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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sweet Potato, Chickpea, and Quinoa Burger for One

Makes 2 soft patties. I eat one right away and use the other broken up onto salads ‘n’ things.
**The bun shown in this image is not in any way gluten-free. The recipe for this tasty addition will come soon. 
½ a small sweet potato
1/8 cup dry quinoa (2 TBLSP)
1/8 cup dry barley (2 TBLSP)
½ 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained (about ¾ cup, if you’re making them yourself)
1 TBLSP fresh parsley
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 TBLSP quinoa flour (use whole wheat if you don’t have quinoa flour handy)
1 ½ TBLSP olive oil

1.      Preheat oven Bake the sweet potato half at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 45-60 minutes, or until soft.
  1. While the sweet potato is baking, cook the quinoa and barley in separate pots until soft, about 30-60 minutes (barley takes a little longer).
3.      Once the sweet potato is baked and cooled a little, combine it with the garbanzo beans, parsley, cumin, salt and pepper, garlic powder, flour, and ½ TBLSP of the olive oil in a food processor or blender. You don’t have to make complete mush of it, but it should be heading toward smooth. There shouldn’t be any obviously identifiable lumps in there.
  1. Mix the bean mixture with the quinoa and barley in a small bowl.
  2. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large pan on medium heat. Place two heaping spoonfuls of the bean mixture onto the hot pan, and use the back of the spoon to pat them flat and form four-inch diameter patties. Brown both sides of each burger. This may require several flips.

Serve on a bun with accoutrements, if you’d like, or broken up into salads, etc.
It’s not really suitable for grilling, as it stays super soft.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Raspberry Chocolate Pie (with Almond Crust) for One

You'll be glad that this recipe makes a little more than a single serving. I shared the raspberry version (made in a small casserole) with two friends and ate one of the cherry versions yesterday and the other today. It's just right for a post-rehearsal treat! 

Makes a small single-serving casserole-sized tart or two ramekins.

For the Crust:
1/3 cup raw almonds
½ cup pitted dates
Pinch of salt

For the Raspberry Sauce:
¼ cup fresh raspberries
2 teaspoons powdered sugar

For the Chocolate Filling
½ cup raw cashews, soaked for 15 minutes in water
1 TBLSP maple syrup
2 TBLSP water
2 pitted dates
2 TBLSP coconut oil
1 TBLSP unsweetened cocoa powder
                A dozen or so fresh raspberries for decoration

Line a single-serving-sized casserole or two ramekins with parchment paper. This may be a nice art project for you, as parchment paper doesn’t come in little ramekin shapes. You might try only lining the bottom and thoroughly spraying the sides with cooking spray. It won’t come unstuck quite as well, though, and you'll have to go around the edges with a paring knife.

Set the cashews to soaking before you begin anything else, and they’ll be ready when you need them.

To Make the Crust:
  1. Place almonds, dates, and salt in a blender or food processor and pulse until it’s a sticky mass.
  2. Press the dough into the ramekin bottom and up the sides. The sides don’t need to be completely covered, but make sure that the bottom is.

For the Raspberry Sauce:
  1.  Put raspberries and powdered sugar in the blender or food processor. Pulse until smooth, although there will still be seeds.

To Make the Filling:
  1. Place cashews, maple syrup, water, dates, coconut oil, and cocoa powder in the blender or food processor. Pulse until the mixture is smooth.

To Assemble the Pie:
  1. Pour the Raspberry Sauce into the bottom of the nut/date crust. Completely coat the bottom.
  2. Pour the chocolate filling into the ramekin, making sure that it goes all the way to the sides but doesn’t climb above the top of the sides of the crust. The Raspberry sauce will try to escape, so keep a stern eye on it.
  3.  Top the chocolate filling with fresh raspberries.
  4. Refrigerate for four hours or overnight, until the filling is firm.


·         Replace raspberries with fresh cherries. In the filling, increase the chocolate by a teaspoon and add a slosh of vanilla extract. 
Replace raspberries with fresh strawberries (and a modeling chocolate flower)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Cashew “Cheeze” and Variations for One

These little spreads make enough to share if you make more than one. They don't really taste like cheese, but the spread like cream cheese and can be as bland or as exciting as you like. I've provided "plain" and three variations. Come up with your own creative variation and tell me about it!

