Dec
19
0

Vegan Mayo

Vegan: not a word I’d have thought would ever be associated with me, my cooking, my blogging, my shoes. But, wouldn’t you know it, this is my second vegan post in as many months, and I’m just getting started. (The first was this Chocolate Peanut Butter Tofu Pudding.)

Why vegan mayo? Let me explain:

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Now, I know there’s a certain set of you who, putting the whole vegan issue aside, just aren’t into mayo. I’ve always found these people mystifying — what doesn’t benefit from a rich, creamy condiment? (Nobody objects to butter. Well. No non-vegan objects to butter.) Anyway, I’ve learned that it’s fruitless to reason with them (you) about mayo. But if you like mayo, let me make the case for vegan mayo.

Have you ever made mayo at home? If you have, you know it’s delicious and rich and decadent. In a word: a treat. Which is why I don’t make mayo very often at home; its just too rich to use on an everyday sandwich, or in tuna salad. Enter vegan mayo: like homemade mayo in flavor and freshness, but a bit lighter, more ready for everyday use. To be fair, I cheated (if you want to call it that) a bit here by adding some soy lechitin, which I bought on Amazon, to help the mixture get and stay emulsified. But while nice, that’s hardly necessary and really just helps the mayo keep its shape.

The Magic Bullet is great for making vegan mayo, too. The oil and tofu emulsify especially well without the need to drip, drip, drip the oil in, as with regular homemade mayo.

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Vegan Mayo
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces soft silken tofu (one package)
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice or cider vinegar, or a combination
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 tsp soy lechitin (optional)
  • salt to taste
Directions
  1. Blend all ingredients in Magic Bullet.

 

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I am kind of obsessed with this little donut place in San Francisco.

By the way, is it donut or doughnut? I’ve never known which one is correct. Or maybe it’s both?

Anyway, back to this incredible donut spot. They create different donuts every day from scratch, and I am always surprised with their new ideas. This spicy chocolate donut recipe is my version of their spicy chocolate donuts, so now you can enjoy them homemade, too! They are baked using a mini donut pan, which cuts down on some of the guilt. These chocolate donuts are light and sweet, with a kick of chipotle spice to intrigue your taste buds.

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Mini Spiced Chocolate Donuts
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp plain yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground chipotle powder

Topping

  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground chipotle powder
  • 1/8 tsp chili powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Add all topping ingredients to a small bowl and mix. Set aside.
  3. Add all ingredients to a Magic Bullet pitcher or cup and pulse a few times. Use a spatula to scrape the sides in between pulses until mixed well.
  4. Transfer the batter to a greased mini donut pan and bake for 7 minutes, until firm to touch.
  5. Cool on a wire rack.
  6. Melt the butter in a skillet and dip the top of the donuts into the melted butter.
  7. Immediately dip the top of the donuts into the topping mixture.

Makes 12 mini donuts

Dec
11
0

Spicy Tomato Juice

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Confession time: I have always disliked tomato juice. Many years passed without trying it again until recently when my husband asked me to buy it for him at the grocery store and I saw how much sodium is in it! I was totally shocked and came home without the tomato juice and to a disappointed husband. I decided to use my Magic Bullet to make it from scratch and found that it is much easier to control the amount of sodium you put in this way. After my first try, I found the tomato juice to be a little bland, so I added a dash of cayenne pepper to spice things up a bit. Be careful not to overdo it and make it too spicy!

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Spicy Tomato Juice
Ingredients
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1 pinch of cayenne pepper
Instructions
  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the tomatoes for 30 seconds, then remove.
  2. Peel the tomatoes (the skin should easily come off) and quarter them.
  3. Add the tomatoes, salt, sugar and cayenne pepper to a Magic Bullet cup or pitcher and blend well.

Makes 3-4 cups

I love Indian food, really and truly, but sometimes, restaurant Indian food can be a little heavy; basically, a literal downer. It’s a problem. Then there’s another problem, namely that cooking Indian food is outside most Americans’ comfort zone. The solution would seem to be just to eat less Indian food, but what kind of solution is that?

Well, here’s a real solution: make this chicken tikka masala in the slow cooker, using Greek yogurt and cornstarch to provide richness without too much fat. It’s delicious, it’s convenient, it’s not too heavy.

You’re welcome.

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I wouldn’t say this is restaurant quality chicken tikka masala, but if you’ll recall from six sentences ago, I don’t want restaurant chicken tikka masala.  Try to keep up, would you?

