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Monday, September 29, 2014

Fresh Ramen Noodles and Veggies for One


My neighbor was moving and couldn’t use her regularly scheduled box of veggie goodness, and she was nice enough to give it to me. It was fun, like a puzzle, to figure out what could be made from this box of random things. Here’s what I came up with. You tell me how I did!

For the Dressing:
2 TBLSP tamari or soy sauce
2 TBLSP rice vinegar
1 ½ teaspoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons water
2 shakes of garlic powder
2 shakes of ginger powder
For the Salad:
6 ounces of fresh ramen noodles (not the dry ones, although you could use those with different cooking instructions) (Use rice for a gluten-free variation.)
½ ear of corn, kernels removed and collected
½ Persian cucumber, seeded and sliced lengthwise thinly
¼ cup julienned radicchio
2 green onions, diced
1/3 avocado, sliced thinly
½ carrot, julienned or shaved with a potato peeler
2 mushrooms, sliced thinly
1 TBLSP cut wakame (dried seaweed), reconstituted, if desired
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
Variations: Also try mung bean sprouts, peanuts, spinach, arugula--really, anything that's in the veggie bin!

Make the Dressing:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the tamari, rice vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, and water, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Add in the garlic and ginger powders and stir some more.
Make the Salad:

  1. Add the fresh ramen noodles to boiling water, stirring to separate the noodles. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 90 seconds, until tender.
  2. Drain thoroughly and run under cold water to stop the cooking process.
  3. Put the drained noodles in the center of the serving dish and make nice little piles of the salad components around it. Pour the dressing over the top and top with the dried wakame and sesame seeds.


This made one HUGE salad, but I did manage to eat it all. Yummy!

Variation: Try it with rice, too. I used Trader Joe’s Rice Medley, which has mustard seed and wild rice mixed into brown rice. Yummy! 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Snickerdoodles for One




This luscious little cake-y slice of heaven is light and fluffy and everything you want with your afternoon cuppa. It’s so quick to throw together that you might want to get the other tea things made first.

Cookie Dough
3 TBLSP all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon cornstarch
Pinch of baking powder
Pinch of cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
½ TBLSP vegan margarine, softened
½ TBLSP sugar
1/2 TBLSP almond milk
A dash of vanilla extract
Cinnamon Sugar
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 shakes of ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Well, just a little bit, enough for two cookies.
Make the Cookie Dough:
1.    In a small bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt.
2.    In another small bowl, shmush the butter until it’s soft. Cream in the butter and keep shmushing until it’s a little fluffy. Add in the almond milk and vanilla and keep shmushing until it’s amalgamated. In such a small quantity, it won’t completely combine. That’s okay. If you’re REALLY serious, you can use a whisk, but why dirty another tool?
3.    Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and combine until it’s smooth.
4.    Shape the dough into two 1-inch balls and flatten them into 2-inch disks.
Make the Cinnamon Sugar:
Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a little bowl. I use the same little bowl I mix wasabi and soy sauce together for dipping sushi. Itty bitty. Or, you could wipe out the bowl you mixed the flour in and use that.
Assemble the Cookies:
1.    Roll each dough ball in the cinnamon sugar and place 1 ½ inches apart on the baking sheet.
2.    Bake for 10-12 minutes, until they look dry on their tops and are lightly browned on the bottom.

3.    Let them cool on the cookie sheet or they will crumble. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Chocolate Coconut Cookies for One


Some flavors were meant to go together, and coconut goes with chocolate better than just about anything else! This simple little cookie is so rich that you’ll have to give the second one to me.

1/8 teaspoon flax seed meal
½ teaspoon water
2 TBLSP flour (white or whole, or try spelt for a gluten-free treat)
½ TBLSP cocoa powder
Dash of salt
Sprinkle of baking soda
1 TBLSP granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon brown sugar
½ TBLSOP almond milk
1 TBLSP raisins
2 TBLSP unsweetened coconut flakes

  1. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl, set aside.
  2. In a separate large bowl, mix both sugars and the canola oil until it’s combined, and then add the flax and almond milk.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until everything is wet.
  4. Add the raisins and stir.
  5. Refrigerate the dough for one hour. 

Tra-la-la

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Put the coconut flakes in a small bowl.
  1.  Take half of the dough and roll it into a ball. (Or two large cookies and one baby-sized.) Roll the dough ball in the coconut to coat and squish it a little to be more of a disk. Repeat with the other half of the dough. A lot of coconut should cling to each ball. You can top each ball with any left-over coconut so that it’s thickest right in the center of the cookie.
  2. Put the coconut-covered balls on the parchment-lined cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Peanut Butter Cookies for One


My mom made a LOT of cookies growing up, especially around the holidays. But peanut butter was not one of her flavors, so my childhood memories of peanut butter cookies come from the neighbor kid’s mom. (Hi, Spike Jones!) They were this wonderful cakey disk with a cross-hatch on the top. So this one’s for you, Mrs. Jones! (That really was her name.)

