Cooking Delights

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Minnestrone Soup

This recipe comes from the best vegetarian. I love it because it has turnip in it and it gives the soup a really nice flavour. Turnips, like other vegetables, are poor in calories. It can be part of a diet menu. Moreover they have diuretic properties. This vegetable is high in vitamin C (11 mg for 100 g of turnip and 30 mg for 100 g of turnip greens). Vitamin C has a powerful antioxidant, meaning that this vitamin quenches free radicals and neutralizes destructive oxidation reactions. Vitamin C also promotes the absorption of iron. Turnip is therefore an interesting vegetable for vegetarian since they always strive to meet their need in this mineral. Turnips are also a good source of calcium, phosphor and magnesium. Turnip greens provide larger amounts of these vitamins and minerals and are especially rich in folic acid. This vitamin is essential for the normal growth and maintenance of all cells and vital for the reproduction of those cells within the fetus. I served this soup with a cheddar cheese loaf from Looney Spoons.


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Spring Roll Crazy!

This is my second attempt at spring rolls. They are really easy to make. These ones had rice noodles, carrots, and nappa cabbage in them. This time I mixed my noodles and vegetables with a little rice vinegar and soy sauce. I think they turned out better than the last batch that I made with hoison sauce. They are baked in the oven instead of deep fried so you can eat as many of these as you want guilt free.

I made them with a yummy Asian soup. This soup had pretty much the same things in it as the spring rolls. It would have done well with some tofu as well. I had three wrappers when I was finished so I took some raspberries and apples and made a pie like filling and baked these up for dessert.


Friday, November 24, 2006

Healing Gingerbread Cupcakes

I took these gingerbread cupcakes with me to my pilates and yoga classes last night to share. One of the massage therapists at the Wellness clinic thought it was aboslutely hilarious that I would work the girls out and then feed them "junk food." The thing is, cupcakes could never be classified as junk food. Especially since they are made with way more love than a bag of doritos. The spices that I used in these cupcakes have many benefits to the body. Black pepper puritfies the blood, cardamom is a digestive aid, clobes benefit the nervous system, cinnamon strengthens the bones and ginger heals colds and flu and increases energy. So, I offered these healing cupcakes as a commitment to health and well-being. Cupcakes along with physical exercise and a positive attitude are one of the great pillars of total health.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

More cupcake therapy

I made these cupcakes to celebrate my Mom's birthday. Their aesthetic appeal and yummy goodness were equally enjoyed by all who celebrated.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

More sexy cupcakes

Look at these gorgeous little pieces of heaven....

Oh and here they are again....

And again....


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Thursday, November 16, 2006

My first attempt at spring rolls

Inspired by all of Megan the Vegan's spring roll creations I decided to try my hand at making spring rolls. I especially loved her discovery that you can bake the spring rolls in the oven and not deep fry them. I meant to take pictures of all the stages, but unfortunately I forgot. Anyway, these spring rolls have rice noodles, nappa cabbage, mushroom, and carrots in them. They were quite yummy and even better warmed up. I served them with Nancy's delicious tofu over more rice noodles stir fried with orange pepper and nappa cabbage. Did you know that cabbage optimizes your cells' detoxification and cleansing ability? For about 20 years, we've known that many phytonutrients work as antioxidants to disarm free radicals before they can damage DNA, cell membranes and fat-containing molecules such as cholesterol. Now, new research is revealing that phytonutrients in crucifers, such as cabbage, work at a much deeper level. These compounds actually signal our genes to increase production of enzymes involved in detoxification, the cleansing process through which our bodies eliminate harmful compounds.


Easy Dinner, but a favourite at our house

The one meal that my hubby can cook is beans on toast. Well, here you have mushrooms on toast, beans on the side, with some potato chips. Since cooking mushrooms was involved, I prepared the meal. Good old comfort food. These are heinz beans in tomatoe sauce (the only ones my husband will allow me to buy). And, who knew mushrooms were so good for you? The range of traditional nutrients found in crimini mushrooms is impressive. Crimini mushrooms are an excellent source of selenium, riboflavin (vitamin B2), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), copper, niacin (vitamin B3), potassium and phosphorous. Selenium is needed for the proper function of the antioxidant system, which works to reduce the levels of damaging free radicals in the body. Selenium is a necessary cofactor of one of the body's most important internally produced antioxidants, glutathione peroxidase, and also works with vitamin E in numerous vital antioxidant systems throughout the body. These powerful antioxidant actions make selenium helpful not only against colon cancer by protecting colon cells from cancer-causing toxins, but in decreasing asthma and arthritis symptoms and in the prevention of heart disease. In addition, selenium is involved in DNA repair, yet another way in which adequate intake of this mineral is associated with a reduced risk for cancer. Five ounces of raw crimini mushrooms provide 52.6% of the daily value (DV) for selenium.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

More Cupcakes!

