Saturday, February 27, 2010

Pulet Bombay...minus the Pulet

Stalena's friend Shirley has passed along a delicious recipe called Pulet Bombay. Pulet is pronounced (poo-lay)and means chicken. Stalena has made this dish a couple times and it's so good. However, I've never made it, so I think that means it counts toward my 20 recipes. Our house has changed our eating habits recently for a couple different reasons. Stalena is currently doing the Daniel Fast with her church which means no meat, no dairy, no simple sugar, no enriched flour, or yeast. Recently, she created an alternative pulet bombay which I loved, so that's the version I'm making. This one does not have chicken, has beans and olives added, and is more of a curry consistency than the original. Gillian joined me for dinner last night and she was also enthusiastic about the finished result. Aside from being delicious and having dinner with a friend, the best part about last night's cooking: leftovers! One night of cooking has allowed me to have prepared meals that simply need to be microwaved. Genius.

I'm going to go off topic for a second. I always listen to music when I blog and I always mean to share the artists. I love discovering new artists and introducing people to new music, but I always forget to add this part at the end of my blog. For today's blog I'm listening to Ballerina by Leona Naess, Everywhere I Go by Lissie, and Rachael Yamagata's Be Be Your Love, Elephants, and Reasons Why. Gillian told me about these artists and I'm loving them. Perfect blogging/journaling music. :) Okay, back to the recipe.

Pulet Bombay (minus the Pulet)

1 bell pepper
1/2 onion
2-3 TBsp olive oil
Dash of salt & pepper
2 TBsp curry
Vegetable broth, approximately 1/3 of container-- It depends on how thin you want it.
1 can coconut milk (Make sure the can says coconut MILK.)
1 can black beans
1 can canellini beans
1 can sliced black olives (small can)
Brown rice

Chop up pepper and onion, sautee in olive oil with the salt, pepper, and curry. Add vegetable broth; simmer. Add coconut milk; simmer. Add black beans, black olives, and canellini beans. Simmer together, heating up until warm and flavors are melded. When ready, put in a bowl with cooked rice; combine until mixed. (We have a rice cooker, so I started that when I started to cook the pepper and onion. Use 1 cup brown rice, 2 cups water.) Enjoy!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Chocolate Cupcakes (with a twist)

I wanted to try one of the recipes from Deceptively Delicious that sounded questionable to me, so I chose Chocolate Cupcakes with Avocado and Cauliflower. Now, I LOVE avocados, but in my chocolate? Hmmm.

Cupcake Batter

Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup of avocado puree
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (I didn't have this, so I just used white vinegar.)
2 large egg whites
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Note: She says that the taste of the avocado is still slightly detectable when the cupcakes are warm, so be sure to completely cook them before serving.


1 (8 oz) package reduced-fat cream cheese
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar (I used more because the consistency was too runny.)
1/4 cup cauliflower puree (Puree cauliflower and a little water in a food processor.)
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper baking cups. In a large mixing bowl, beat the avocado puree, sugar, milk, vanilla, and vinegar until smooth. Beat in the egg whites one at a time, just until incorporated. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt, and mix until smooth. Divide the batter among muffin cups. Bake until the tops of the cupcakes spring back to the touch, 15 to 20 minutes. Turn out onto a rack to cool completely before frosting them. For the frosting, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, cauliflower puree, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Spread over the cooled cupcakes. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month.

Final verdict: Without the icing, there was something different about the cupcakes. The taste wasn't bad, but I felt like there was a slight aftertaste. However, I couldn't decide if it was actually that or if I was imagining it since I knew there were avocados in it. Stalena took them to work and there was no revolt, so I guess they were okay. I think with the icing it was harder to tell. The icing itself had not a hint of the cauliflower, so that was successful.

Banana Bread

I can't believe it's been nearly two weeks since I blogged. It hasn't been that long since I baked. In fact, I tried two new recipes. I've been baking a few "old" recipes too. So let's play catch-up, shall we?

Banana Bread (Deceptively Delicious)

Nonstick cooking spray
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
2 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups banana puree
1/2 cup cauliflower puree (You can substitute 1 banana or 1/2 cup for this which I did.)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9x5 loaf pan with cooking spray. In a bowl or a zipper-lock bag, mix the flours with the baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, mix the sugar and oil with a spoon until well combined. Mix in the egg whites, banana and cauliflower (if using) purees, and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and mix just until combined. Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 55-60 minutes. Let cook on a rack for 5 minutes.

For my first attempt, I mashed the bananas by hand instead of using the food processor to make a puree. The texture will be the only difference. I made the bread again tonight, but I used the food processor this time. I have pictures of both so you can see the difference. I don't have a sliced picture of the puree type of bread because I'm giving it away tomorrow.

Hand mashed bananas

Food processor bananas

Friday, February 5, 2010

Quick Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

I found a healthy alternative to pizza. It's veggie pizza with whole wheat crust. It's really easy and sooo delicious!

Quick Whole Wheat Pizza Crust (from

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 pkg active dry yeast
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup hot tap water (120-125 degrees)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon honey or granulated sugar (I used agave nectar)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine whole wheat flour, yeast, and salt. Blend in water, oil, and honey/sugar. Stir by hand vigorously until all ingredients are well mixed; about 3 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise to desired size. Press onto a pizza pan that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Add toppings and bake 15-20 minutes.

I decided to use bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, and olives as my toppings (in addition to cheese and garlic/onion spaghetti sauce).

Aren't the peppers beautiful?!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Cake That Was

I made my second attempt at George Duran's "My Mom's Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake". If you recall from a past blog, the last time I made this I had a cake fail. This time, the cake turned out AND was loved by my coworkers.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake (from George Duran's Take This Dish and Twist It)

Nonstick baking spray with flour added (I sprayed and then floured on my own.)
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick), softened
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2/3 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup Irish cream liqueur (like Baileys)
1 3/4 cups mini chocolate chips

(There's an optional chocolate topping, but I didn't make it.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 12-cup fluted tube pan with the nonstick baking spray. For the topping, in a small bowl combine the 1/4 cup butter and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar until creamy. Stir in the nuts and 2 tablespoons chocolate chips. Spoon into the bottom of the prepared pan; place pan in refrigerator while you make the cake batter. For the cake, in a bowl stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl beat the 1 cup butter with an electric mixer until creamy. Add the 1/2 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla; beat for 1 minute. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 30 seconds after each addition. Combine the buttermilk and Irish cream. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, mixing well with each addition. Stir in the 1 3/4 cups chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake about 50 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out clean. Immediately invert the cake onto a cooling rack and let cool completely. If desired, drizzle with Chocolate topping.

Note: For best results, have all ingredients at room temperature.

Chocolate Topping: In a small saucepan combine 1 cup mini chocolate chips and 2 teaspoons shortening over low heat. Stir until melted.

Amy's tip: Check the doneness of the cake very thoroughly. My first attempt had clean toothpicks from 4 locations. However, when it was inverted, liquid cake poured out. At the second attempt, my longer skewer did not come out clean for well after 50 minutes. It was probably closer to 65-70 minutes for baking. However, the outside during the second try was not as done at 50 minutes as it was during the first time. I have no idea what was different, but it turned out, so that's all that counts.