Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Chelsea's Vegan Blueberry Pancakes

Hello my sweets. Wow, this has been a very time consuming semester, and I know I have studied to the max because I find myself running English and Spanish into the same sentence. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I will be glad to have this one behind me. So sorry that it has taken a while to create this post, but, for you vegan's and carnivore's alike, this is a keeper for all!

I absolutely LOVE pancakes, as a matter of fact, I could eat them everyday and never grow tired of them. They really seem to be a great form of sustainable energy for my body. I will always eat these about 2 hours before a long run and I am good to go!

After listening to my body, I think that becoming a stricter vegetarian is the next step for me.

So, without further ado, I introduce to you

C-Belle's Vegan Blueberry Pancakes


1 1/2 whole grain spelt flour ( I also used quinoa flour, worked just fine)

1/2 cup of oat bran

1/2 cup wheat bran/ wheat germ ( so good for you full of enzymes vitamin e and vitamin b)

1/2 tsp of sea salt

1 tsp of baking soda

2 cups of soy, rice, or coconut milk. ( I love the coconut milk because it is awesome)

Extra virgin coconut oil for cooking ( you can use vegetable oil if you need)

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

tsp. of vanilla extract

tsp. of cinnamon

dash of nutmeg

Grade B maple syrup

Prep Work:

In a bowl stir together spelt or quinoa flour, oat bran, wheat bran, baking soda, and salt. Add whatever milk you end up using and stir together until well combined. Add blue berries or whatever kind of fruit you want. I get creative with it. Sometimes I just add whatever is in the fruit bowl ( I mean, within reason of course).

Heat cast iron skillet with oil over medium heat until you have it hot, but not scorching hot, then turn down just a tad to keep the cakes from overcooking.

Drop about 1/4 of batter into the skillet, and cook the pancakes unitl you see little bubbles start to come through, for the most part, that is when it is safe to flip. Flip and cook until the under side is light golden brown. I kind of like my pancakes to be slightly undone in the middle, so cook however it is your favorite.

Repeat process with the rest of the batter.

Heat oven barely to throw the pancakes on a baking sheet to keep warm, because pancakes are a time consuming business.

Serve with real maple syrup, and I love to eat them with strawberries, and raspberries over the top.

Guys, enjoy these yummy treats. I can't wait to post my favorite coconut bar recipe ever! That will be next time.

Until then, put some love in that tum!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mac and Cheeze Mr. Freeze

Dad... the inside joke is for you, or should I say, " Sr. Congelen". For real, I have found the Holy Grail of Mac and Cheese recipes. It is so good, so creamy, and so.... um....Low fat? Okay, I know you are all probably thinking, " low fat mac and cheese is a sin", well, the only sinful thing about this low fat, low cal, melt in your mouth goodness, surely wouln't be good for me just by doing a taste test mac and cheese, is that I literally can eat the whole casserole dish in less than 24 hours if someone didn't stop me. You have to regulate on your self and loved ones with this recipe. And for those guys out there, this is EASY business. So.. no more excuses!!
Drum Roll Please....

1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 2/3 cup of 1% or 2% low fat milk.
3/4 cup of shredded swiss cheese )low fat if you can find)
1/2 cup of shredded parm.
1/2 cup of Extra sharp cheddah ( I like to use the cabot brand white cheddah) low fat if you can find
4 oz. of low fat velveeta cheese
3 cups ( uncooked mac, which I like to use the spiral macaroni. It makes it more interesting)
1/4 tsp. salt and as much black pepper as you desire.
cooking spray
1/3 cup of crushed garlic toasts, like Melba toasts (15 pieces)
1 tbsp of butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375

Put flour in a medium sized sauce pan and add milk slowly, blend together until thoroughly mixed. Cook on medium heat until thick anywhere from 7-8 minutes. stirring constantly.
Add all cheese and stir , cook about 2-3 minutes until you have a nice melty cheese sauce.
Take off burner and stir in cooked macaroni and S & P.
Coat a 2qt casserole dish with cooking spray. Crush melba toasts in a food processor or with your hand, another easy way is to put suran wrap on top of the toasts on a large cutting board and with a rolling pin, roll over it, you should eventually get crumbs.
Once you have crumbs, add butter and put in the microwave for 1o seconds, stir together and then sprinkle on top of the mac and cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes.
You will have approx. 8 servings.

