this wonderful dog (and, while we were there, they had a new puppy).  The chanting was amazing.  Big P made it throught the services, little p struggles with going to church.  The monastery is beautiful.  We had wonderful dinner (it was the feast of the birth of St. John the Baptist- they are Old Calendar).  It would have been nice to stay for a few days but. alas, the next day we departed for San Francisco.

On purpose, we made each "leg" of our journey about 4 hours long so that we were not in the car for too long.  And, we would not have to stop to eat (plenty of potty stops- esp. for little p) just have snacks in the car.  One of our goals on this trip was to not have to eat out (with our gluten free diet it can sometimes be difficult to even find places to eat - and for DH, a burger without the bun just isn't enough for him).  I planned all our meals plus extra. 

Anyway, no trouble getting to San Francisco.  Beautiful city.  I have been before (so has DH).  We really needed more time there.  DH found a state park about 20 minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge.  We pull into the park and find out that we have to carry all of our camping equipment anywhere from 500 yards to 1200 yards (we leave the car in the parking lot).  I was not thrilled with this plan (esp. when we at first couldn't find our site and DH is walking up this big hill and I am thinking about how many trips it will take to get even our basic car camping equipment up there, etc.  As it turned out, we had passed our site so we walked back and found it and it actually (I have to swallow my pride and admit to this) ended up being one of the nicest campgrounds we have ever stayed at (China Beach State Park). 

Our two goals for San Francisco were to go to the Holy Virgin Cathedral - Joy of all who Sorrow to venerate the relics of St. John of San Francisco and to go to Alcatraz.  The "plan" was to go to Alcatraz around 12:30 (that was our departure time) and then spend a few hours there.  Afterwards we would go to the Cathedral for Vesper's.  Not knowing San Francisco traffic in the morning, we left at 9am.  We arrived at the wharf at 9:30.  Hm.  We have three hours before the boat departs.  Let's head over to the cathedral.  We arrived at the cathedral shortly after liturgy was over and about 1/2 hour before the bookstore would open.  We went inside.  Aside from a babushka sitting in the corner, we were the only people in the cathedral.  The boys were able to ask questions about the different icons and to venerate the icons without my worrying about their noise level (they were quiet and respectful).  It was so peaceful inside the church.  We stayed for quite awhile.  Went to the bookstore, eventually.  Met a man from the tri-cities who goes often to the monastery in Goldendale, bought a gift for our godson (who had recently celebrated his nameday and is named for St. John of SF), and left for Alcatraz.  I felt that I was given the opportunity to lay my prayers at the feet of this wonderful saint and when I left, a huge burden had been lifted.  I was at peace.
Alcatraz was fun.  Big P loved it.  I have lots of great pictures on Facebook if you want to look at them.  After Alcatraz we were so exhausted (you know, you just don't sleep well camping) that we walked around for a bit and headed back to camp.  And we were happy that we went to the cathedral before Alcatraz rather than waiting for vesper's where there would be more people and I would probably be stressed by the boys behavior, etc.  All worked out well.

The next day, we woke up early, had breakfast and broke camp.  DH wanted to drive up Hwy 101 to get to St. Herman's monastery (about a 4 1/2 hour trip- a little longer than the more direct route).  So we did this.  We punched it into the GPS and headed north.  Ok, so word of advice.  Never trust your GPS.  It had us going on this crazy route (when we left 101).  I actually saw the GPS add time to our trip as it re-adjusted and re-calculated.  Our 4 hour trip ended up taking closer to 7 hours.  I drove on a dirt road at one point.  I repeat- A DIRT ROAD.  DH asked if I wanted him to drive.  I, clenching the wheel, said, through my gritted teeth, "no. I am venting my frustration on this dirt road."  It was crazy.  I would highly recommend not doing this ever.

But we made it, eventually.  I have heard of Platina for years (having read a number of Fr. Seraphim's books, etc.).  I did not realize that it is population 65.  Hm.  Big P asked when will be there and I said we have to go through a town first.  It was more like a gas station. 

