Thursday, March 31, 2011

Maple Pecan Muffins

I have mentioned before that I love muffins, all kinds of muffins and yet, I have not posted any, for a while.  I think it is a time for another muffin, one from Nigella Lawson.   I respect Nigella and love most of her recipes.  Reading her new book has given me glances of who she is and I have learned a tremendous amount from her tips and her techniques.

There are chefs that I have cooked from that I wish I could do a recipe a week.  Nigella is one.  Tyler Florence is another.

I am planning to do a lot more Ina Garten cooking, right here.  I am not a person who uses lots of fat.  I sub oil for butter whenever possible.  Ina is going to be my challenge because I am cutting down her fats in my recipes and I am going to make them work.  I recently made one of her loaf cakes and I did just this, subbed in oil for the butter and used less than called for.  I had a luscious, moist cake.  It was delicious and I doubt it lost anything in the translation.    My advice to my readers is not to shy away from Ina or Paula, for that matter.  Take a few risks and experiment and cut back on what is unhealthy, if that is what you want.  Otherwise, simply enjoy it. I am the one, attempting to lose weight so I have to cut back.  I am not telling you to do the same unless it is opposed to your own philosophy of eating and cooking.



Maple Pecan Muffins - adapted

Makes 10

Ingredients:

1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

2 cups all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking powder 

1 pinch of salt

1/2 cup Rice Milk

1 egg

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar


Method:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Fill a 12-cup muffin tray with paper liners. (I had enough for ten.)

Reserve 1/4th of the chopped pecans. 


Mix together the remaining walnuts with flour, salt,and baking powder.

In another bowl, whisk together milk, egg, maple syrup, oil and vanilla.

Pour the liquids into the dry mixture. Gently fold to mix.

The batter can have some lumps. Do not overmix because these muffins can get tough.
Spoon batter into muffin cups.

Chop the remaining nuts finely and mix with the dark brown sugar.

Sprinkle a little of this mixture on top of each muffin.

Bake for about 20 minutes until tester comes clean.

The nut topping turns golden, but the muffins will be somewhat pale.

Remove muffins to a cooling rack.

I loved the tinge of maple flavoring but my husband thought it was cloying.  We do have different tastes when it comes to desserts.  I would cut the maple syrup, next time and I do want to make them with pecans.



Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Passover Baking - Brownies

rownies, PPassover starts the evening of the 19th - Monday night.  Our cooking for eight days is quite different in certain areas.  We do not use any leavened products.  What we buy must have a mark that tells us, it is made especially for the holiday.

Meat and fruit and vegetables remain basically the same.  We just can't use any prohibited products.  To cut down on meat, I plan to have a lot of veggie meals for the middle days.  There are 4 days of the holiday, 1 Sabbath day and three additional days which we call Chol Ha Moed, and these are half holidays.

Until, I prepare my kitchen, I can't cook anything for Passover, also called Pesach.  I don't want to wait until then to share some recipes for you, the readers.  Whether you are observing the holiday or not, you might enjoy some, if not all of the recipes.

I am going to start now with the recipes and add the photos after I make them in two weeks time.  I start cooking a few days before the holidays.  I keep cooking until the end.  I hope to find new recipes and plan to do some experimenting.  The recipes, I am sharing now are ones that I have made before.

I thought, we should start with fun, brownies.  Although these brownies have a different texture than the ones, I normally make, they are scrumptious.  I make, at least one huge pan of these.  This is one of the goodies that I eat and love.

There is a page at My Sweet and Savory with some of the recipes, I saved, last year.


I make both Tamar Ansh and Susie Fishbein’s Passover Brownies.  They are quite similar.  I made Tamar’s tonight.  I am going to share both recipes.  Don’t turn your back on these.  They won’t be there, when your turn around.