The Magic Bullet does a great job of “dicing” the onions, garlic, and ginger, the base of many Indian recipes; I add a jalapeno for extra flavor and heat.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
Ingredients
  • 1 to 2 lbs chicken breast or thighs, cut into chunks
  • 2/3 onion, roughly cut
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1.5 inch piece of ginger, peeled
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 1 28-oz can of diced tomatoes or tomato puree
  • 1-2 Tbsp butter
  • 1.5 Tbsp garam masala
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 2 tsp corn starch
  • 1 plain Greek yogurt (individual-sized portion)
Directions 
  1. Blend onion, garlic, ginger and jalapeno in Magic Bullet.
  2. Add chicken, tomatoes, yogurt, butter and spices (garam masala, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, salt) to slow-cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours (or high for 3 hours).
  3. Whisk milk and corn starch and add to slow cooker; raise heat to high until it begins to bubble.
  4. Turn slow cooker off and wait a few minutes, then stir in the yogurt.  Serve.

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Dec
8
0

Fresh Pineapple Juice

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I don’t know about you, but whenever I buy a whole pineapple, I always end up with half of it leftover. A great way to use up those extra chunks of sweet pineapple is to toss them all in your Magic Bullet and blend it into a delicious, fresh pineapple juice. You can keep your freshly blended pineapple juice in the refrigerator for a few days. It is especially nice to have around for a weekend brunch!

In this recipe, I add a little sugar, but be careful not to overdo it and make the juice too sweet. If you like your pineapple juice more tart, just omit the sugar and see how it turns out. You can always add more sugar later! You can also use a strainer to strain the pulp for a thinner juice, but I like the consistency just how it is after blending.

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Fresh Pineapple Juice
Ingredients
  • 1/2 pineapple, peeled, cored and chopped (~3 1/2 cups)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 4 ice cubes (optional)
  • 4 mint leaves
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a Magic Bullet pitcher or large cup in portions and blend well.
  2. Top the outside rim of the glass with a fresh pineapple chunk and add a mint leaf to each drink.

Makes 4 cups

One of the many things I like about banana bread is the way it rewards procrastination. Oh, you left a bunch of bananas on the counter until they were overripe and started to attract fruit flies? Usually, this kind of situation would end badly for our hero: you snooze, you lose; the early bird gets the worm; etc. But not with banana bread. No, banana bread rewards our hero with a rich, delicious treat that can only be made once those bananas get a little gross.

Banana Bread Man? Procrastination Man? These are not inspiring….

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My typical banana bread is straight Mark Bittman (oh captain, my captain!) and contains a secret ingredient, coconut, which adds a richness and complexity of flavor that can’t be beat. That recipe’s great, but I’d gotten in my head the idea of making a healthier banana bread, and once I saw that Chris Kimball had a version, I knew that it would be good. This one has a secret ingredient, too: plain yogurt. Also, cake flour. Who knew? I also cut down the sugar to ½ cup from 3/4, just for personal flavor preference. The cake flour gives it a nice, light texture and it’s plenty moist without a lot of butter.

The Magic Bullet does a great job of creaming together the wet ingredients, taking the effort level from minimal to zero.

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Light Banana Bread

Makes 1 9-inch loaf

Ingredients
  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (188 grams)
  • 1/2 cup cake flour (63 grams)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • ½ cup sugar (100 grams)
  • Nonstick baking spray
 Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Blend wet ingredients (bananas, yogurt, vanilla, butter, eggs) in Magic Bullet.
  3. Mix dry ingredients (flours, baking powder and soda, salt, sugar) in a bowl, then stir in the blended wet ingredients. Do not overmix.
  4. Grease loaf pan with spray and add mixed ingredients.
  5. Bake about 55 minutes, until knife comes out clean when inserted. Let cool for ten minutes and serve.

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Dec
1
1

Apple Muffins

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What I love about these apple muffins is that they are low-fat, and, dare I say, healthy for you?! Instead of butter to make the muffins nice and moist, I use non-fat plain Greek yogurt. My favorite thing about these muffins is the sweet, crunchy streusel topping made of pecans, walnuts, and a pinch of cinnamon and brown sugar. A batch of these muffins prepared on Sunday make a great morning snack for the week. Did you know that you can also freeze them? Put the cooled muffins in a freezer zip lock bag and store for up to 6 weeks in the freezer. When you are ready to eat one, pop it in the oven at 250 degrees F for 10 minutes to thaw!

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Apple Muffins 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 Gala apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • 2 Tbsp chopped walnuts
  • ⅔ cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the nuts, 2 tbsp brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the apples, to a Magic Bullet cup and blend very well, using a spatula to mix in between pulses.
  4. Stir in the apples with the spatula.
  5. Transfer the batter to the muffin pan, filling each mold ¾ full.
  6. Top with the streusel.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes, then remove from the oven and let cool 10 minutes.
  8. Remove from the muffin pan and cool 10 minutes more before serving.