The monastery is beautiful.  Rugged.  The trapeza and courtyard reminded me of Greece (could have been the heat reminding me of Greece, too).  We were there for the feast day of Sts. Sergius and Herman which they have a small chapel dedicated to these saints.  So there was a vigil in the evening (little p and mama had to go back to the cabin because little p just couldn't make it through the service) and then liturgy in the chapel.  It was so beautiful.  Very intimate.  Beautiful chanting.  There isn't electricity or running water as we know it at the monastery.  And it is so remote that when the sun sets, it is very dark.  I saw lots of deer. 
After liturgy and the meal, we were given a tour of the monastery.  The monk gave the boys peacock feathers because at one point there were peacocks at the monastery.  It was a wonderful tour.  They have this amazing cemetary (during the service, I took little p to the cemetery where he kissed the crosses multiple times- it's a lot of crosses).  We went to Fr. Seraphim's cell and to where he is buried.  And then we packed up and left.

Our original plan was to drive into Oregon, find a place to stay, and then head home on Monday (and DH would go back to work on Tues.).  But since we had that lovely adventure of driving for so long to get to St. Herman's the day before, we decided to push it and head home.  Without stops, it was a 7 1/2 hour trip.  We of course, have to stop.  And we knew that we would have to stop to eat.  But if we went straight home than DH would have all of Monday to help me put away the camping stuff, start laundry, take the boys to their first day of swimming lessons, relax a little.  So we pushed it and we came striaght home.  And the boys were wonderful in the car.  Oh, and the GPS redeemed itself- just south of Salem we hit horrible traffic.  No one was moving.  So the GPS gave us an alternative route and we followed it and we bypassed all of the traffic.

It was a great trip- tiring, but very enjoyable.
DH thinks that we might be able to drive to Wisconsin next summer to visit his family.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


or Thank God for Digital Cameras...
I forgot to add that every time we go to a museum or some sort of display, Big P wants me to take a picture of him standing next to each display.  There is this little museum that overlooks Crater Lake.  I have pictures of Big P standing next to each display case.  He wanted me to take a picture of him next to each picture (there is a wall of framed pictures- some old, some new) but I convinced him that it would be alright if I just took one picture of him standing in the middle of the wall:)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Day 2 Crater Lake and how a one mile hike can turn into five miles...

Paul looked up the 10 day  forecast for each destination on our trip in order that we would be able to pack appropriately.  Crater Lake was supposed to be high of 60.  It was more like high of 75 in the shade.  Not complaining, but I did pack a lot of long sleeve shirts and pants (along with skirts for monastery/church visiting).  I only brought two pairs of shorts (which can definitely not be worn at the monastery) and our plan was to not do any laundry at all during the vacation (there really wasn't a chance to do any laundry).

Day 2- we went to the two visitor centers, watched a movie about Crater Lake, picked up our Junior Ranger activity books (the boys do activities and earn stamps to eventually earn a Junior Ranger Patch which is kind of cool because my boys collect patches from different places that we visit and I sew them on their school backpacks- my sister came up with this idea first so credit goes to her:).  We bought postcards for the grandma and both sets of cousins and mailed them.  We saw lots of amazing views of the lake and Paul really really wanted to do the hike down to the lake.  I asked the ranger how it was (difficulty-wise- we DO have a four year old).  Ranger said it is easy going down, difficult going up.  Ok, well, let's give it a shot.  Later in the evening at the campsite, one of the rangers had a program and he said that hike is a mile down, five miles up.  That felt about right.  Paul ended up carrying little p on his shoulders most of the way up.  I was with Big P and about a million mosquitoes.  It was nice at the water (very cold, by the way).  Big P and I tried stopping every so often on the trail back up, but each time we stopped, we were attacked by all those mosquitoes.  So we kept going.  This is the only hike that I have ever heard Big P complain on- and we have done lots of hiking with him.  And he never complains. 

We went back to the site and made dinner and went to the ranger program.  The next day we were leaving for St. John of Shanghai monastery in Manton, CA so we began packing some things.  At the entrance of the campground there were showers ($.75 for 4 minutes).  We decided to shower on our way out in the morning.  End of day 2 (I don't think anyone could ever tire of just looking at the lake- it was disappointing to not be able to drive around the whole lake- ti na kanoume (what can you do).

