Tag Archives: ginger

One recipe? Two pumpkin products!

It is that time of year again! Autumn. My absolute favorite time of year. When leaves change color and pumpkin spice takes over! This recipe creates two pumpkin spice products when it is finished. Two for the price of one!! A simple syrup for using in chai, coffee or anywhere else you want a hint of pumpkin spice and a pleasantly sweet pumpkin purée for use in baking.

 
Isn’t it beautiful? Now imagine the smell!! The ingredients of the pot are as follows: four cups of water, two cups raw cane sugar, one small sugar pumpkin-peeled and chopped, and eight cinnamon sticks. Also add nutmeg, ginger and allspice to taste.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for at least an hour. The longer you simmer, the more flavorful the simple syrup will be.

  

Allow to cool. Once cooled, strain. The liquid is your sweet and savory simple syrup. This recipe yielded one quart jar and one pint jar. Use this to add the flavor of the season to coffee, chai, smoothies, or whatever else makes you happy. I had some in my oolong tea this morning and it was delicious.

  
Don’t throw away the solids in the strainer!! Remove the cinnamon sticks, then put the pumpkin to the blender and purée. This is your slightly sweet pumpkin purée. This recipe yielded one pint jar. Use this for baked goods. I plan on making pumpkin granola bars. Watch for the recipe in a future blog.

  
This was my first concoction. A clean out the blender smoothie for breakfast on the go. I added twelve ounces of water, one scoop of vanilla protein powder, one-quarter cup of rolled oats, a handful of spinach, and a few generous dashes of cinnamon. Blender is cleaner and the belly is happy!


Spicy Mushroom Tofu Soup

Photo Sep 08, 12 37 14 PM

The hubby and I had this dish for lunch today and even though I forgot to take my usual amount of pictures we enjoyed it so much I decided to share it. I did remember the most important picture, the completed dish! This soup has the perfect balance of spicy and sweet. It is a nutritionally packed and a well-balanced meal all in one bowl. It is also prepared in one pot. Minimal dishes required!

Now, I know some of you are not tofu fans, but when treated right it adds a delicious flavor, texture and nutritional punch to dishes. My current favorite is Wildwood Organics Sprouted Extra Firm. It is perfect just the way it is, no need to press. When in doubt, always press to get rid of the extra moisture so you do not have mushy tofu. Mushy is not the texture you are going for.

To start, get a couple of tablespoons of sesame oil warming over medium heat in your favorite soup pot. Once the oil is warm grate in a two-inch piece of ginger and four cloves of garlic. Next, generously sprinkle in chili powder and chili flakes. Fresh sliced Serrano would be good as well but there was none in the house. How generously? That is up to you! Add in the chili to your taste. We like a little spice so I am heavy-handed.

Meanwhile shred half of a small cabbage and two bok choy. Napa cabbage would work really well here as well. I used plain old cabbage because that is what we had in the fridge. Once the aromatics have released their oils and the kitchen smells amazing, drop in the cabbage and bok choy.

Sauté until the cabbage is beginning to get tender. Then add in one pound of sliced mixed mushrooms. Use whatever you have on hand. Sauté until the mushrooms are nice and brown. Once brown, add in six cups of unsalted vegetable broth, two cups of water, one-half cup of mirin, and a few tablespoons of low sodium soy sauce. Season to taste with white pepper, black pepper and salt.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer. Once you turn the heat down, add twenty ounces of extra firm tofu cut into small cubes. Allow to simmer around thirty minutes until the flavors marry nicely. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve with sriracha for a little extra heat.

Not only is this soup hearty and filling, but it will help clear your sinuses as well! Especially if you add in as much sriracha as I do!


Ginger-Garlic Marinated Tofu

Lately, I have been trying to incorporate more plant-based meals into our diet. Not that we don’t already eat healthy, we do. This is just one more step.

So, the other night, I decided to marinate some tofu. I know some of you are thinking, tofu? Yuck. When prepared and cooked properly tofu is exceptionally yummy! Really, it is.