Makes 12 muffins

 

 

Nov
26
1

Turtle Frapp

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In college, I basically survived on turtle frapps. Whether it was an exam coming up that I needed to study for, the start of a work shift, or a long night ahead, this was my go-to drink for my caffeine fix!

And now, the day before Thanksgiving, I know you are all in need of an energy boost, too! For those of you who love coffee and have a sweet tooth like me, you are going to love this drink. Brewed coffee is dressed up with chocolate syrup and caramel and topped with whipped cream and pecans for a delicious ice blended treat. Don’t you just love how easy it is to make ice blended drinks at home? If I had discovered how to make them myself back in college, I’d be a lot richer today!

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Turtle Frapp 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup coffee, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1 Tbsp chocolate syrup, plus more for topping
  • 2 Tbsp caramel sauce, plus more for topping
  • 1 Tbsp chopped pecans
  • Whipped cream for topping
Instructions
  1. Drizzle the chocolate syrup and 1 Tbsp caramel sauce around the sides of a glass and place in the freezer for a few minutes to harden.
  2. Add the ice cubes, milk, iced coffee, chocolate syrup and remaining Tbsp of caramel sauce to a Magic Bullet cup and blend well.
  3. Pour into the chilled glass and top with whipped cream, chocolate syrup, caramel sauce and chopped pecans.

Makes 1 drink

 

Nov
24
0

Tofu Tacos

Okay, yet another tofu post. Whoa, whoa – let’s just stay calm here.

You can use tofu with Mexican seasonings to make excellent tacos, all the more excellent if you use fresh tortillas griddled for the occasion. The tofu tastes great with all the seasoning, provides nice crunch and chew, lasts forever in the fridge and is extremely low in fat and high in protein and calcium. And that’s not even mentioning any advantages from an ethical or environmental perspective (if there are any – again, I’m not mentioning it).

Keep calm and taco on?

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I’ve used chorizo seasonings here (ancho chili powder, achiote for color and flavor), but really you could use any chili powder or even taco seasoning from a packet; the ancho’s just a bit more authentic. I’m reluctant to call this “tofu chorizo” because is it really chorizo without the fatty, fatty meat? Anyway, I don’t like to think of this as fake meat any more than I think of chocolate peanut butter tofu pudding as fake dairy. Let’s just call them tofu tacos.

Tofu is its own thing and – deep breaths – it can be delicious.

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Tofu Tacos
Ingredients
  • 1 lb extra firm tofu (not silken)
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil or butter (or combination)
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder (preferably ancho)
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • ¼ tsp achiote powder (optional)
  • tortillas
  • taco toppings: avocado, sour cream, hot sauce, cheese, etc.
Directions
  1. Blend half of the tofu in the Magic Bullet and crumble the rest roughly with your fingers.
  2. Add oil/butter to pan over medium-high heat and add tofu and spices (chili powder, oregano, cumin, garlic, achiote). Cook, stirring frequently, until tofu gives up all its moisture and begins to get brown and crunchy.
  3. Add tofu to tacos with toppings and serve.

 

Nov
20
0

Fennel Pesto

What is pesto? That’s one of life’s great questions, isn’t it? No! Pesto is Italian for paste (I’m told) and the classic basil pesto (Genovese) is just the tip of the iceberg. Hmm. Or… the tallest on a five-man basketball team. And every team needs a point guard…?

Okay, that didn’t make any sense, but what does make sense is this delicious fennel pesto. You roast fennel in the oven to bring out its mellow yet distinctive anise-y flavor, as well as to draw out its water, then you make a pesto that’s every bit as flavorful as the classic, but distinctly different.

Three points?

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This pesto has a nice, complex flavor, and the fennel adds a fair amount of substance, too; I doubled the amount of fennel from the recipe below and halved the oil and was happy with the results, though it was admittedly less delicious. If you can snag some late-season farmer’s market tomatoes to go along with it, by all means, go for it. I used some pretty, gold cherry tomatoes with this and some shrimp for flavor and protein.

I don’t need to tell you that the Magic Bullet is made for pesto. OK, maybe I do: the Magic Bullet is made for pesto. Blend away.

Fennel Pesto

(Adapted from Serious Eats)

Ingredients
  • 1 fennel bulb,
  • chopped fronds from 1 fennel bulb
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • salt, to taste (but don’t skip it completely)
Directions
  1. Mix fennel bulb with olive oil and roast in oven at 400 degrees until brown, about ten minutes. If you like, add almonds halfway through to get them roasted too.
  2. Blend everything in the Magic Bullet. Add salt to taste.
  3. Serve with pasta, with tomatoes and/or bacon if you like.

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