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

First stop- Crater Lake (three days, two nights)- Day 1

I am going to try to write up some of our experiences from our vacation in early July.  I think I will do it day by day.  I will maybe post a few pictures, too.

I am a  native Oregonian.  I have never been to Crater Lake (does that sound like an almost sin?).  I have always wanted to go.  So, as part of our Summer Vacation 2010 adventure, we decided to divide up our driving into roughly four hour time slots (drive four hours- stop somewhere for at least one night- continue driving).  We thought it would be easier on the youngest son to not drive 12 hours in one day.  Which, it did work out well overall (except on two occasions, but those are future posts).

Words are insufficient to describe Crater Lake.  You enter the park and there is no lake.  Drive for a short distance (up) and then round a bend and you see it.  Rob/Paul says it is the most beautiful place he has ever been (and he has travelled all over the US).  The deep blue of the water reminded us of the blue of the Mediteranean.  But this is a LAKE.  He grew up surrounded by lakes (the great lakes anyone?).  And he had never seen a lake quite like this.  And you cannot just walk down to the lake.  There are two (I believe) trails that lead down to the lake- otherwise it is a literal bowl of water- cliffs straight down to the water.

Ok, other than the indescribable beauty (I agree, it is one of the most beautiful sites I have ever visited- I would have liked to have been one of those pioneers who happened on the lake- a few too many tourists to call it really peaceful) I was surprised by the amount of snow still on the ground!  We could not do the rim drive because half the rim road was closed due to snow (all the while I am thinking that we are camping in this- Paul has threatened to take me winter camping on Mt. Hood every year - he goes with friends- I always decline- camping in snow just doesn't sound fun to me).  Anyway, it was not ever cold, just that there were snow packs on the ground.  Even in our campsite.  And because it is such a late thaw, the mosquitoes were everywhere.  I stepped out of our vehicle to be greeted by hundreds of eager mosquitoes, ready for dinner (and we were dinner).  One can of deep woods off later we were ready to battle the mosquitoes (needless to stay, after three days and two nights at this site, the mosquitoes won) and set up camp.  It was a nice site.  We had our own personal snowpack that little p had fun climbing up and down (declaring that he was king of the mountain). 

We walked around our campground.  Paul and Big P hiked the trail down to Annie Creek (I believe that was what it was called?!?).  little p did not want to go- which was probably a good thing because there was a lot of snow on the trails and would have been a difficult hike for him.

*no pictures posted, yet.  I deleted them off of the laptop after posting them on Facebook (we keep our pictures on the upstairs computer).

Monday, July 05, 2010

Vacation Starts Today...

Today we are leaving for our summer vacation.
First stop, Crater Lake for 3 days, two nights.
Next stop, the Monastery of St. John of San Francisco for one night.
Third stop, San Francisco for 3 days, two nights.
Fourth stop, St.Herman's monastery for one night.
Then head back to Oregon and maybe stay somewhere for one night or drive straight home (depending on how we feel).

We are camping except when we are at the monasteries.  I don't think I have gone camping for this long (I went on one really big packpacking trip that was about a week long but not camping). 

I don't know if we are going to have internet access- I don't want to take the laptop but DH wants to take it.
See you in a week!!!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Special Trout Dinner Tonight...

The boys went to a Cub Scout fishing thing yesterday and each caught a legal sized trout (DH complains often of the fishing rules and regulations here in the Pacific NW- I guess it's a lot different in UP Michigan where he grew up).

Anyway, here is the recipe we are using for the fish.  It is pouring rain so we can't BBQ it- so we are baking it.  In June. 

Will post a picture of the boys with the fish later.  Pictures posted, as you can see:)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Still here...