Tamar calls hers, “Famous Brownies”.  I would guess, within Jewish homes, these are quite famous.  Most people, I know, make one or the other recipes.  Tamar may know something, I do not know and probably means famous, in a broader manner.
Brownies for Passover  (adapted)
6 eggs
2 2/3 cups sugar (My husband commented, these were not sweet.  He did not know how much sugar was in the brownies but he is right.  They were just right, no cloying aftertaste.)
1 1/2 cups potato starch
3/4 cup cocoa
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
Glaze:
I did not have time to make the glaze but I am going to share the entire recipe.  I did spread chocolate chips on top and put the brownies back in the oven for a minute.  I then spread the chips over the brownie pudding, not the brownies.  Hubby likes them without frosting.
The real glaze follows:
1  cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons hot water
2 tablespoons cocoa
BROWNIES

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). 
  
Place the eggs, sugar, potato starch, cocoa, oil and vanilla into a large bowl.
Mix it all together until it is smooth.
Add chopped walnuts.
Line a 9 x 13 inch pan with parchment paper and pour the batter into the pan.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the brownies’s center comes out mostly clean, and the top is light brown and crispy.
(I used a square pan and made a round brownie pudding cake from the extra batter.  I plan to post the pudding cake on My Sweet and Savory, hopefully, tomorrow.)
Do not overbake.
When you remove the pan from the oven, allow it to cool completely.
Glaze:
In a small bowl, mix together the glaze ingredients with a spoon until smooth. 
Spread over the cooled brownies.
Allow it to set for a few minutes and then slice.

Linked to Haley It's A Keeper


Monday, March 28, 2011

Quiet and Unassuming Quinoa

Quinoa brings out varied reactions from many bloggers.  Some share that they would like to make it but are a bit nervous about doing so.  Others can't stop raving about it.  Two very different reactions to one useful food item.

I have found quinoa to be quite unassuming.  It goes where you tell it to go.  You want it to be spicy, it picks up the flavor with easily.  If you want it bland, add very little to it.  Use it instead of rice, on occasion.

It is easy to make other than rinsing thoroughly.  I put it through a sifter three times.  I found my strainers have holes that allow the quinoa to fall right through.  The sifter catches it and is easy to handle.

Other than that, it is not time consuming and you need not fuss over it.  Just enjoy it and it will blend in with the other flavors on the plate.

Of course, you probably do not want your quinoa to be quiet and unassuming.  You want it to have a little heat or lots of flavor.  You want add-ins for texture.  You can play as much as you want with quinoa and most likely end with something delicious.

Waking Up Quinoa

Ingredients for two people:

1 -2 tablespoons olive oil
 2 cups boiling water
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2/3 cup mixed mushrooms, sliced
1/3 green pepper, chopped
8 grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup scallions, chopped
1  tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Method:

In medium saucepan, in olive oil, cook mushrooms, green pepper and scallions for three minutes.
Add quinoa and cook for 30 seconds.
Add boiling water and cook for 18 minutes.
Add tomatoes, soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce and cook another 3 minutes until tomatoes are warm.
(I used my ice cream scoop to serve this.)




   Linked to Hearth and Soul 
Tuesday Tasty Tidbits at Permanent Posies   -    Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays  -  This Week's Cravings


Nutty Burgers



Use it up!  Use it up!  I will show you a photo of my nut and dried fruit stash and you know, there is no way, I am going to clear the house of nuts.  By the way, you can use lots of nuts, all kinds of nuts on Passover but we use them from a new container.  Whatever is left of my present nutty delights will be stored  away for the week of Passover and we will reclaim them afterward.  In the meanwhile, we are going to find ways to use nuts in most of what we eat.  Sounds good to me.

Nutty Burgers

Ingredients:

  • 1 to 1 1/4 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • toppings, such as tomato slices, lettuce, and onion slices
  • mayonnaise
 Method:

Combine first 7 ingredients; mix well. 

Shape into 4 patties; grill over hot coals 8 to 10 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. 

Transfer patties to serving platter.  Serve with tomatoes and pickles or a slaw or nice salad.

 Linked to Good Cheap Eats

Brrrr.....ownies -- Baking With Dorie -- BWD

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This week in BWD, we made Brrrr....ownies, leading us to a mint tinged brownie.  I didn't take photos and I am using the ones from a post, I did, in My Sweet and Savory.
  

This week,  Jen chose yummy brownies with a second flavor of mint.  A powerful and likable combination for us to enjoy and easily bake.  I made the batter with the raspberry mint patties which left a mint flavor that was an integral part of the brownie.

