Friday, November 29, 2013

Garlic and White Bean Soup

One of my favorite food items has to be garlic.  If a recipe calls for a few cloves I usually double it.  I just love the flavor of garlic.

So, when I saw a recipe for a stew that took an entire head of garlic, I had to try it.

The recipe that follows is based on the recipe of Susan Voisin of Fat Free Vegan Kitchen.  A link to her original recipe can be found here ----> LINK.  She modified it from another recipe from years ago and I modified it to suit our tastes.  For my recipe, I omitted the parsley and salt, changed the type of white bean, and also used fresh tomatoes instead of canned.  I also make it more as a soup, not thick like a stew and served over rice as she suggested.  I love the result.

The garlic isn't overpowering and the cooked garlic cloves are really tasty smashed onto a piece of crusty bread while eating the soup.

*  I cheat and buy pre-peeled garlic from Trader Joes.  I make this after work and like the time saver.

**  Use whatever white beans you can find.  I use regular small white beans, as it is all I can find canned in the reduced sodium variety.



20 cloves Garlic, peeled
2 (15 oz) cans of White Beans, drained and rinsed
3-4 Carrots, sliced
2 yellow Onions, peeled and diced
1-1/2 cups of fresh diced Tomatoes, any variety
2 Bay Leaves
1 to 1-1/2 cups Water
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
sprinkle of Black Pepper


1.  In a medium sauce pan saute onions in a few tablespoons of water so they don't stick.  Add carrots and garlic cloves and saute a few minutes more.  

2.  Add white beans, tomatoes, bay leaves and 1 cup water and bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes stirring occasionally to check consistency to see if you need to add more water.  I simmer it until the garlic and carrots are tender.  About 30-40 minutes.  Add lemon juice right before serving and top with fresh ground pepper if desired.

3.  Serve by itself or with a loaf of crusty bread for dipping.

- Bon Appetit

"  Without garlic, I simply would not care to live." - Louis Diat, Chef of the Ritz Hotel (1885-1958)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Gluten Free Pumpkin Squares - Vegan

A friend shared a recipe with me last week that he thought I might like.  It was for Pumpkin Crumble by Ilene Godofsky.  Sometimes when I look at a recipe I know I'll want to change it without even trying it the original way and that is what I did with hers.

What follows is loosely based off of her recipe. I have altered it in several ways such as adding more spices, adding nuts and omitting the salt.  I like the way it turned out.  And have now made it twice.  A good excuse for using the rest of the can of pumpkin puree.


1-1/2 cups Quick or Rolled Oats
1/2 cup Almond Flour or Almond Meal (ground almonds)
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 cup chopped Walnuts or Pecans (optional)
1/3 cup Coconut Oil
1/3 cup Pure Maple Syrup
1 tsp Vanilla

3/4 cup organic Pumpkin Puree (about half a can)
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
3 Tbsp Pure Maple Syrup

1.  Heat oven to 350˚ F (176˚C) and prepare an 8x8 square glass dish with non-stick cooking spray. Or as I did, use a smaller rectangle stoneware pan.

2.  In medium bowl combine the oats, almond meal, cinnamon, baking soda and nuts.  Set aside.

3.  In small microwaveable bowl measure coconut oil.  Microwave for about 15 seconds to soften.  Add maple syrup and vanilla.  Stir to mix as best you can.

4.  Add coconut oil mixture to oat mixture and stir to combine.  Set aside.

5.  In the bowl you used for the coconut oil, mix pumpkin puree with maple syrup, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice.  Set aside.

6.  In prepared baking dish, press one half of the oat mixture.  Make sure to press it evenly on the bottom of the pan.  Spread with the pumpkin mixture.  

7.  Top with remaining oat mixture by dropping by hand and sprinkling evenly.  This will not coat the entire pumpkin layer.  You should see some of the pumpkin.  Press down gently.

(Ready for the oven)
8.  Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until top is golden brown.  My oven takes 23 minutes to be golden brown.

(Out of the oven and cooling)
(Look at the crispy oat goodness)
Cool on wire rack and cut into squares or rectangles and enjoy.

- Bon Appetit

" Instead of doing cinnamon, nutmeg and all those baking spices, I'll have one spice that's for sweets, and that's pumpkin pie spice." - Sandra Lee

Monday, November 4, 2013

Fat Free Vegan Oatmeal Cookies

As with most of my recipes, I have been making this cookie for years.  I like that it does not contain any butter, eggs, or a veggie friendly substitute for either.  I don't remember exactly where I found the original recipe, but I have modified it a bit by cutting back on the sugar and adding a little more applesauce.

**To make a gluten free version use a gluten free all purpose flour substitute such as Bob's Red Mill for the 3/4 cup flour.


1/2 cup Raw or Brown Sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened Applesauce
1 tsp Vanilla
3/4 cup Flour (I used a mixture of white and whole wheat)
1-1/2 cups Quick Oats
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
3/4 cup Raisins OR 1/2 cup vegan Chocolate Chips


1.  Preheat oven to 375˚F (190˚C).  Spray two baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray.

2.  In large mixing bowl combine sugar, applesauce and vanilla.  Set aside.

3.  In medium bowl combine flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon.  Add to applesauce/sugar mixture and stir well.

4.  Add raisins or chocolate chips and stir again.  Dough will be fairly stiff - and tasty.

5.  Drop from teaspoons or tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets.  I used teaspoons and the batch  made 22 cookies.

6.  Bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.  Mine require 10 minutes.  Let cool for a minute or two before transferring to wire rack. 

** TIP - I have found that if you do not have a jar of applesauce the little individual servings of applesauce cups (such as Motts or Seneca) are exactly 1/3 cup and perfect to keep on hand for this recipe - no measuring required.

- Bon Appetit

"I think cookies are sort of the unsung sweet, you know?  They're incredibly popular.  But everyone thinks of cakes and pies and fancier desserts before they think cookies.  A plate of cookies is a great way to end dinner and really nice to share at the holidays." - Bobby Flay