Christos Anesti! Shannon has prompted me to post something (Shannon, are you on facebook?) I guess it HAS been a while since I last posted. Nothing new to report... just busy with life! We had a lovely Holy Week and Pascha. My parents are now in Greece; but returning on Monday (as long as the volcano does not spew out more ash). We had our spring break during bright week (did not go anywhere, but recovered from Holy Week and Pascha). We are back in school. My tulips have pretty much come and gone. Garden is started. Geraniums are on the front porch and pansies are on the back porch (I don't go in for annuals EXCEPT for these planters of geraniums and pansies- two of my favorite flowers). The geraniums must be red and the pansies must be dark purple. Don't ask me why- that's just how I like them. And here is a picture of my pansies.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day and Italian Minestrone...

Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day- DH's Irish granfather was named Patrick.  If we had another boy, his name would have been Joseph Patrick (after both of DH's grandfathers).  Anyway, happy nameday to all the Patrick's!

I made this Minestrone over the weekend.  3/4 of us liked it.  Big P is still not a fan of soup in general (unless it is lentil soup or chili).  little p gobbled it up.

Italian Minestrone
1 cup dried white beans (I soaked two cups of white beans and now have some in the freezer for future use)
8 cups vegetable broth or combination broth and water
1/4 cup olive oil
2 medium onions chopped
2 small carrots chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 large cloves garlic minced
2 lbs. tomatoes or 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp ground sage
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
8 oz. potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
4 oz green beans trimmed and cut into 1 in. pieces
1/2 cup uncooked macaroni (I used GF)
2 small zucchini

Soak the beans however you soak beans.  In a large stockpot heat oil over medium heat.  Add the onions, carrots, celery, and cook, until vegetables are softened (about 10 minutes).  add the garlic and increase heat.  add broth, tomatoes, spices (I did not use thyme or sage- i do not really like thyme or sage so I used oregano).  Bring to boil over high heat, reduce heat and cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
add the potatoes, green beans and pasta (I would wait a little longer to add the pasta).  bring to a boil.  reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.  add the zucchini (add pasta here instead), stirring well to combine. add the beans stirring well.  cover and gently simmer until the pasta and vegetables are tender and the beans are heated through.  Serve hot.

This soup would go well with bread.  I wish I had made some GF bread to go along with it but that takes planning!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Corn and Bean Tamale Pie and yes, I do things other than cook:)

I used to post things on this blog.  Pictures, anecdotes from my life, notes from retreats, book lists, etc.  Somehow I have gone down the path of posting recipes.  And while I do enjoy cooking and I actually do enjoy trying new lenten recipes to mix things up a bit in our home, I guess there is more to me than just cooking (although, there are days that I feel like all I did was spend the entire day in the kitchen- esp. after making a loaf of bread that takes 3 1/2 hours from start to finish- yikes!).

Last weekend I went with our women's group to the monastery in Goldendale.  Always a joy to go visit.  This time was special for two reasons: the company in the car (you know who you are;) and to have a wonderful talk with a special sister at the monastery.  I will leave it at that.  Gerondissa, as always, said many profound things and I forgot my notebook.  So, Katie, if you are reading, will you please type up your monastery notes for me and either email them or post them on your own blog (heehee)?  I would GREATLY appreciate it.

One thing Gerondissa mentioned is the Panagia as our mother and running to her as we run to our own mother's.  I forget this at times.  That she is there to console us in our times of trouble and delight with us in our times of joy.  I try to teach my children this; but, of course, we mom's are very good about taking care of everyone else but mommy.  I had tears in my eyes as Gerondissa spoke of our Panagia.  May she watch over us and protect us!  (I still want those notes, though, Katie:)   NOTE: Panagia is the Theotokos, Mother of God.  Especially in this season of preparate for Annunciation with our Akathist Hymns on Friday evenings- and the struggles of Lent- always worthwhile to remember the Mother of God who knows what it is to be a mother and to watch her own Son crucified- but also to have the joy of the Resurrection- OK- I could go on... 

The boys in our family went camping while I was away... camping.  In March.  Not snow camping (little p wanted to know if they were going to "Mountain Hood")- I don't think the Biggest P (DH) is ready to take the boys snow camping.  Anyway, they had a wonderful time and the boys were great.  They all love the outdoors (I do too, and I did spend a lot of time walking the monastery grounds).

