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Monday, June 30, 2014

Spinach and Roasted Garlic Dip for One

1 clove garlic
1 cup fresh spinach, packed firmly
2 TBLSP vegan mayonnaise
2 TBLSP vegan sour cream
1 slice of lemon or lime, juiced (you want the juice)
1 green onion, diced finely
1 TBLSP shredded carrot (about an inch and a half, depending on the girth of the carrot)
2 teaspoons diced fresh parsley
Pinch of celery salt
Salt and pepper to taste

  •     Roast peeled garlic in the oven at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes, turning once.
  •     Steam spinach in a small saucepan for about 5 minutes, until wilted. Strain and press as much of the water out as you can. Don’t burn yourself! (I use a strainer and a fork.)
  •     Chop the spinach. I just do it on the cutting board for this small amount, but you could use a Cuisinart if you have one of those small ones. You might be able to squeeze some more water out of it once it’s chopped, too.
  •     In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, green onion, carrot, and parsley, and then stir in the chopped spinach.
  •     Season with celery salt, salt and pepper.
  •     Chill for at least an hour before devouring with your favorite dipping device!

Good with crudités, bread, or chips! 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Peach Pie for One

This little pie is labor-intensive, and you will spend MUCH longer making it than eating it, but boy oh boy is it worth it! Peaches are in season now, so go and get yourself some ripe ones!

½ cup all-purpose flour
1 pinch salt
2 TBLSP shortening or vegan butter
2 teaspoons ice water
2 1/2 teaspoons vodka (you can use all ice water, if you prefer)

1 TBLSP granulated sugar
½ TBLSP brown sugar, packed
1 very ripe fresh peach, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
A sprinkle of ground nutmeg
A sprinkle of ground cinnamon
A shake of salt (less than a pinch)
Juice of one lemon wedge
½ teaspoon vegan butter

            1 teaspoon almond milk
            1 teaspoon granulated sugar

Make the Dough
  • In a small bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in the butter or shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Then add the water and vodka and mix until it holds together in a very soft dough. (Vodka is a pie-maker’s trick. If you use it the crust will be a little lighter. In such small quantities, though, you may not notice the difference. The alcohol burns off, so you don’t taste it, but, like the water, it evaporates and leaves little fluffy openings in the dough.)
  • Form the dough into a ball. Be careful not to overwork the dough. Just squish it together until it holds. If it's a hot day, refrigerate it for 15 minutes or so. 
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough ball into a 7- or 8-inch circle or square.
  • Put the dough, still flat, in the refrigerator for an hour or two (overnight is fine). I use the same waxed paper that I roll it on (speeds clean-up), slide it onto a plate, and cover with another sheet of waxed paper. You might prefer plastic wrap if you have a lot of stinky things in your fridge.  

Make the Filling
  •  Combine the sugars in a small bowl.
  •  Put the peach pieces into the sugars with as much juice as you can capture, and give it a gentle stir. Cover and let it stand for a half hour. (After the half hour, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a ramekin. )
  •  Drain the peaches, capturing the juice in a small saucepan. Set the fruit pieces aside while you deal with the juice.
  •  To the small saucepan of juice, add the cornstarch, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. Stir it up and bring it to a boil. Keep stirring. This should thicken quickly—in about a minute.
  •  Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice and butter. 
  •  Gently fold in the peaches.

Your oven should be preheated to 375 degrees and your ramekin already greased. If you didn't do it before the third step in Make the Filling, do it now.  

Assemble the Pie
  • Cut out a section of dough large enough to cover the bottom and sides of your ramekin, with about a half-inch extra at the top for folding over. You may have to do some trimming to avoid thick places.
  • With the remaining dough, make enough thin strips (cut them with a floured knife) to make a lattice top, or cut a circle to place on top of the pie. I like to assemble the lattice on my waxed paper, and then lift it onto the filling. That way, the filling spends the least amount of time making the bottom crust soggy.
  • Pour the filling into the crust.
  • Assemble the lattice on top of the pie or place the crust. Crimp the edges to the ½ inch of extra dough from the bottom crust.
  • Brush the top lattice or crust with milk. I just slopped some into a small bowl and did it with my fingers. Sprinkle the crust lightly with the sugar, just enough to make it sparkly. If you made a solid crust on top, prick it with a fork in several places.
  •  Put the ramekin on a baking sheet (it can get messy), and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
Let it cool on a rack. If you can wait until it's completely cool, it will taste better. (I had to leave the house in order to resist temptation.)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Fennel and Mushroom Salad for One

I love this salad! The mushrooms are fabulous with a nice citrus zing to them, and the crunch of the fennel is refreshing too. 

If you have a mandolin to slice the mushrooms and fennel, you’ll get an elegant slice. Careful work with a sharp knife also works just fine.