This is so delicious. I made it on Sunday as a reward to myself after having exams, and then it snowed while I was cooking, it was truly a " warming" meal and I went right to sleep afterwards and had great dreams.
Enjoy this recipe and remember guys,
put some love in that tum!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Rainy Weather = Stuffed Shells

Okay, today is very rainy. The type of weather that makes me want to a) watch Harry Potter or read it b) sleep, or c) eat really good cheesy stuffed shells. mmmmmm..... delicious. I think I will go with "c", I don't have time to really read much else except for school books anyways. I am so excited about this blog, cooking is my creative outlet, so this gives me a form of expression when I need a break with some downtime in the kitchen. The shell recipe, I will apologize in advance, is completely addictive and I crave it like crazy. I also make a great sauce to go on the bottom of the pan which is cooked with the shells and then spread over the top at the time of serving. When I cook Italian, I like to listen to my classic Edith Piaf mix, Billie Holiday, and of course the great Louis Armstrong. The food always tastes good when I have these guys playing in the background.
Okay: Lets make the sauce first.

2 jars of the marinated, roasted red peppers, you can buy this at the supermarket or roast your own.
3 cloves fo garlic minced.
1 1/2 cup of orange juice.
half onion chopped.
1/2 cup of E.V.O.O.

saute the onions and garlic with butter in a sauce pan until you get that yummy smell and the onions are opaque. add the oil, red peppers, and orange juice and bring to a boil. After you have
reached the boiling point remove pan from eye let cool for about 15-20 minutes or until warm. Place the ingredients from pan into a blender and blend on high until you get a sauce texture. Only blend once, I have had a really awful sauce explosion from blending in twice. The pressure gets built up and the top will blow off, I also have had burns. Unfun experience, so only blend once!
Pour the sauce into the pan and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 and it is time to cook shells.

Stuffed Shells:
12 Jumbo shells
1 package of ricotta cheese
1 package of mariniated artichoke hearts
10 black or green olives ( I prefer black)
4 tsps of capers
1 package of frozen spinach chopped
1 egg
S & P
2 cups of parmesan cheese
1 cup of mozzarella.
3 tsp. of pine nuts
1/4 cup of olive oil
basil, use as much as you like. I use about 3 tsp of freshly cut basil, just to give it a taste.
You can add meat (sausage or beef if you want, I don't because I don't eat meat)

Okay, cook the shells, rinse, drain and set aside.

In a mixing bowl beat the egg, then add the ricotta cheese and olive oil. Thaw the spinach in microwave, drain and then add to mix, chop up capers, olives, pine nuts, artichokes, and basil and then add to the mix. Add in 2 cups of parmesan and salt and pepper. Mash it all together until it is thoroughly mixed.
Fill the shells with the mixture, place on top of the sauce in the pan. I like to scoop a little bit of the sauce on top of each shell and then cover with the 1 cup of mozzarella.
Cover with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes. Then uncover and back for 5 minutes.
This is such a yummy dish. Hope you all enjoy it when you need some stuffed shells to make the rainy day all better.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Zucchini What?

Zucchini cake baby! Oh so delicious, and it has a veggie in it, can you dig? This has got to be one of my favorite recipes to make this time of year. I adore zucchini for its versatility, taste, and ... cheapness. I can do a lot with zucchini on my slim pickin' budget. Tonight I am actually in the kitchen as I type to ya'll, I am smelling the aroma of the cake as it leaks out of the oven and into the air. I am baking a cake for my boyfriend's mom. We go up to Hendersonville, N.C. and eat at this great pizza joint called West First and it is sooooo goooood if any of you ever get a chance to go there. We had this fabulous cake when we were there and she totally thought it was a slice of heaven, I have to agree, ...it is. So, tonight I am making her a cake for her birthday, and I thought that all of you would want to try this very easy, delicious, zucchini creation. I am also going to post a cream cheese recipe that I put a twist on.

Zucchini Cake Recipe:

350 degrees F. 55 minutes

1 cp. vegetable oil ( I use Canola)
2 cp. sugar ( use turbinado or raw cane if you can help it, budget permitting)
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla ( don't use that fake junk)
2 cp. unbleached flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 cps. grated zucchini
1-1 1/2 walnuts
( Leave the skin on, the texture is affected if you don't)

Mix in oil and sugar in a mixing bowl, add eggs one at a time. Sift dry ingredients together.
Roll in zucchini, walnuts(I like to used slightly crushed walnuts because it seems to spread the walnuts out a little better so the slices aren't so bulky with them.)
The batter will be kind of thin but that is the way that it is supposed to be.(no worries, you didn't screw it up)
Pour in a greased pan then sift a little flour in it. I learned the hard way when I first started cooking, I must have dropped like 3 cakes trying to shake them out of the pan and then on to the floor they went.

Bake 55 minutes.

