Sunday, November 25, 2012

Carrot Souffle shared

Friday I was still off work and not planning to attend any Black Friday sales. It was also the First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor week to volunteer at Alpha House, a safe place for families in need to re-group and focus on securing stable housing. The supporting congregations rotate through Alpha House to provide daily meals, supplies and other support while the parents work or job search and the kids (when school's in session) attend school. The volunteer slots go fast! So I booked mine for preparing and serving lunch on the day after Thanksgiving. I secured a honey glazed ham from a local grocery, and heated/glazed that per the instructions on the package this morning. I'd prepared my mom's now famous Carrot Souffle in advance, and baked that. But I baked it in my NuWave oven (since the permanent oven was full!). Carrot Souffle isn't a traditional souffle that raises, it's more of a casserole. Even folks who hate carrots rave about this dish. It's been called 'warm ice cream' in the past.  


2 lb carrot, peeled and sliced, then steamed and cooled
3 eggs
1/2 C butter melted
1 t vanilla extract
1 C sugar
1 t baking powder
3 T flour


1. Combine cooked carrot, eggs, butter and vanilla in a blender or food processor and pulse on high until completely pureed
2. Combine the rest of the ingredients and mix them into the puree (in the blender, or in another container if that's too small).
3. Transfer the batter into a greased baking dish and bake uncovered at 325 F 40 to 60 min, until firm in the center*

* I used the Nu Wave oven which has a fan inside, and after 40 min uncovered the casserole was not only dried out, but also browned on top. After this I covered it, and the consistency was still good.


Servings: 16 Calories: 146 Fat: 7g Fiber: 1.5g Carbs: 19g Protein: 2g

Carrot Souffle isn't a traditional souffle that raises, it's more of a casserole. People who hate carrots rave about this dish. It's been called 'warm ice cream' in the past.  Today was no different. This recipe never fails to deliver!

The cats say: Indifferent. they can't taste sugar, and they werent given the chance.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Kale Chips

I made these on Thanksgiving day, but they just didn't fit with my brie and pumpkin bread theme, and I was I pre-baking them for eating at another time. Anyone who loves the Brassica family of vegetables (Broccoli, Cauliflower, Rabe, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage) should love Kale too! Even if you don't like the ones I listed it's probably because of a bad experience with overcooked veggies in the past. Kale Chips are a wonderfully crispy snack and with an opportunity to be sodium free if you have a loved sodium-free mixed seasoning. I love them as a conveyance of sodium! The smell of cooking kale filled my whole house with that lovely browned Brussels Sprouts scent. 


1 bunch kale thoroughly washed and dried*
1 T olive oil (or canola oil)
1/2 t garlic salt or other seasoning to taste


1. Cut the kale into smaller chip-like pieces if desired, and coat with oil. Spread onto a cookie sheet or other baking dish and shake seasoning onto the kale, flip over, and season again.
2. Bake on 350 F for approx 20 min, flipping to prevent burning occasionally (suggested every 5 min).
3. Remove from oven and let cool in the baking dish.

* I used curly Kale, and left it on the stems, but any variety will do. Smaller 'chips' can be cut from the stems, and the stems used otherwise if desired.


Servings: 6 Calories: 89 Fat: 6g Fiber: 2.6g Carbs: 7g Protein: 2g

This photo doesn't do the crispy wonderfulness of Kale Chips apparent. The first time I made Kale Chips, I cut them into tortilla shapes. This was a problem for serving because they were very delicate and broke up when I picked them up. An awesomely resourceful seller Bridgewater Barn Family Farm had suggested some time ago at our Ypsi Depot Town Farm Market that I bake them with the stem on. Her thought was something like "It's like a snack on a stick, and then you eat the stick!" which is way easier than cutting the leaves up anyway, and I thought this was genius, and leaving the stems on also made it much easier to flip them over while they were in the oven. However, it would've worked better with flat leaf variety of kale such as Tuscan, Dinosaur, or even Red Russian.