This is a successful choice for mint lovers.  You will find this recipe on page 103 of  Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. 






Sunday, March 27, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - March 28Th



Sunday - Hamburger with Potato Deluxe and Marinated Baked Onions

Monday - Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower and Red Onions

Tuesday - Chicken Stir Fry

Wednesday - Vegetable Tacos

Thursday - Vegetarian West African Soup

Friday - Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

Saturday - Chulent

Clearing Out Freezer and Pizza

As I mentioned before, in preparation for Passover,  I am clearing out the cabinets and freezer.  I thought, it would be fun to share the first transformation.  Keep in mind, everything, I am showing you has to be gone in two weeks.  Watch me cook up a storm.

My husband and I disagree how the freezer should be packed.  He thinks that plastic bags are the way to go and he is correct, I can get more food into the freezer using them.  On the other hand, once in plastic bags, I have to empty the freezer until I find what I am looking for.

I choose hard plastic containers which absolutely take up more space but for me, are easy to locate.  Even if I have to remove some, they are a snap to put back neatly.  It is also good for my need for organization.






The first food to be cooked is pizza.  In the freezer were two mini pizza crusts with a packet of sauce.  A little drama.....Out! Out! Darn Pizza!  And zoom,it is gone.

Ingredients for the shortest path to pizza other than buying it and then you have pick-up time or delivery time.  So, this still wins.

ready-made pizza crust (one large, 2 small)
sauce that comes with it or bottled sauce or your own sauce
topping: mozzarella cheese, chopped orange pepper, chopped onions and whatever you desire

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Spread sauce on crust, covering as much as possible.
Add vegetables and cheese, sprinkled somewhat evenly over top.
 Bake according to package directions.  Mine was 8 minutes at 400 degrees F.
 Cheese should be bubbling and onions should be translucent.
Remove from oven and transfer to a plate.

Eat hearty.
Linked to Potluck Sunday Sunday Brunch   Masterpiece Mondays    Meatless Vegan Mondays

Mint Chocolate Chip Pie - Barbara Bakes


This recipe comes from Barbara Bakes.  If you have not checked her blog, you should go and visit.  Barbara presents a well organized and delicious blog.  Each recipe is explained clearly and has lovely photographs to inspire. 

I am thrilled that Barbara allowed me to share this recipe with you.  This is one of those QEDs that does use prepared segments (pie shell, ice cream) but it is one that taking this path is well worth it.  Just look at the photo below and you know that this is the truth.  To throw together a beautiful pie, in a short time and come up with this, has to be a glorious moment.  I just have to try for that moment.

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Pie Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Hopefully, you’re wearing green. (I may or may not have sent my boys to school with no green on last year because I forgot.) And hopefully you have something delicious and green ready for dessert. If not, here’s the perfect recipe for you to whip up at the last minute.
Stop by the grocery store on your way home and buy some Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream. I love Dryer’s, but buy your favorite,  just make sure it’s green.  Also pick up one of those pre-made Oreo crusts. If you want to decorate it, also buy some whipping cream, canned or regular.
By the time you get home from the grocery store your ice cream will have softened up a little bit. Dump all the ice cream into a large bowl and stir it until it’s a soft serve consistency and you can easily spread it into the Oreo crust. Pop it into the freezer to firm up while you eat dinner.

Decorate with whipped cream, grated chocolate and green sprinkles as desired. A drizzle of chocolate syrup wouldn’t hurt either.
Enjoy!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Mile High Peanut Butter Brownie Pie

 The title sold me, before I even looked at the ingredients.  With a name like Mile High Peanut Butter Brownie Pie, it just had to be delicious.   It was also easy because this time, I copped out and use a ready-made pie shell and a box of brownie mix.  Of course, this is because I am so good and in preparing for Passover, I simply had to use this up.  I also finished off a jar of peanut butter.  I am good.