Plain Version
1/3 cup cashews, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
2 TBLSP lemon juice
1 TBLSP olive oil
1 TBLSP water
½ teaspoon salt

Garlic and Green Onion Version
1/3 cup cashews, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
2 TBLSP lemon juice
1 TBLSP olive oil
1 TBLSP water
½ teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic, smashed or chopped a little
1 green onion, chopped a little

Zest and Cilantro Version
1/3 cup cashews, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
2 TBLSP lemon juice
1 TBLSP olive oil
1 TBLSP water
½ teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic, smashed or chopped a little
About 6 TBLSP of fresh cilantro, chopped a little (if you’re anti-cilantro, this could be basil or some other herb that would turn the cheeze a nice green)
Zest from a whole small lemon

Caramelized Onion Version
2 TBLSP olive oil, separated
2 slices yellow or red onion, in a large dice
1 clove garlic, smashed or chopped a little
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup cashews, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
2 TBLSP lemon juice
1 TBLSP water
½ teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a ramekin with parchment paper. This may involve some creative time with scissors, or some smooshing with a cupcake liner. Or both!

For the Plain, Green Onion, and Cilantro Versions:
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Run the blender for five minutes!
  2.  Place the mixture in the prepared ramekin.
  3.  Bake for 25 minutes. It should be golden brown on the top and firm to the touch.

For the Caramelized Onion Version:
  1. In a small saucepan, put 1 TBLSP of the olive oil and the diced onion and sauté at a low heat.
  2. When the onions are about half-way to brown (about 5 minutes), add the diced garlic.
  3. When the onions and garlic are beginning to turn brown (about another 5 minutes), add the balsamic vinegar.
  4. Reduce until the onion mixture is just about dry (perhaps another 5 minutes. 
  5. hile the onions are caramelizing, pulverize the rest of the ingredients. You’ll want to drop the onions in at the last minute so they don’t get chopped up too small.
  6. Place the remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor, including the second TBLSP of olive oil. Run the blender for five minutes! Put the prepared onions into the blender and blend until just incorporated.
  7. Place the mixture in the prepared ramekin.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes. It should be golden brown on the top and firm to the touch.

To serve, upend the ramekin and plop the cheeze out onto a plate. You’ll have to do some paper peeling, but if the cheeze is cooked through, it should be solid enough for you to maneuver.
Serve with crackers or bread, or line a celery stalk with it. Yum! 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Naan Bread for One

You might want to double this recipe--this luscious quick bread is moist and wonderful, and you'll be sorry when it's gone! 

¼ cup  all-purpose flour or wheat flour
Dash of salt
Pinch of baking powder
Pinch of baking soda
Big pinch of sugar
1 TBLSP warm almond or soy milk
1 TBLSP soy or coconut yogurt
(optional add-ins include:
            ¼ teaspoon garlic powder OR 1 clove, roasted and diced fine
            ¼ teaspoon caraway seeds
            ¼ teaspoon ground dried rosemary
¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon of dried raisins, chopped OR currents OR other dried fruit made small
1 teaspoon chopped fresh herbs, such as basil, tarragon, or cilantro)
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom with ¼ teaspoon crushed lavender blooms
1.      Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar in a small bowl.
2.      In another small bowl, combine the almond milk and yogurt.
3.      Blend the wet ingredients into the dry until a soft dough is made. Once it’s well combined, toss in any add-ins (I like garlic powder, caraway seeds, and dried rosemary).
4.      Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let it sit in a warm place for about 1 hour—until there is a skin on the surface.
1.      Dust a working surface with flour. Knead the dough for 2-3 minutes.
2.      Roll the dough into a ball and flatten it into a roughly oval shape about 5 inches long. I like to use my knuckles to leave trenches in the dough.
3.      Brush the top of the dough with water. I just use my fingers dabbled in tap water.
4.      Put a heavy skillet with a lid on high heat. Place the naan on the HOT pan wet-side-down and cover it with a lid. In about 30 seconds, you should see bubbles forming. It will take a couple of minutes to begin to brown.
5.      Pull the bread out, wet the top side, and flip it over in the pan with a spatula. There should be charred spots when it’s done. If you have a gas stove, you could pick the bread up with tongs and hold it just over the flame for the second side. That’s a little closer to traditional. 

It's not quite big enough to fold around sandwich fillings, but perhaps you could get yours a little larger. than I did. It would be good with a smear of avocado, some cucumber, and sprouts! (It's also good with nothing at all on it.)
The top picture is of a caraway, rosemary, and garlic powder version with a smear of vegan cream cheese, and the bottom picture is "plain" with almond butter. Yummy! 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Black Bean Burger for One (with Cherry Compote)

It’s cherry season, and after you’ve had your fill of pies and other sweets, you might be looking for a way to use this luscious fruit in a more savory way. Try making a compote and putting it over a very earthy-tasting bean burger to shake up your palate a bit!