My chips didn't cook thoroughly in the middle because of the topological difference between the leaf edges and the stem. Since I saved them for enjoying later, this meant they got somewhat soggy in the plastic bag where I'd stored them. 30 seconds in the micro crisped them right up again!

The cats say: eat over the sink or we'll have lots of crumbs to play with!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Day!

OK I love family gatherings, especially when there are a lot of people going to be there. I'm not much of a conversationalist, but I love to cook for people. We'll be driving to visit extended family in Michigan today, and I was asked to bring dinner rolls. So for the purists I have white bread rolls from Kroger, and I have whole wheat Avalon rolls from Ypsi Food Coop. I also planned to bring a favorite of mine - a simple and wonderful recipe for gatherings containing brie baked in puff pastry, along with some crackers.

Then just this morning I decided to make some pumpkin bread based on a recipe from Rodale's Natural Foods Cookbook


2 eggs
1/2 C honey
1 C canned pumpkin puree
1/2 C canola oil
1/4 C plain nonfat yogurt
1 5/8 C white flour
1 t baking soda
1 1/2 t pumpkin pie spice


1. Combine wet ingredients
2. Add remaining ingredients and stir until mixed
3. Pour into 2 8"x8" square baking dishes and bake at 325 F 40 to 50 min or until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean
4. Cool on a metal rack and cut into 16 pieces per baking dish


Servings: 32 squares Calories: 81 Fat: 4g Fiber: 0.5g Carbs: 10g Protein: 1.5g

I only made 1/2 the original recipe. I couldn't imagine spending 1 C oil and 1 C honey on anything. I had also wanted to put some sunflower seeds on top partway thru baking, but didn't get to do it before the top was already though. I think it'll be more popularly acceptable this way anyway. If I had to make this again, I'd replace half of the oil with some other wet ingredient (maybe pumpkin or yogurt) and I'd add some salt.

The cats say: Spock spent time in the kitchen being underfoot, but didn't have a chance to nom any bread. He did however get some leftover fried rice which was dropped on the floor accidentally. And Black Kitty loved the book as a pillow.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tomato and White Bean soup adapted

I'm thoroughly enjoying taking off the week of Thanksgiving from work to relax, work out, and cook! Today I actually cooked a lunch for myself to eat at that exact time (usually I have leftovers, or something cooked in advance). I've made a soup containing Michigan Navy Beans and canned tomatoes, that I've adapted from Bob Harper's and Greg Critser's book Skinny Rules.


4 t olive oil
2 yellow onions diced*
4 large carrots julienned*
5 cloves garlic minced
2 C cooked Navy Beans, drained, rinsed**
28 oz. can diced Tomatoes
28 oz. water
1 cube Not Beef vegan bouillon.
1 t Italian seasoning


1. Combine oil, onion, and carrots in a large soup pot and sauté until tender.
2. Add remaining ingredients and heat until boiling, reduce heat and simmer until the volume reduces to desired thickness

* I used my mandolin slicer to quickly dice and julienne
** I'd pre-made some Navy Beans in my pressure cooker this week and conveniently had these in the fridge. Canned would be just as good.


Servings: 4 Calories: 228 Fat: 6g Fiber: 11g Carbs: 39g Protein: 9g

You will notice that I don't agree with Harper and Critser about sodium. I didn't mind the 475mg sodium in this soup, since I made it at home and I don't personally have issues with salt. I got 10 cups soup total, so each serving is about 2.5 C. I had this for lunch on a lazy day, so I feel very full. That's probably because the fiber's high and the net carbs are OK. However, I'm not happy with the Protein level. It seems as though the beans have less Protein than I'd previously thought. I'd love to add this as a soup course before a dinner, and I'm surely having this as a leftover lunch soon!

The cats say: Spock was very interested while I was eating, and cleaned the bowl once I was finished! Yet-to-be-named black kitty could not be bothered by this meal's presence near her sleeping spot.