 

Mile High Peanut Butter Brownie Pie

 Ingredients

  • 1 pie shell
  • 1 box Brownie Mix
  • 1/4 cup Peanut Butter Chips
  • 1/3 cup Canola  Oil
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1egg
  • 1 package (8 oz.) Tofutti cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 container (8 oz.) frozen whipped topping, thawed=
  • 2 tablespoons  Mini Chips Semi-Sweet Chocolate

Directions

  1. In medium bowl, stir brownie mix, peanut butter chips, oil, water and egg 50 strokes with spoon. Pour batter into crust-lined pie plate.
  2.  Bake 30 to 40 minutes, covering edge of crust with strips of foil after 15 to 20 minutes, until crust is golden brown and center of brownie is set. Cool slightly, about 20 minutes. Refrigerate 1 hour or until completely cooled.
  3.  In medium bowl, beat cream cheese, peanut butter and powdered sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Spread mixture over brownie. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Refrigerate 30 minutes before serving. Store covered in refrigerator. 10 servings. 
  4.  
    How easy is that?  Who says that?  Is it Ina?  Smart lady.  I must make an Ina recipe.
    Linked to:      Foodie Friday    http://designsbygollum.blogspot.com/2011/01/foodie-friday-.html
    Melt in Your Mouth Mondays   This Week's Cravings









Thursday, March 24, 2011

Creamy Chocolate Puffs

Before making wontons, I made a variety of puff pastry creations.  Anything sweet was pulled off the shelves and into my puff pastry creations.  Frantically opening containers and matching up the contents with another jar or box, was fun and challenging.  Puff pastry was easy too work with and in most cases, resulted in successful cookies.  I ran out of puff pastry before I ran out of ideas.

One of the boxes of puff pastry came in squares and were much easier to work with.  I used them first for the cookies, I rolled up.

I made different kinds of these and the best were the chocolate chips and Tofutti cream cheese.

Creamy Chocolate Puffs

Ingredients:

1 box puff pastry (8 squares)
1 container Tofutti cream cheese (non dairy)
1 cup of chocolate chips

   
Procedure:
Preheat the oven to 400°F.  
melted margarine 
Lay out the 8 squares on a lightly floured surface.  Brush the pastry sheet with the melted margarine.  Spread the Tofutti cream cheese onto the pastry and sprinkle chocolate chips on top.  Next time, I would sprinkle brownulated sugar on the cream cheese and then add the chocolate chips. 
Starting at the short side, roll up like a jelly roll.  Repeat with the remaining pastry sheets.

Using a sharp knife, carefully cut each pastry roll crosswise into 5 slices.  Place the slices, cut-side up, onto 2 baking sheets.  Either brush with melted margarine or spray with cooking oil.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown.  Check, starting at 15 minutes.


Spirals with a Quick and Simple Meat Sauce

Last night, I decided to try one of Hazan's meat dishes.  Why not start with his simple meat sauce?  There was a good reason not to.  It is much too simple, basically throwing together meat and onions and tomatoes.  Certainly, I have made better sauces, myself.
I wanted to make something from Hazan, though, in keeping with the group's theme.  I looked up recipes from Hazan online and found this classic bolognese meat sauce which adds milk to the sauce.  Since, I can't use dairy milk, I subbed in Rice milk and made a sauce with some taste to it with added carrots, celery and onions, a little nutmeg and it used canned tomatoes instead of the fresh, he uses in this thirty minute book.  I ended up using both fresh and canned so I would have enough.

This is the recipe, I adapted.  It won't link up.  Computers or Blogger can can stubborn.

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/bolognese_sauce.html

Ingredients                  

  • 2 small yellow onions, finely chopped
  •                
  • 4 small or 2 large carrots, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  •                
  • 1 stalks celery, cut into 1/4-inch diced       
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  •                
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  •                
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  •                
  • 1 cups dry white wine
  •              
  • 1 cups Rice Milk
  •                
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  •               
  • 2 28-ounce cans plus one 14-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes plus 2 fresh tomatoes
  •                       
  •  1 teaspoon sweet chili sauce  
           

Preparation:   
 
Put onions, carrots, celery, and oil in a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven and place over medium-high  heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are lightly  browned, 8 to 15 minutes.
               
Add ground turkey and break it up with a wooden spoon. Season with salt and continue
stirring until the meat has lost its red color, about 4 minutes.
           
Add wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until it has almost completely evaporated, 18 to 25
minutes. Add milk and nutmeg and cook, stirring occasionally, until the
milk has mostly evaporated, 12 to 18 minutes.