If making the cherry compote as a topping, make it first.

Black Bean Burger

·         ¼  cup plus 2 TBLSP cooked black beans
·         1 TBLSP Dijon-style mustard
·         1 chopped green onion
·         3 black olives, chopped
·         1 small clove garlic, smashed
·         1 TBSLP fresh coriander
·         Pinch ground cumin
·         Pinch salt
·         3 TBSLP rolled oats (you can use a gluten-free product, like almond flour, too)

If baking the burger, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. If frying, oil the pan ever so slightly.

1.    In a food processor, blend the beans, mustard, green onion, olives, garlic, coriander, cumin, and salt until you have a chunky purée. Pulse in the oats (or flour). Form the resulting paste into a patty shape.
2.    Heat a small non-stick frying pan over medium heat and cook the patty SLOWLY for approximately 6-8 minutes on each side, or until brown. (If you can cover it, all the better.) Alternatively, place the patty on the prepared baking sheet and bake for approximately 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
3.    Serve burgers topped with sliced avocado and your favorite burger toppings, such as vegan sour cream, red onion, vegan cheese, etc. and your favorite sides.
Note: This burger is too soft to work on a grill.

Cherry-Thyme Compote

·         1 TBLSP extra-virgin olive oil
·         3 slices of a small shallot, minced
·         Pinch kosher salt
·         Pinch freshly ground pepper
·         1 cup fresh Bing cherries, pitted and coarsely chopped
·         1 ½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
·         1 ½ teaspoon firmly packed brown sugar’
·         Pinch of minced fresh thyme (or dried)

  1.  Put the olive oil into a small saucepan. Set the pan on the stovetop over medium-low heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring frequently, until the shallot is softened, about one minute. Add in the salt and pepper.
  2. Add the cherries and cook, stirring often, until they are warm and begin to give off their juices, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the vinegar, sugar, and the thyme and stir to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and adjust the seasonings, if necessary. Transfer the compote to a serving bowl.

I like this sauce over savory things, like seitan, mushroom burgers, and rice, but it also adds an interesting touch to vegan vanilla ice cream!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Pad Thai for One

There are many versions of Pad Thai, and most involve peanuts. I went a different way with it--you try it and let me know what you think! 

 juice of ¼ lemon or ½ lime
1 clove garlic
1/2 inch piece ginger, chopped
1 TBLSP maple syrup or agave
1 TBLSP tamari
1 TBLSP melted coconut oil
¼  cup almond butter
1/3 cup water
Pepper to taste
Noodles for a single serving (I like flat rice noodles, but use what you like.)
¾ cup chopped veggies (pictured are carrots, fennel, green beans, and mushroom)
Chopped almonds to decorate.

  1. Put the water on to boil your noodles and veggies. I put ‘em all into the same pot, putting the noodles in first and dropping the veggies in that take longer earlier than the mushroom and fennel frond-types of veg. While it’s coming to a boil, you can chop the veggies and prepare the sauce. 
  2. In a blender or food processor, chop the garlic and ginger with the lemon juice. Once it’s finely chopped, blend all the rest of the sauce ingredients (maple syrup, tamari, coconut oil, almond butter, water, and pepper) in there with it. The sauce will thicken if you pop it into the refrigerator before serving, which is nice. You can add a little water to thin it, if necessary, before adding it to the noodles.
  3. Drain the noodles and veggies and put them into your bowl. Pour the sauce over it all and toss to combine well. Sprinkle chopped almonds on top.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Quinoa and Fruit Salad for One

It's summertime, and there are many wonderful fruits available. For this salad, I used blueberries and pomegranates, but nectarines, strawberries, plums, and other berries are marvelous additions, and you might add a little avocado if you have one handy. 