I am in the midst of filling out grant applications for our school.  One to go out today (I am sort of procastinating by writing on the blog because I am waiting for one question to be answered and then it needs to be converted to Orthodoxy oh, I mean to a pdf file and then off it goes).  This is my first grant writing project in a very long time.  I am re-learning the art of BS, uhm, I mean, wordiness, uhm, I mean, making things sound pretty:)

Ok, enough is dinner from last night. 

Corn and Bean Tamale Pie
1 1/2 cups corn or two ears of fresh corn (guess which option I chose, come on, guess?)
1 Tbs. oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 green chiles, seeded and chopped
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 lb. ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped or 1 can diced tomatoes (again, guess which option I chose?)
1 Tbs. tomato paste
1 4 oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed OR 1 bag of frozen black beans that used to be dried and I soaked and cooked last week (guess which option I chose?) 
1 tsp. oregano
1 cup polenta
1 Tbs. flour (GF flour, thank you)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 egg lightly beaten (or whatever egg substitute you like to use)
1/2 cup milk or fake milk product (we use rice milk)
1 Tbs. butter (or margarine)
2 oz. melted cheese grated (or soy cheese)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Ok, I used frozen corn and did not parboil the ears of corn, etc.  I just do not see myself ever using two ears of corn for this recipe.  and I googled how much corn is in 1 ear of corn and came up with 3/4 cup. Anyway, moving on...
Heat oil in large pan and fry the onion, garlic and pepper for 5 minutes until softened.  add the chiles and cumin and fry for 1 more minute.  Stir in tomatoes (or can of tomatoes), tomato paste, beans (I used 1 2/3 cup black beans (b/c that's how I measure out my beans after I soak and cook them, etc.) which is more beans than the recipe calls for and it was fine), corn, and oregano.  bring to a boil then simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the topping by mixing together the polenta, flour, salt, baking powder, egg, milk and butter in a bowl to form a smooth, thick batter.
transfer the beans and corn mixture to an oven proof dish and spoon the polenta mixture on top and spread evenly.  bake for 30 minutes.  remove from oven, top with cheese, then return to oven for 10 more minutes.

this was very good.  3 out of 4 people in our home liked this.  Big P did not like it (he can be super picky and doesn't really like corn anyway).  But everyone else liked it.  In DH's words, "it's a keeper."

Monday, March 08, 2010

Asian Spicy Green Beans...

I have been trying new recipes, I am just not posting all of them.  Last week I made my own black bean "burger" patties and they were good.  Even Big P ate his right up! 
Then I went to the monastery with the women from our church for an overnight stay (our women's group goes once a year, usually during Lent- I will take the P's with me for overnights during the year).  DH and the boys went camping.  Yes, camping in March!  They had a blast and, as it turned out, Sat. was beautiful here (60 degrees and sunny).  I came home from the monastery and have lost my voice and now have a bad cold.  I hope it does not last too long (I am very blessed that I do not get sick too often- but when I do, it is usually a doozy (note: this is aside from the chronic stuff I have- if I didn't have lupus, I would be considered super healthy:)

On to Asian Spicy Green Beans:
1 cup white or jasmine rice cooked to directions
1 pound fresh green beans washed and trimmed
2 Tbs. sesame oil
1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 inch fresh gingerroot, grated or minced
Juice of 1 orange
2 Tbs hoisin sauce (I have some GF hoisin sauce)
slivered almonds for a garnish (ok, so I didn't have any slivered almonds but I happened to have cashew pieces so I used those)

Cook rice.  Steam green beans in simmering water for 3 minutes covered.  Rinse in cool water then drain.  Place a large skillet on the stove over high heat.  Add oil then onion and pepper.  stir fry 1-2 minutes then add garlic, crushed red pepper, ginger, and beans and stir fry 1 more minute.  squeeze orange juice over the pan and add hoisin sauce.  toss everything to coat.  Serve with rice and toasted slivered almonds (or cashews).

This was really good.  I loved it.  DH loved it.  Picky boys who eat peas and brocolli didn't love it.  I would highly recommend doubling the recipe because it was really enough for two adults.