Coarsely chop tomatoes and add them and their juice to the pot. Once the tomatoes have started
bubbling, reduce the heat to low so that the sauce is barely simmering.

Cook uncovered for 4 hours, stirring occasionally. If all the liquid evaporates before the cooking time is up, add water 1/2 cup at a time as  needed.

After 4 hours, make sure all the liquid has evaporated before you remove the sauce from the heat. Blot or skim any fat from the surface before serving.
         
This recipe was a great success.  Both hubby and I like it.  With the added vegetables and a teaspoon of sweet chili sauce, it had the necessary flavor.  I would add more sweet chili sauce, next time.


I have decided that this book is too simplified and the recipes duplicate each other.  There is lots of room for creativity but that would probably take more than the thirty minute limit for the recipes.  I love Hazan's regular recipes with more oomph to them and I am going to see if I can find more of them online.  I don't need another cookbook although, I would love to have another of his.  I enjoy how he explains his cooking.  I think he is good and if you want to turn the recipes, into your own, you can do it but it will be your recipe, not his.

Check out his combinations, though.  He has a pasta with melon and another with carrot sauce and of course, with squash.  They are creative and interesting. 

I am not rejecting the book and certainly not Hazan.  I have the wrong book for me and that is totally personal.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Hamantashen with Apricot or Blueberry Filling

Jewish homes, all over the world, eat this interesting cookie on the holiday of Purim.  It is a three cornered cookie, traditionally filled with poppy seeds.  Nowadays, we fill it with everything from chocolate to fruit.  For information on the reasons for eating these cookies, at this time, you can check this article.

This is recipe that just goes together.  The fun is in planning the filling.  I used apricot butter with chopped almonds and cherry jam with whole cherries in it.  I also made a few blueberry filled hamantashen using blueberry jelly.  You can make your own filling and it is easy to do but I am on my rampage to empty out the refrigerator for Passover so the jellies are being utilized.

Ingredients:
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 - 1 cup oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup apricot butter
  • 1/2 cup cherry jelly
  • 1/2 cup blueberry jelly
 Method:

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Beat eggs and add the sugar, oil, vanilla, baking powder, salt and flour. 
Chill dough in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Split the dough into two pieces.
Roll  out dough to a 1/4 inch thickness.
Using 2 inch round cookie cutter, make rounds.  (You can make these bigger, if you choose.)
Spread apricot butter or jelly on the rounds leaving some free room around the edges.  Use about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of filling of choice.  Do not overfill or it will come out the sides.
Fold one third over filling, folding about 1/4 of the dough.  Fold the next third and finally the third.  I wish, I could draw a picture.  I don't think, I took one.
Pinch corners together.  I read one article which said clearly not to pinch and one would get a better cookie but I pinched. :)
Place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees.  Larger cookies need a few more minutes.


These are really good.  Have fun with the fillings.  Enjoy.

Linked to:   A Moderate Life      -   What's On the Menu Wednesday?     -    33 Shades of Green  
Frugal Food Thursdays    -      Permanent Posies           Tasty Tuesdays 
Mandy's Recipe Box                Ultimate Recipe Swap  
Pennywise Platter Thursdays 
Grocery Cart Challenge

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cocoa Crinkle Cookies

I didn't get to explain about Purim and I do want to share one of our customs to explain, all my baking, which you will find here and at My Sweet and Savory.

We have a blast on Purim.  There is a big meal where we definitely indulge in good food.  The holiday starts in the evening and goes through to the following evening.  We hear the Megilla read.  The Megilla contains the Book of Esther which I love.  This holiday is a remembrance and celebration of the happenings of this book.

We give food gifts to several people although it is not necessary to give that many.  I decided this year to bake cookies and add fruit to my packages.  I will see if I have some still around and will take some photos.

Children and adults wear costumes and are in holiday spirit.  The streets of neighborhoods are filled with all of these happy folks giving their gifts out.  While in the house, others are making more packages.  Gifts vary.  We could get wine and cheese in one package and different kinds of candy in another.  We always receive challahs which we freeze and keep for our Sabbath.  Some packages are modest and a few are extravagant.  I believe in the modest ones with something substantial in them.  I remember one year, a friend bought a plastic bagel holder and filled it with bagels and added a container of cream cheese and a package of lox.  That was fun to get.