1 TBLSP extra-virgin olive oil
            1 small clove garlic, pressed
            ½ TBLSP chopped FRESH tarragon
            Salt and ground black pepper to taste

            ½ teaspoon lemon zest
1 TBLSP fresh lemon juice
            Salt to taste

            2 mushrooms, thinly sliced
            2/3 cup of the root and stalk of a fennel bulb, slivered and cut to bite-size
            1 TBSPL of the fronds from a fennel bulb, chopped finely
            1 thin slice of yellow onion, slivered

1.      In a tiny bowl, whisk together the olive oil, garlic, tarragon, salt, and pepper to make the dressing. Set aside
2.      In a small bowl, stir the lemon juice and salt together until the salt is dissolved. This is the marinade.
3.     Add the mushrooms to the marinade and let them soak up that nice juice while you slice the fennel and onion. Add those on top without stirring.

4.      Pour the dressing over the top of it all and mix gently. 

    A larger serving in a non-vegan variation (with cheese) is on my website here: 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Pizza for One

Sometimes, you just want pizza, am I right? With this little recipe, there's no reason to wait for delivery or a party--you can just do it yourself!

I am allergic to tomatoes, so I used a pesto sauce (recipe included), and the pizza in the picture has pesto sauce, red onions, artichoke quarters, black olives, sunflower seeds, and Daiyu faux Mozzaralla on it. The crust is thin and crispy; I'm working on a deep dish version. Explore all your own favorite toppings and let me know how it goes!

Grease the pan/aluminum foil/parchment paper VERY HEAVILY. It sticks. Sprinkle the pan with corn meal.

1/2 cup whole wheat bread flour, plus a little more for shaping (you can also use all purpose)
Pinch of sugar
Generous pinch of salt
1 teaspoon active dried yeast (Bread-Machine Yeast works fine, too)
3 to 4 TBLSP warm water

·         In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Stir in 3 TBSP of water. If the dough is SUPER dry, then add a little more water and mix again. Go easy. 
·         Dump the contents of the bowl out onto a lightly floured work surface and sprinkle with flour. You may need to add more flour to make the dough kneadable if it’s too wet or sticky. 
·         Knead gently until the dough comes together into a ball. It'll be sticky and very soft. This should take 1 or 2 minutes. It kind of changes to have a delicate sheen when the gluten and the yeast have begun to do their thing. That's when you stop kneading. 
·         Shape and stretch the dough as thinly as you can, into a large circle. It should be about 7 inches in diameter.
·         Leave it in a nice warm place to rise while you preheat the oven to 425 degrees F for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the pesto and prepare the toppings. 

¾ cup fresh basil leaves
1 TBLSP fresh cilantro leaves (you can use parsley if you’re anti-cilantro)
1 clove of garlic
1 TBLSP raw cashew nuts
1 TBLSP rice vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

·         Place all of the ingredients in a blender and whirl until it’s a soft mash.

Topping Options (Don’t use ALL of these—they won’t fit!)
·         3 TBLSP pesto (or tomato sauce)
·         3 black olives (Kalamata if you’ve got ‘em)
·         1 mushroom, sliced thinly
·         ½ slice of red onion, diced
·         1 green onion, sliced
·         Artichoke hearts, chopped
·         1 teaspoon capers
·         Spinach, fresh or steamed
·         Arugula, fresh or steamed
·         1 teaspoon sunflower seeds
·         Daiyu mozzarella faux cheese shreds

  •            Spread pesto (or other sauce) until near the edges of the pizza. I like to bend the edges of the dough up a bit to help hold the sauce on top. That makes 'em crunchy, too. 
  •       Spread the toppings on the sauce and then, if you’re using it, sprinkle the cheese on top of that.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until the crust edges are darkly golden and the toppings are melty and shiny.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Spinach and Mushroom Turnover for One

½ TBLSP olive oil
1 slice of yellow onion, diced finely
1 green onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 mushroom, diced
2 olives, diced (I used green olives , but you could use kalamata)
1 TBLSP minced parsley or cilantro
2 cups fresh spinach
1 heaping teaspoon nutritional yeast
1 TBLSP firm tofu, mashed
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 pinch salt
1 ½ TBLSP shortening or vegan butter
2 teaspoons ice water
2 ½ teaspoons of vodka or gin (you can skip the alcohol and use all water, if you like)
1 teaspoon almond milk

  •       Put the olive oil, yellow onion, and green union in a shallow sauce pan or frying pan, and sauté for a few minutes, until the onions begin to soften. Add in the garlic and mushrooms, and continue to sauté until the mushrooms relax and the onions are really soft.
  •       Add in the olives, parsley (or cilantro), and spinach, and continue to sauté until the spinach is wilted and soft.
  •      Add in the nutritional yeast and tofu, and salt and pepper to taste, and continue to sauté about a minute more. Get it as dry as you can without burning it. Remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper

  •       In a small bowl, combine the flour and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs
  •       Sprinkle with ice water and vodka) and toss with a fork. (Vodka is a pie-maker’s trick. If you use it, the crust will be a little lighter. In such small quantities, though, you may not notice the difference. The alcohol burns off, so you don’t taste it, but, like the water, it evaporates and leaves little fluffy openings in the dough.)
  •       Form the dough into a ball.
  •       On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 7- or 8-inch circle.
  •       Place the filling on half of the crust circle. If it’s wet, put a leaf or two of fresh spinach under it to keep the crust from getting soggy.
  •       Fold the other half of the circle of dough over the filling and press the edges together. I like to flip it over and tuck any loose edges right onto the parchment sheet. Be sure the edges are well sealed.
  •       Brush the top with the almond milk. I just use my fingers.
  •       Prick the top with a fork. You can make a pretty pattern, if you like, or just go in lines, about an inch apart.
  •        Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Fig Linguini for One

I admit it. I'm a figophile. Even thought this recipe easily makes enough for two, I usually gobble the whole thing up myself. I mean, it's figs! 

     ½ small onion, chopped smallish
     1-4 ounces of linguini noodles
     ½ TBLSP of vegan butter or olive oil
     8 large figs, cut into bite-sized chunks (quartered and then cut in half cross-wise)
     1/2 cup or so of dry white wine
     1/2 cup of nondairy milk (I use almond milk)
     Grated cheese, for topping (asiago would be good, but I use nondairy mozzarella)
     Freshly cracked black pepper to taste.

1. Put the water on to boil linguini noodles. Toss the noodles into the boiling water when the onions are ready.
2. In a large skillet, add onion and the butter or oil and sauté until the onions are about half-way finished. They should be starting to soften but not actually limp yet
3. Add figs. Sauté until the figs are thinking about losing their shape but haven’t actually begun to relax.
4. Add the wine and reduce until the alcohol smell fades and there is only a little liquid in the pan.
5. Add the nondairy milk and reduce until saucy.
6. Add the cooked linguini to the pan when both are ready.
7. Top serving with grated cheese, if desired, and a little cracked pepper.

This makes a huge portion. I eat it all, but you might want to share or save some for tomorrow. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake for One


I made a new friend from Hawaii recently, and she got me thinking about pineapple. I brought one home with me from the grocery store to see what might become of it. Some of it I ate right away, just sliced and gobbled. Some went into a fruit salad, some went into a stir fry, and some went into a smoothie. But the best use was this nice little upside-down cake. Give it a try!

Non-stick cooking spray
1 TBLSP brown sugar (you might need less if you use a muffin tin)
1 thin slice of fresh pineapple, peeled and diced
3 TBLSP whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 shakes of ground ginger powder
2 TBLSP almond milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 TBLSP agave (try honey if you’re not a vegan, but you’ll want about a teaspoon more)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a muffin tin or ramekin with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Sprinkle the brown sugar into the bottom of the muffin tin or ramekin. Sprinkle in the pineapple so that it covers the sugared bottom of the muffin tin or ramekin. Save a little to put in the batter, perhaps a TBLSP.
  • Mix the flour, baking powder, and ginger powder together in a small bowl.
  • Add the almond milk, vanilla, agave, and the left-over diced pineapple. Mix until just combined.
  • Pour the batter on top of the pineapple in the tin or ramekin.
  • Bake for 20 minutes.

You may have to scrape the sides of the baked cake with a butter knife to remove the cake from the tin or ramekin. Then turn the little guy upside-down onto a plate so that the pretty pineapple is on top.


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Scrambled Tofu with Miso for One

2 TBLSP water
4 ounces (approximately) firm tofu, cubed
3 slices yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 mushrooms, sliced
2 TBLSP olive oil

1 heaped teaspoon brown mustard
1 healthy TBLSP white miso

A couple of sprinkles of garam masala (you could use curry instead)
2 TBLSP cilantro, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon dried tarragon
Freshly ground black pepper

1.      Heat the water in a skillet or wok, add the tofu, onions, garlic, and mushrooms, then add the oil. Cook for 8-10 minutes over a medium heat, until onions and mushrooms are wilted.
2.      Mix the mustard and miso together in a small bowl and add to the tofu mixture in the pan.
3.      Stir in the garam masala, cilantro, and tarragon, and continue cooking for 3-4 minutes until most of the liquid in the pan has evaporated.
4.      Serve hot, with salt and pepper over the top.

Serves 1, or two if you have bread or other side dish.