Posts Tagged ‘Oil’

Soft Pretzels

This is a tasty recipe for company or game night with the kids.  Alton Brown’s recipes are very reliable.  He suggests a baking soda bath for the pretzels and it’s pretty good.

I’ve also done it with a lye solution and that was truly the bread which strengthens man’s heart.

Amazon sells food grade lye.  You’ll need gloves, a glass bowl, and parchment paper to protect your sheet pan.  Mix 30 grams (about 1 ounce) lye with 1 liter of water (about 1 quart) and using a plastic or wooden tool dunk the pretzels for 30 seconds.  You should be really careful, especially to protect your eyes, but the flavor is totally worth the effort.  Google around for more information–seriously! Don’t try this without more research.

You can serve the pretzels with brown mustard or with “Cheese” sauce.


1 1/2 cups warm water (110-115 degrees F)

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 package active dry yeast

22 ounches all -purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups

2 ounces unsalted vegan butter spread , melted

vegetable oil for the parchment paper

10 cups water

2/3 cup baking soda

Pretzel salt

“Egg” wash:  1:1 water corn syrup, maple syrup, 1:1 sugar water solution, or vegetable oil

**The egg wash step is optional, but your pretzels won’t be as brown or shiny, they’ll still taste great


  1.  Lord, bless my work.
  2. Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam.  Add the flour and vegan spread and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined.  Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes.  Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil.  Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50-55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
  3. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with oil.  Set aside.
  4. Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8 quart saucepan or roasting pan.
  5. In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces.  Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope.  Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press on the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of the pretzel.  Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.
  6. Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds.  Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula.  (Or dip in the lye bath that you researched before you began) Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the egg wash mixture and sprinkle with pretzel salt.  Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12-14 minutes.  Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.



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Here’s the recipe I made tonight.  I roasted a couple of heads of garlic yesterday in order to put hummus in the freezer.  With the leftover head I made this soup.  This recipe is from the Post Punk Kitchen chef, Isa Chandra Moscowitz, who happens to have a restaurant in my home town.  That’s right–a vegan restaurant in Omaha, Nebraska.  Blows my mind, too.


2 Tablespoons olive oil (or omit and simmer gently in a little water)

1 onion chopped (1 1/2 cups)

1 teaspoon salt

dash of black pepper

1/2 teaspoon whole fennel seeds crushed

4 cups vegetable broth or 4 cups water with 2 cubes/teaspoons Better than Boullion

3 cups cooked Great Northern beans or 3 cans drained

3 fresh sage leaves, chopped, or 1 teaspoon sage

1 bay leaf

juice of half a lemon or more to taste

2 heads roasted garlic (I used one and that was fine, then you can actually taste the fennel and not kill anyone with your breath during the Great Canon)

  1.  Lord, bless my work.
  2. In a stockpot over medium-high heat saute the onions in the olive oil for 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Add the salt, black pepper, and fennel seeds; saute for 1 minute.  Add the broth, beans, sage, and bay leaf, bring to a boil, the lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.  Remove the bay leaf.  Add the roasted garlic and puree in batches in a blender or food processor (I used an immersion blender.  And everybody said, “amen”)  Return to the pot and add lemon juice.  Garnish with fresh fennel leaves if you feel fancy.
  4.  Optional:  Add kale to taste at the last minute or chopped carrots  while it warms on the stove.



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Today’s recipe comes from a very lovely friend. She has years of experience in vegan cooking and baking, so you can trust this recipe works.

According to J:

This next one is based on a banana bread recipe I changed to suit my pumpkin loving ways.

1 mashed ripe banana
2/3-1 cup pumpkin puree
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup oil (I used grapeseed oil)
2 cups flour (white whole wheat and spelt flours both work lovely if you are into that sort of thing)
3/4 tsp each baking soda and baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or its equivalent in separate spices)
Splash each vanilla extract and your favorite non dairy milk
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1.  Lord, Bless my work.

2.Preheat oven to 350.

3.  Mix wet ingredients.

4.  Mix in the rest of the ingredients(except splashes of vanilla and milk) until well incorporated…. it will be a bit thick.

5.  Add splashes of non dairy milk and vanilla and mix well. Spread in a 9 x 5 in loaf pan and bake for 1 hour.

6.  Let cool for at least 30 mins. before enjoying.

Thumbs up to adding walnuts for protein and grapeseed oil for healthy fat!

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Pumpkin Cookies

Day two of the great fast.  Ready to devour your brother yet?  I am ready to go hunt up a chocolate tree myself.

Our first desert recipe is courtesy of my loving sister in law.  She brought us a tin of these great cookies after our cross country move.  See, told you she’s thoughtful.  (I have made a few adjustments from the original recipe to improve the nutritional value.)

One cup of old fashioned oatmeal (rolled oats) has five grams of protein.  One cup of whole wheat flour (4 ounces) has sixteen grams of protein.  Two thirds of a cup of walnuts has about 12 grams of protein.  The nuts are optional, but they are a complement to the grain proteins.  Molasses has iron and other trace minerals.

This recipe calls for pumpkin, a vitamin rich vegetable.  Actually, all orange foods have something in common- massive amounts of beta-carotene.  The body turns beta carotene into vitamin A.