This time I tried the lychee cupcakes. These cupcakes had a fantastic flavour as they were made with coconut milk, lychees and the juice of the lychees. They were a bit of a disappointment overall because they turned out more muffin-like than cupcake-like. When I was mixing them up the dough seemed kind of dry so I will definitely try them again, but this time with more lychee juice. I also won't fill the cupcake liners quite so full.

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Curried Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup

Yesterday I made this yummy curried pumpkin and black bean soup from 28 cooks. As soon as my hubby smelled the curry wafting through the house he ran out and picked up some somosas and chipati to go with the soup. An excellent addition, I must say. I love this soup because it is made creamy with soy milk and has black beans in it. The black beans add a nutrition boost both for their fiber and protein count. My soup didn't turn out nearly as orange as 28 cooks, but it was still yummy.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Immunity Boosters

Colds have been whipping through our household since my daughter started JK this fall. Yoga Journal had an Immune Booster Soup in their December 2006 magazine. So, I made the immune booster soup and squeezed some oranges for fresh orange juice to go with it.

Immune Booster Soup

4 cups of mushroom broth

1 small yellow onion chopped

4-10 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped

1 carrot grated

4-8 shitake mushrooms, sliced

1-3 tbsp. grated gingerroot

1 fresh lemon, juiced

3 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

1. Bring the broth, onion, garlic, carrot, mushrooms nad gingerroot to a slow boil. Reduce the heat and simmer on low, covered for 15 minutes or until the veggies are soft.

2. Remove from heat; add the lemon juice and parsley. Cover and steep for 5 minutes.

My soup doesn't have any shitake mushrooms or parsley, because I wasn't feeling well enough to go to the grocery store and get some. This soup truly makes you feel better, immediately. I ate multiple bowlfuls of it two days in a row.


Apple Swirl Loaf

This is the apple swirl loaf from Dreena Burton's The Everyday Vegan. It was nice and sweet with an apple swirl right through it. I love how Dreena uses maple syrup to sweeten and ground oats as a flour. The ground oats help to release the sugar into the blood stream more slowly making this a healthy snack. I was going to send it with my daughter for snack, but it was gone before I had the chance.

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Fun with Puff Pastry

I bought a box of puff pastry last time I was at the grocery store. Puff pastry has to be my most favourite cheat right now. Whenever I am craving something rich and baked, only puff pastry will do.

The first creation is made with an apple pie filling. I modified the recipe from the back of the box.

The second creation was made with pears that were on their way out. They were a little too ripe and therefore too runny. I think it would have tasted better if the pears weren't so ripe. All in all a nice treat.

Nutritionally redeeming qualities? Not too many, but they are made with fresh fruit. Well, in the case of the pears, not so fresh fruit.


Spanakopita (Spinach Pie) - rerun

I decided to make the spanakopita from Vegan with a Vengance again. It is a really yummy meal and heats up well for left overs. This meal is also quite nutritious. The spanakopita is made with tofu so it has a good protein count. Calorie for calorie, leafy green vegetables like spinach with its delicate texture and jade green color provide more nutrients than any other food. It helps to protect against osteoporosis, heart disease, colon cancer, arthritis, and other diseases at the same time. I served the spanakopita with an avacado. Avocados contain oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that may help to lower cholesterol. Avocados are a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure. Adequate intake of potassium can help to guard against circulatory diseases, like high blood pressure, heart disease or stroke.

I tried it and I still don't like it

All these posts about split pea soup made me think, maybe I should try it again as an adult. Megan the vegan made a split pea soup to which I promptly responded YUCK. Not because Megan made it yucky, but because I didn't think I liked it. But then Fatfree Vegan made one that lured me in. Yellow Split Pea Soup with Sweet Potatoes and Kale. It had kale in it, one of my favourites... and, sigh, I still did not like it. Too bad because split peas are a great source of protein and fiber. I have two containers of it in my freezer if anybody would like some.

Imitation is the highest form of flattery

Thanks to my fellow bloggers for this dinner. First up is Stormy Black Bean Soup from Fatfree Vegan. Second are these yummy Apple Cheddar Muffins from Albion Cooks. This dinner was a home run. We loved the soup and the muffins. The black beans in the soup of course are an excellent source of fiber known to lower cholesterol. Black beans also help to prevent cancer and lower your heart attack risk. Good news for vegans and vegetarians... In addition to providing slow burning complex carbohydrates, black beans can increase your energy by helping to replenish your iron stores. Although the tannins in black beans may block absorption of some of the iron they contain, a cup of black beans contains so much iron--20.1% of the daily value for this important mineral--that you will still benefit.

Friday, November 03, 2006

I come out of blogger hiding...

to present you with my beautiful cupcakes.

I received my copy of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World in the mail just two days before I handed in my dissertation. Today is the first day I've had to try one of the recipes. These are the sexy low fat vanilla cupcakes. I managed to create my own version of the icing quite by mistake. I mixed the jam in with the icing sugar... it was supposed to be spread on the cupcake separate from it. I also substituted the soy yogurt with apple sauce because I don't have any soy yogurt. Anyway, they still turned out just fine. These are a tastey little cupcake especially with the strawberries on top.