1 TBLSP of vegan butter
3 TBLSP of dark brown sugar, firmly packed
Pinch of kosher salt
¼ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
2 TBLSP of peanut butter
¼ teaspoon of baking soda <<try powder>>
3 TBLSP of all-purpose flour
Chopped candied ginger, chocolate chips, raisins (optional)
A small handful of peanut halves for the top (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
1.      In a microwave-safe bowl, heat butter just until it starts to melt (30 seconds or less). Blend melted butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla together. Stir in peanut butter. Add baking soda and flour, and stir until combined. If it needs more moisture (which is unlikely), add soy or almond milk in tiny splashes. Add in any optional items to the finished dough,
2.      Form the cookie dough into two balls and place on the lined baking sheet. The cookies will spread during baking, so make sure they are several inches apart. The dough will be very soft. Sprinkle a few peanuts on top of the raw cookies and pat them in a little, if you want, or use a fork to make traditional cross-hatching.
3.      Bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until the edges start to turn golden brown. (My oven took about 14 minutes.)
4.      Remove baking sheet from oven and let cookies cool on cookie sheet. They will be very soft and crumbly until they’re cool. Then they’re light and fluffy.


Makes two 3” cookies. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Shortbread Cookies for One


Sometimes, you just want something simple: a cookie in its essence. No fancy chocolate, no nuts, just a cookie. That’s what this cookie offers. Unless you add cardamom or cloves…or strawberries!


3 1/2 TBLSP all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon arrowroot or tapioca flour
1 TBLSP vegan butter
2 ½ teaspoons confectioner’s sugar
A dash of vanilla extract
½ teaspoon granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  1. In a small bowl, whisk the flour and arrowroot together. 
  2. In another small bowl, beat the butter with a wooden spoon until it’s creamy. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and beat it again.
  3. Add half of the flour to the butter mixture, and mix it in. Once it’s well-combined, add the other half of the flour. Keep mixing until it’s smooth.
  4. Lightly flour your work surface and roll the dough until it’s ¾ of an inch thick. Cut it with cookie cutters and lay the cut cookies on the prepared cookie sheet. Reroll any scraps and make that into a cookie too! I get about 5 little cookies.  
  5. Sprinkle the tops with granulated sugar.
  6. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until the bottoms of the cookies are golden brown.


Variations:

  • Drizzle the baked cookies with melted chocolate.
  • Add your favorite spice. I like cardamom, but try cloves, cinnamon, or ginger, too!
  • Make a divot in the center of each cookie with the back of a spoon or your finger and place a dollop of your favorite jam in there. You know mine is fig, but try grape, plum, orange marmalade, or cherry. If you double the recipe, you can make one of each!
  • Chop up some strawberries in the blender or food processor and swirl the resulting jam into the finished dough before rolling it and cutting it into shapes for strawberry shortbread cookies. You’ll need to increase the amount of flour by 1 TBLSP to make it dry enough to roll out, and this nearly doubles the resulting number of cookies. Is that a bad thing? (Shown below.)


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Oatmeal Cookie for One


There’s nothing quite so comforting as a nice oatmeal raisin cookie. I’ve heard them called ranger cookies and cowboy cookies and even breakfast cookies; it doesn’t really matter what you call them; they’re filling and sweet disks of happiness. With raisins.

2 TBLSP flour
1 TBLSP brown sugar
½ TBLSP white sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
A shake of cinnamon, ground cloves, orange zest, ground ginger, or any combination (optional)
2 TBLSP vegan butter
3 ½ TBLSP oatmeal (quick oats)
1/2 TBLSP almond milk
½ TBLSP raisins
1 teaspoon walnut pieces
½ TBLSP chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet or grease the baking sheet well.
  1. Combine flour, sugars, baking powder, and spices (if any) in a small mixing bowl. (Use a cereal bowl. If the bowl is too big, you’ll be chasing the ingredients around.)
  2. Cream in the butter.
  3. Add the oatmeal, mixing thoroughly.
  4. Mix in the milk.
  5. Add in the raisins, walnuts, and chocolate chips, stirring until just barely combined.
  6. Pat and squeeze into two cookies. They will be inclined to fall apart, so give each patty a good squeeze. Place the cookies on the greased baking sheet or parchment paper.
  7. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until golden on top. Let cool on the baking sheet or they will completely fall apart. (They seem to congeal nicely once they’re cool.)

Makes two substantial cookies or three normal-sized ones.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Fig Cookies for One


Figs make everything better, don’t you agree? And their season is so short, you really have to use figs every day to get the best mileage out of them. Too much for you? That’s okay. Bring me your extras. I’ll eat ‘em.

If you’re looking for something new to do with figs, try these cake-like cookies with a dollop of fresh fig on the top.

1 teaspoon flax seed meal
1 ½ teaspoon water
4 TBLSP all-purpose flour
Dash of baking powder
Dash of ground cinnamon
Dash of salt
1 TBLSP vegan butter, softened
1 TBLSP granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoon brown sugar
Dash of vanilla extract
1 fresh fig, halved
1 TBLSP walnuts, chopped

Preheat the oven the 375 degrees F. Grease a small baking sheet or cover it with parchment paper.
  1. Put the flax seed meal and water in a small bowl and give it a little stir. Set it aside. You’ll need the glop that forms in a minute.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. In another small bowl, mix the butter and both sugars. Add the flax glop and vanilla and give it a good mix.
  4. Add in the flour mixture and stir until well combined.
  5. Scoop the meat out of the fig, and reserve a teaspoon of the it. Chop the skins and the rest of the meats until they’re mushy. Add the fig mush and walnuts to the cookie dough and stir gently to combine.
  6. Scoop the soft dough into the prepared baking sheet in two soft mounds. It will be inclined to spread, so leave space. Top each mound with a bit of the reserved fig meat. You might give the fig meat a chop if it seems like too solid a blob for your liking.
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Let them cool on the baking sheet or they will fall apart.


Variation: Add in chopped crystalized ginger with the walnuts for an extra punch. Perhaps a teaspoon’s worth, chopped tiny.