Okay, now onto the Cream Cheese Frosting recipe:

8 oz of cream cheese ( I use the reduced fat and even fat free, it still tastes good to me)
4 tbsp. light melted butter
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 1/2-4 cup of powdered sugar
1 tsp. grated orange zest
1 tsp. orange juice.
Blend cheese, butter, and vanilla on a low setting. Add powdered sugar slowly and then mix in orange zest and juice. Mix until mixture is nice and fluffy like a cloud.
Refrigerate until you are ready to use.
I find that the orange zest in the cream cheese frosting really pulls out the flavors of the cake. It is so good, and oranges are just so refreshing. Hey, use the other half of the orange and juice it and make yourself a mimosa while the cake is baking, and listen to some good music.
Right now I am listening to....
"Would You Please" by Rachel Yamagata
and up next, Jeff Buckley, Live at the Sin-e, one of the best albums I have ever heard. I just think he was so talented. Such a wonderful talent wasted. I have also been listening to Cat Power. Just chillin' out in the kitchen. I hate to make it a stressful atmosphere, it makes the food bad for me, and it is important to appreciate the tastes that you have created.
Alright guys.
Put that lovin' in your tummy and hit me back and tell me what you think.
Much love to you all.

SPRING IS IN THE AIR... I think... I hope.

Okay, so right now, I feel like I may have spoken to soon, the weather was way nice last week, and now, minus 50 degrees later, I am wishing I could rewind and go back to the nice 60 almost 70 degree weather we had last week and bask in the sun a little longer. I know it is almost spring, but, with this weather, I am feeling the need to rewind to fall and make some classic " get your tummy warm" food. Now, since this is my first post, I want to explain what I am about as a person and as a chef. My mantra in the kitchen is , " love the food you eat , and let it love you back". I have done my fair share of experimenting with food, with all the food additives, preservatives and God only knows what other mess of chemicals they load our foods up with these days, I have chosen to eat sensibly, seasonably, and don't you forget it... tastefully! Now is the time to get back to the basics, and rediscover the produce section, the local market, and maybe even learn to grow your own food. There are so many wonderful foods out there, just try them, pick a veggie you haven't tried before, or the "one's your mom made you try as a kid and you have hated ever since" vegetable and then find a good recipe for it, like your mother always said, " You never know if you don't try it".

Okay, so back to warming foods that make you feel good. My little honey Jay loves when I cook "bad" , but what he doesn't know is that most of it is really good for him. I think the most wonderful thing in the world when it is cold outside is either a) grilled cheese sandwich paired with tomato soup & b)macaroni and cheese pie. (will post most deliciouse recipe for this soon)

I often try and find a way to make these traditional dishes with a spin or a little flare. My dad and I love to get together and create in the kitchen, often upgrading classic recipes and sometimes just making something that we just created in our minds,(which are completely mental) and it usually turns out to be the most wonderful thing we have ever put in our mouth, until the next time we get together. ( I LOVE YOU DAD).

Okay so here are some recipes to kick off the first blog of many to come, and get some love in that tum for those who are experiencing a cold spring beginning and for those who just need some comfort food.

Much love!

Smoked Buffalo Mozzarella and Pesto Sandwich or Pannini- you choose.

1 container of smoked buffalo mozzarella or regular buffalo mozzarella
(cut into slices and add to sammich')

2 pieces of your favorite bread.( I use Ezekiel bread because it is flour-less) but not necessarily the best for this type of decadence.

2 tbsp. of pesto. You can buy pre-made pesto, but Where is the fun in that? recipe for pesto below.

Layer the bread with pesto and S & P

1 beefsteak tomato marinated in balsamic and black pepper with a tsp. E-V-O-O. Soak for about 30 minutes. cut into slices and put one or two on the sandwich. ( use the left over beefsteak mater, mozzarella , and basil for a Carprese salad. SOOO GOOD)

Okay, take a little butter, I use light butter or canola oil for frying up a sandwich.

Get the pan hot,

Drop the sandwich in the pan and then saute until golden brown on both sides and make sure that the cheese is melted.

2 cups fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Add ingredients into your food processor:
1) Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.
2 )Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Okay, I think that it is fun to make your own soups, but most of the time I am on the run with school, work, babysitting, etc. I have a thousand things to juggle and I don't always have time to make organic soup from scratch, so.... I go to my local supermarket and grab some Amy's Organic Low fat Chunky Tomato Bisque, cook, and then dip my sandwich in it. It is so yummy and I crave it all the time.
I feel that this soup/ sandwich combo is the MACDADDY of all the soup/ sandwich combos.
So go and eat your heart out!
Much Love, and until next time, Put some love in yo tum!