My grocery store only carries pumpkin seasonally.  I used a small sweet potato boiled and pureed.  You may also use any orange winter squash.  (Not yellow summer squash.  Winter squash has a hard skin.)  If you use a fresh cooked vegetable AND choc/carob chips make sure that you cool the vegetable first.  If you don’t it will melt the chips before you bake the cookies.  I made this mistake on my second batch.  Unfortunately, that made the cookies too ugly to picture.  Martha Stewart I am not.

For a chewy cookie follow the recipe as written.  For a soft, cakey cookie add 1 tsp baking soda to the dry ingredients.  Bake for 15 minutes.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

2 cups flour

1 1/3 cups rolled oats

¾ tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg

1 2/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup oil

1 Tbsp molasses

1 cup canned pumpkin, cooked squash or sweet potato

1 tsp vanilla

¾ c carob chips or fasting chocolate chips (optional)

3/4 c walnuts or pecans

Step 1. Lord, bless my work.

Step 2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease or (line with parchment paper) two baking sheets.  These cookies are really sticky even on a nonstick sheet-you have to grease the pans.

Step 3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, oats, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Set aside.

Step 4. In a large bowl, combine sugars, oil, pumpkin, and vanilla.  Add dry ingredients, folding to combine.

Step 5. Drop by tablespoon onto baking sheets about one inch apart.  Bake for 20 minutes.

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Rotini with Clam Sauce


This recipe comes to you via my favorite Matushka and Godmother, J.

Clams and other shell fish are allowed during fasts because they have no backbone.  Historically this is because shell fish were considered unfit for eating.  It is almost like saying, “Yea, you want to eat those disgusting bugs?  Go right ahead.”  Ironically, most shellfish is a luxury food to Americans.  I encourage you to speak to your priest about whether shellfish is appropriate to your fasting regimen.  Personally, I feel that the chopped canned clam is pretty humble so I offer you this recipe.

Two ounces of clams provide 4 grams of protein.  Two ounces of cooked whole wheat pasta has 7 grams of protein.  The parsley adds all of the benefits of a green vegetable.  With garlic bread and a simple salad you’ve got a good meal.  If your children are not fasting, add some parmesan to their portion to complement the wheat protein.

Rotini with Clam Sauce

Three healthy vegetables

Three healthy vegetables

¼ cup olive oil

½ cup onion, finely chopped

2 Tbsp parsley, finely chopped

1 tsp dried basil

2 6.5 oz cans chopped clams, drained, liquid reserved

1 box of whole wheat rotini

Step 1. Lord, bless my work.

Step 2. In a large skillet gently heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic cooking until both are tender and onion is beginning to brown.  Meanwhile, boil the pasta.

Onions simmering and beginning to brown

Step 3. Add parsley, basil, and reserved clam juice.  Bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat, and simmer until slightly reduced.

Step 4. Add clams, heat thoroughly.

Step 5. Serve over cooked rotini.*

*Of course you can use other pastas but I find that this thin sauce clings best to rotini.

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Kale Chips

Five years ago when I started seeing a chiropractor he told me, “Eat more greens.”  Well, I do whatever that curly haired beacon of vitality and health tells me to do.  Alas, I’m not so great at cooking greens.  I usually just steam them and add salt.  Boring.  But, thanks to my very thoughtful favorite sister-in-law I give you a delicious kale recipe. (via steamykitchen.com)

Kale is important nutritionally because it contains large amounts of vitamin A and vitamin K.  A is good for mood and digestion among others.  Kale is also a good plant source of calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Potassium is always important for muscle and brain health.  Calcium and magnesium are in short supply on a fasting diet, so eat up.

I tested this recipe this morning and the word in the kitchen is, “Wow!  This is good!”

According to steamykitchen.com, “The biggest secret to getting the kale super-crisp is to dry them in a salad spinner.  If there is moisture on the leaves, the kale will steam, not crisp.”  Yea, you have to get it really dry.  Wash your kale and then spin it several times.  If you don’t have a spinner use a towel to blot the kale.  I also recommend opening the oven door a minute into cooking to let out any steam.

The washing and drying takes time.  If you have a kale patch you might consider skipping the wash all together.  Check for cabbage bugs and lettuce mites before you decide whether to wash.  Those bugs are not fast friendly.

Don’t have a kale patch?  You should.  A 2×2 foot kale plot will easily keep your family in more kale than you want.   Kale is also winter hardy in most places.  (Bonus!)

Crispy Kale Recipe

1 bunch kale (you will use 1/3 of a store bought bunch)

1-2 Tbsp olive oil

salt (to taste)

Step 1. Lord, bless my work.

Step 2. Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  (I just put them on the nonstick sheet and it was fine)

Step 3. Wash and thoroughly dry the kale.  Cut off stems*.  Tear kale into chip sized pieces.

Step 4. Place kale in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil.  Mix by hand to coat the kale.  Place on baking sheet.

Kale cleaned, dried, torn, and oiled.

Step 5. Bake in oven for about 8 minutes.  Watch carefully, the leaves cook quickly and will burn easily.  Test with a spatula or tongs to see if they are paper thin/crackly.  Remove from oven, sprinkle with salt.

Step 6. Eat.  Gain +50 health!

Finished Kale notice how much it has shrunk...plus I already ate half

*if you hate the thought of tossing the stems, just steam and eat like asparagus

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