Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Double Berry Muffins

I like to make a treat for breakfast on the weekends.  Some weekends it is scones, waffles or even muffins.  This muffin recipe is a simple and favorite one.  I've taken an older plain muffin recipe and just adapted it for vegan and added the berries.  While I used frozen blueberries and raspberries this time it is also good with strawberries and chopped banana.

GLUTEN FREE OPTION:  For gluten free substitute a GF flour mix such as Bob's Red Mill and add 1 tsp of xanthan gum.


1-1/2 cups Flour
1/2 cup Sugar (I use raw sugar)
2 tsp non-aluminium Baking Powder
dash Salt
dash Cinnamon
3/4 cup unsweetened Soy Milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1/4 cup Oil
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 cup Frozen Blueberries
1/2 cup Frozen Raspberries
Powdered Sugar for dusting


1.  Preheat oven to 400˚F (205˚C) and grease a large muffin tin.  I use a six-muffin Texas size muffin tin and this makes five that size.

2.  Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and a dash of cinnamon in large mixing bowl.

3.  In separate small bowl or glass measuring cup combine oil, soy milk, and vanilla.

4.  Add the berries to the dry flour mixture and stir to coat.

5.  Stir the milk mixture into the dry just to combine.

6.  Fill muffin tins and bake in 400˚ oven for 25-30 minutes.

I didn't fill the muffin tins too full, but you can top them up a bit and make 4 taller muffins instead.

7.  Remove from tins and cool on wire rack.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.

- Bon Appetit

"  A book reads the better which is our own, and has been so long known to us, that we know the topography of its blots, and dog's ears, and can trace the dirt in it to having read it at tea with buttered muffins." - Charles Lamb, Essays of Elia

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Peanut Sesame Pasta Salad

I made this recipe for dinner a few weeks ago intending to post it sooner, but life has a habit of getting in the way. I either didn't have time to post, or when I did, I didn't feel like writing one.  

This recipe is a favorite summertime recipe and I have mentioned it on my motorcycle blog before after taking it to a moto-potluck picnic.  I only make it about every 3-4 months since we try to limit our pasta and salt consumption.  

The original recipe was found on and can be found by clicking this ----> LINK.  As usual, I made it according to the recipe the first time.  While we liked the sauce, I figured it needed a lot more veggies and a little tweaking.  What follows loosely resembles the original inspiration.  

I only use all natural fresh ground unsalted peanut butter.  Most of the stores in town have the machines that have roasted peanuts on top and when you turn it on fresh ground peanut butter is dispensed in your container.  It is the healthiest kind of peanut butter with no additional fats and/or sugars.  1 cup of peanut butter may seem like a lot of fat, but it is a natural fat and there is no additional fat in the salad.

GLUTEN FREE OPTION:  To make this gluten free use a gluten free pasta such as quinoa, corn, or rice pasta and a gluten free tamari or Braggs Liquid Aminos in place of the soy sauce.


    For Sauce:
1 cup Peanut Butter
1/2 cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce (or tamari or Braggs)
1/3 cup Warm Water
2 Tbsp peeled, chopped Ginger (or jarred pureed ginger)
2 Tbsp peeled, minced Garlic
4 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
3 Tbsp Sweet Chili Sauce
1 Tbsp Honey (optional for vegan)
    For salad:
1 - 16oz pkg of Pasta, farfalle (bowties), mini farfalle or other interesting shapes to hold the sauce
1 Red Pepper, chopped
1 cup Snow or Snap Peas, cut in 1" sections
1 medium Carrot, sliced
4 Green Onions, sliced including whites and greens
1- 15.5 oz can of Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 - 15.5 oz can of Baby Corn, cut into sections
2 sm Broccoli crowns, chopped into small florets
sesame seeds for sprinkling


1.  In a food processor, blender, or with a whisk mix all sauce ingredients together and process until smooth.  I like to add a little hot sauce as well.  Pour into large mixing bowl.  I use the largest stainless steel one I have.  Mixture might look slightly runny but will firm up when chilling.  Put sauce in the refrigerator to chill while cooking pasta and preparing the rest of the ingredients.

2.  Cook pasta according to package directions.  You want al dente, not over done. Rinse with cold water.

3.  Chop all veggies and drain and rinse the chickpeas and baby corn.  I place all of the veggie ingredients in one large bowl as I prepare them.

4.  Remove sauce from the refrigerator.  Add pasta. Toss to coat making sure you bring up all the sauce from the bottom of the bowl.

5.  Add veggies to pasta/sauce mixture and toss again. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and toss again repeating this a few times to incorporate the sesame seeds and make sure all of the veggies are coated.

6.  This can be served right away or stored in the refrigerator overnight.  It is best the first day.  By the second day the pasta will absorb some sauce and after plating you may want to heat it in the microwave for 20-30 second after plating it.  This will soften the sauce.

This is a very versatile recipe.  I have been known to add other veggies if I have them such as mushrooms or cucumbers.  Whatever veggies you fancy or have on hand, go ahead and add them. Water chestnuts are also a good addition.

- Bon Appetit

"Preserve and treat food as you would your body, remembering that in time food will be your body." - B.W. Richardson