           1/3 cup uncooked quinoa
2/3 cup water
1 inch carrot, in small cubes
1 inch cucumber, in small cubes (peel it if you like)
1 radish, in small cubes
1 green onion, diced
4 snap peas, chopped (or a ¼ cup of fresh peas)
¼ cup fresh blueberries
1/8 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
1/8 cup pistachio nut meats

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
Juice of one lemon wedge (about a teaspoon, maybe 2)
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon agave or maple syrup
A pinch of garlic powder
A pinch of salt
1.5 teaspoons grapeseed oil (or olive oil)
½ TBSLP poppy seeds

  1. Rinse and thoroughly drain the quinoa. Add the quinoa and water to a small pot and bring it to a boil. Turn down the heat, cover, and cook until the water is all boiled away. Don’t let it burn! This takes about 10 minutes.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, make the dressing and prepare the veggies and fruit to toss in the bowl.
  3. To make the dressing, put all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk. You may want to adjust the salt once you’ve dressed the salad.
  4. Put the quinoa in the bowl with the veggies and toss, then drizzle the dressing over it and toss again. Can be eaten at room temperature (my favorite) or refrigerate for a bit. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Fig Tartlet for One

I really like figs. No really. Not just they're my favorite, but I'm OBSESSED with them. They have a short season, and I make a complete glutton of myself.

But figs are pretty sweet, and you can't just eat sweets all the time, so here's my recipe for a savory little personal tart.

½ cup all-purpose flour
1 pinch salt
2 TBLSP shortening or vegan butter
1 ½ TBLSP ice water (or half vodka)

            1 TBLSP olive oil
3 slices of red onion, cut in half or thirds
            1 clove garlic, diced finely
            3 TBLSP balsamic vinegar
            Pinch of sugar (optional)
            4 Kalamata olives, sliced into circles
            2 Mission figs, quartered or cut into eighths

Make the Dough
  • In a small bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Then add the water/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.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 7- or 8-inch circle or square, or just a rough shape. Fold the edges up and over to make a little ridge to hold the toppings in. It doesn’t have to be pretty, or round; in fact the more organic the shape of the crust, the more pleasing the appearance.
  • Put the crust onto the parchment paper on which you’ll bake it, and then onto a plate. Stick it in the refrigerator for an hour or two (overnight is fine). You might want to cover it with plastic wrap if you have a lot of stinky things in your fridge or you plan to leave it for longer
Make the Topping
  •  Place the olive oil and onion slices in a small saucepan, and on a medium or low heat, sauté them until they’re fairly soft but not quite translucent. Perhaps 7 or 8 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent.
  • Carefully (it will splatter) add the balsamic vinegar and continue to sauté until the liquid is mostly gone. You can sprinkle in a pinch of sugar if you like, or if your figs aren’t particularly sweet.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Assemble the Tartlet
  • Put the dough and its parchment paper onto a baking sheet and slip it into the hot oven for 5 or 6 minutes while you cut up the olives and figs.
  •  On the now-warm crust, spread the caramelized onions evenly on the bottom. Scrape in as much of the yummy juice as you can.
  • Arrange the figs on top of the onions in an artful way and then sprinkle the olives on top.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the edges of the crust are golden brown, the onions bubbly, and the figs all squishy.
  • Let it cool on a rack for five minutes before devouring.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Raisin Bread for One

I don't know about you, but I love raisin bread. I don't need it to be ooey and gooey, just succulent and sweet with a bright swirl of cinnamon. Try this quick bread and see what you think!

1/2 cup whole wheat bread flour, plus a little more for shaping (you can also use all purpose)
1 teaspoon of sugar
Generous pinch of salt
1 teaspoon active dried yeast (Rapid Rise is best, but Bread-Machine Yeast works fine, too)
3 to 4 TBSP warm water (hot water from the tap is fine)
1 ½ TBLSP raisins

For the swirl:
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Place a piece of parchment on a baking pan. If you don’t have parchment, grease the pan or a piece of aluminum foil heavily, as it will STICK.
1.      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. 
2.      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. 
3.      Knead gently until the dough comes together into a ball. It'll be very soft and a bit sticky. You only need to knead for 1 or 2 minutes.
4.      Add the raisins, and knead a tiny bit more to incorporate them.
5.      On a floured board, roll the dough out as flat as you can. The shape doesn’t matter much, as you’re going to be rolling the whole thing up. Just get it as flat as the raisins will let you.
6.      Combine the sugar and cinnamon to make the swirl and sprinkle evenly over the surface of the square. You’ll want a thick layer to make the swirl conspicuous.  
7.      Beginning at one end, roll up the dough, trapping the cinnamon-sugar inside. Flatten and shape the roll back into a squashed square or rectangle, or fold it and push it around until it makes a nice bread-slice shape.
8.      Place it on the parchment or heavily greased aluminum foil, and leave the dough in a nice warm place to rise while you preheat the oven to 425 degrees F for about 15 minutes.
9.      Bake for 20-25 minutes until darkly golden.
Let it cool a bit, and then slice lengthwise to see the pretty swirl of cinnamon and raisins (and so you can have two slices of toast).