Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I love beans, and I like crockpot recipes making dinner ready when I come back from a run. Here is a recipe for frijoles, traditionally cooked with bacon. Let's love the pigs *and* eat our beans too.

Slow Cooked Pinto Beans

1 pound (3 cups) dry pinto beans, sorted, rinsed, and soaked in water overnight
6 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable broth
1 tblsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 cup beer
1 tsp salt
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

**First thing in the morning**
Put the soaked beans and garlic into a crockpot and cover with veggie broth, adding water if necessary to just cover beans. Cook on low for 4+ hours.

**At lunch**
Saute the onions and jalapenos in the olive oil until soft. Add to the crockpot, as well as the crushed tomatoes. Stir and cook for 4+ more hours.

**30 minutes to 1 hour before eating, or before your run**
Add the beer, salt and cilantro. Stir and cook until you are ready for dinner.
Serve in corn tortillas or over brown rice with fresh corn.

Makes many servings, with leftovers to freeze if desired.

Cook's tip: The remainder of the bottle of beer tastes really great when you get back from your run, or enjoy with dinner.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Vegan Brunch!

Wow, this cookbook has been out for what seems like eons now, and I'm just getting around to writing up my first review.

I have to say, the muffin recipes in this book are awesome. I'm a total muffin girl though. I tend to just throw a bunch of ingredients together and toss it in the pan. Muffins are such a tasty little snack that is so portable. I seem to make them every 3 days and freeze my concoctions so they stay nice and moist.

So far I've made Blueberry Ginger Spelt Muffins - I really am developing a taste for candied ginger. I know I took a pic, but with us now using two digital cameras (both with awful macro settings) I can't seem to find where it's been downloaded. Ah well, there is a pic in the book! I've also made the Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins. Yum! I made mine with whole wheat flour, hence the slightly brownish tone. I'm surprised I made these, since I'm still scarred from when I was a Loblaws bakery clerk in my teens. I had to walk around the store and distribute samples of poppy seed muffins to customers as they perused the aisles. I would head back to the bakery to refill my cart, then head out again. Since I wasn't paying attention to who I had asked, I would often offer my muffins to those I had just served minutes before. They would smile and let me know that they had already sampled them, but they didn't need to say a word. Wedged between their teeth, there were poppy seeds galore. Here these people were going to go about their day chatting it up with whoever and I was responsible for their potential embarrassment. I was actually more grossed out though. Since then, I have always been leery of poppy seeds, but considering I now often leave the house with clothes covered in spit up or God knows what else, I have no qualms about eating them and don't even check my teeth in the mirror before heading out.
Again, no pic (I'm sure because the muffins don't last long enough to take a shot) - Bakery-Style Berry Muffins. Delish! Just like Mmmuffins - or whatever that chain of food court muffins shops were called. I try not to let a giant frozen strawberry from my fruit mix get into the dough, since it makes for a soggy muffin - or an excuse to eat that one up right away! I tried adding a little oats for added health, but it just dried them out. I'll stick to the recipe! Another yummy one - Cranberry Orange Nut Muffins - super tangy! I used dried cranberries though for extra sweetness - and also because I'm too lazy to find and chop fresh ones.
On a night that I was alone with the little one, I decided to make not one but two new recipes! I loved how quick the Basic Scrambled Tofu and Perfect Pancakes came together. Sadly, the little one wasn't interested in eating them - not because they weren't tasty, but probably because she had like 6 teeth coming in at the same time. More for me!