Marinated Tofu 1

Slice a twenty ounce package of tofu into quarter-inch slices. Depending on the type of tofu, you may need to press it. I prefer Wildwood Organic because the texture works without pressing.

For the marinade I combined one-half cup of low sodium soy sauce, one-half cup of mirin, one-quarter cup of harissa oil, six sliced cloves of garlic, three inches of ginger sliced, salt and pepper to taste. Allow the tofu to marinade overnight.

Marinated Tofu 2

The tofu will absorb most of the marinade. If there is still a lot of liquid remaining, transfer the tofu to another dish. If it is too wet it will not get crispy on the outside.

Marinated Tofu 3

Once transferred to a dry dish, the tofu bakes in a 375* oven. Flip tofu every ten minutes. My original plan was to grill the tofu but Mother Nature had other plans!

Marinated Tofu 4

After thirty to forty minutes the tofu will be browned nicely and crispy on the outside. This is when you will know it is done. The marvelous aroma of ginger and garlic will also give you a hint.

Marinated Tofu 5

Once done I plated with some fresh veggies from the farmers’ market. Combined, the tofu and veggies made for a nutrient packed and delicious meal!


Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Since, Halloween is rapidly approaching, I decided to focus on pumpkin this week! Today’s recipe, pumpkin bread pudding, showcases pumpkin in a warm and savory bread pudding.

This is a pretty simple recipe. Some day old bread, pumpkin, almond milk, eggs and spices is all it takes to create this fabulous fall dish.

Start by cutting the bread into one inch cubes and placing them into a non-dairy buttered nine by twelve baking dish.

Next, mix the custard. Six cups of vanilla almond milk and four eggs get whisked together. Season with grated nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and ginger. For a sweeter version you could add brown sugar to the custard.

Pour the custard mixture over the bread and place aside. This needs to sit for about two hours to absorb the custard and flavors. If you are in a hurry and must cheat, let it sit for a minimum of thirty minutes.

While the bread mixture sits, cube up your pumpkin. Scatter over the top of the bread mixture and cover with aluminum foil. Place in a 350* oven for forty-five to sixty minutes until the top is nicely brown and the middle is firm. I apologize, somehow I forgot to take a picture of the bread pudding fresh out of the oven.

Scoop into your favorite bowl and enjoy! I topped mine with a little warm vanilla almond milk and grate cinnamon for dessert. This dish makes a wonderfully warm earthy dessert but would also work well as a side dish with roasted chicken or turkey. Maybe Thanksgiving dinner?


Edamame Salad

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It is said that we eat with our eyes first. If that is the case, than this salad will definitely satisfy. This colorful salad is an amazing accompaniment to any meal. It can also be enjoyed as a delicious and healthy snack on its own.

Start by preheating the oven to 375*. Clean six to eight medium beets, and cut them into small cubes. Toss with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Into a baking dish they go to roast in the oven for twenty minutes or until fork tender.

Meanwhile, rinse and strain twelve ounces of shelled edamame and two fifteen ounce cans of garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas. Toss into a large bowl.

Clean two large carrots and slice into match sticks. Chop one large sweet onion, one red pepper, one orange pepper, and one yellow pepper. Add the veggies in with the edamame and garbanzo beans.

Once the beets are cooked, allow them to cool and add them in to the edamame mixture.

Pour one-half cup or so of vinegar into a small mixing bowl. For this batch I used a serrano honey vinegar. Honestly, I think I could drink this by the glass!

Over the vinegar  bowl, grate three cloves of garlic and a one inch piece of ginger which was peeled. Add in some fresh ground sea salt and pepper. Right now I am loving using mixed peppercorns. It gives things a slightly different taste than black peppercorns alone. Whisk well.

Pour the seasoned vinegar over the edamame mixture and toss well to combine. Adjust seasonings as necessary. Allow to sit in the fridge a few hours to really allow all flavors to marry.

This salad is a colorful treat that you can enjoy with several of your senses…..sight, taste, and don’t forget smell!


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