I decided on cookies for two reasons.  In this way, I could make packages for the boys in my class as well as friends and neighbors and I would also rid the house of flour and puff pastry.

I will be sharing these goodies with you in the days to come.  If you want to see some photos now, go on over to My Sweet and Savory and in the post on My Meatless Mondays you will find a number of photos.

One of the cookies, I chose was these crinkle cookies from Hersheys.  They have some wonderful recipes there and luscious pictures.


Ingredients:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup cocoa 
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Powdered sugar

Directions

Combine granulated sugar and oil in large bowl; add cocoa, beating until well blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to cocoa mixture, beating well. Cover; refrigerate until dough is firm enough to handle, at least 6 hours.
Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease cookie sheet or line with parchment paper. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in powdered sugar to coat. Place about 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet. 

Bake 11 to 13 minutes or until almost no indentation remains when touched lightly and tops are crackled. Cool slightly. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. About 4 dozen cookies.

These are examples of the packages we give and we get, filled with food items.
                                                                                                                          

     


    Linked to This Week's Cravings - Chocolat Bookmarked Recipes

      Monday, March 21, 2011

      Fresh Tomato Sauce - QED Guest Recipe - Miriam

      Miriam and I met like all food bloggers do, visiting one another's blogs.  Miriam links to My Meatless Mondays and I have always loved her recipes.  I found many of them to be quick and easy to make and I am sure delicious, as well.  I am waiting for her cookbook to come out so I can cook through it.  I am that confident that I will like it.

      I am going to let Miriam speak for herself.  I will say, I feel honored to have such a lovely foodie visiting my blog and certainly enriching it.  Please visit her, for yourself, and see how right, I am.
       

      Hi there! Miriam Barton here, author of Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters, the cookbook (to be released in June 2011).  I have designed an entire cookbook of vegetarian and vegan recipes that would all taste delicious to people who eat meat on a regular basis.
      You see for me, and for most people, taste is the issue.  No matter how healthy something is for your body, no one wants to eat it if it tastes bad (or very different from what you’re used to).   Just peeking at vegetarian cooking magazines and cookbooks can be discouraging because so many are filled with ingredients that regular-non-cooking-guru people haven’t ever heard of and flavors that are very foreign to people who love meaty “comfort food.”
       And meat, well, it’s just not good for anyone to eat every day.  It’s hard on your heart, kidneys, liver, intestines, colon…you get the picture.  So what do you eat on the days you’re giving your internal organs a break from the meat?  “Meatless Meals,” of course!  The meals are filled with ingredients that we are all used to and are familiar with.  Only delicious and hearty will due for me (I’m a food snob who hates to be hungry after I just ate a meal).  So, “filling and great tasting,” is a motto for me when I’m creating recipes.
      My publisher asked me to start a web site named after my book, http://meatlessmealsformeateaters.blogspot.com/.  On the web site I have shared many recipes (about 3 per week for the past several months), that I have created just for blogging purposes.  I have been allowed to only share a few recipes from my cookbook on my site and today I’m going to share one of them with you.  It is very easy and addictively delicious.
      I used to live in Italy and oh, what delicious food!  Well, this simple sauce is one that Italians eat literally every day.  It is a simple tomato sauce made from fresh tomatoes (that’s right, no more preservative filled jars of Ragu for you!).  Serve this over your favorite cooked pasta (any shaped noodle will do).

      Fresh Tomato Sauce
       
      3-4 garlic cloves minced                                                            

      ¼ cup chopped onions
      3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
      1 ½ cups diced tomatoes
      ½ teaspoon basil
      ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
      ¼ teaspoon salt
      ¼ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
      Parmesan cheese

      Sauté garlic and onions in oil, on medium heat, for 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes and spices and let cook for 15-20 minutes stirring and mashing tomatoes occasionally. Stir your favorite kind of cooked pasta into the sauce and sprinkle each serving with fresh parmesan cheese. Makes 4 servings.

      Recipe from the cookbook Meatless Meals for Meat Eaters by Miriam Barton, all rights reserved.