November 28th, 2007

spice of life

upon returning home to atlanta and the dekalb farmer's market this thanksgiving holiday, i picked up a couple spices i had not used previously: GROUND fenugreek and star anise. i'm familiar with their flavor profiles and common uses, but have never actually cooked with them myself! what are your favorite ways to use these? (ps. i make a lot of indian food already and have a pretty packed spice cabinet, so don't be afraid to make complicated suggestions)

as a thank-you in advance, here's the recipe i used to make my
masala chai this morning:
serves two.

*approx two cups of water
*four whole black peppercorns
*six cardamom pods, lightly crushed
*eight or so whole cloves
*two big bay leaves
*a cinnamon stick
*loose black tea (to your strength preference)
(star anise can also be used in this tea, i know, but how many pods?)

boil and simmer water, peppercorns, pods, cloves, leaves, stick for fifteen minutes or so
add black tea, turn off heat on stove, steep three minutes
strain and serve! (i added stevia; soy/rice/almond/etc milk is good, too)

many thanks
  • Current Music
    computers humming.

Soup Help

It's getting cold, and I am constantly craving soup, stew, porridge, and anything hot that sticks to your ribs. I'd love to hear all of your favorite recipes for anything like that. Oh, especially "Cream" of Mushroom. I tried and failed miserably.

P.S. Try throwing dried cranberries in your next stew, it's delicious!
heart heart

Apple Pie!

I just wrote this out for a friend, and thought I'd share it.


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup Earth Balance Margarine
1/2 cup veggie shortening (Spectrum brand is great)
5-6 Tbl Cold water

Combine flour and salt, then cut in Margarine and veggie shortening. Mix with 2 knives or pastry blender, cutting flour-margarine/shortening lumps apart until mixture resembles coarse sand. Slowly add the water until it all easily forms into a ball. The dough should still be very dry. Form the dough into 2 balls, coat lightly with vegetable oil and put in bowls and cover with saran wrap. Place in refrigerator while you prepare the filling.


5-6 medium apples (braeburn or macintosh are best, Fuji or Gala are also good)
3/4 cup organic non-bleached sugar
2 Tbl all-purpose flour
1 Tbl Lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 Tbl real maple syrup (optional, but strongly suggested)
pinch of salt
2 Tbl Earth Balance

- Preheat oven to 425.
- Peel, core and slice apples 1/4 inch thick. Combine all ingredients except Earth Balance in a large bowl. Let stand in bowl while you roll out one of the balls of dough and place in the bottom of a 9" pie pan with about 3/4 inch over hang. Pour mixture into the pie crust and then dot the top of the apple mixture with 2 Tbl Earth Balance and drizzle maple syrup. Roll out the other ball of dough for the top crust. Wet the overhang of the bottom crust, then place the top crust on. Pinch crusts together. Cut steam vents in the top crust, wet slightly and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake on center rack for 30 minutes. Lower temperature to 350, put a baking sheet under beneath the pie and bake for about 30 more minutes or until the apples are slightly tender when poked with a skewer or knife through the steam vents.
- Pie should cool about 3-4 hours before serving and is best served the same day.
baby fist

Maple glazed seitan stir-fry

Sorry no pictures, but this was delicious and super easy to make. I used a little less arrowroot powder since I didn't have enough (1/3 Tbsp maybe) and not as much sesame oil. I was able to eat 2 servings pretty easily so you might want to have a side dish if you are preparing for 4.

Have all ingredients chopped and ready, and keep them in constant motion over high heat while cooking so they get crisp on the outside and stay tender inside.
Ingredient List

Serves 4
Glazed Seitan

* 3 Tbs. maple syrup
* 3 Tbs. orange juice
* 1 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce
* 1 Tbs. toasted sesame oil
* 1 12-oz. pkg. seitan, shredded


* 3/4 cup cashews
* 1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. sesame oil
* 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch strips (about 1 cup)
* 1 cup frozen shelled edamame
* 1 Tbs. minced ginger
* 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tbs.)
* 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
* 6 Tbs. orange juice
* 1 Tbs. arrowroot powder


1. To make Glazed Seitan: Combine syrup, juice and soy sauce in small bowl.
2. Heat oil in nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add seitan, and stir-fry 4 minutes, or until golden. Add maple syrup mixture, and simmer 3 minutes, or until seitan is coated with glaze. Transfer to bowl. Wipe out skillet.
3. To make Stir-Fry: Toast cashews in dry skillet over medium-high heat 3 minutes, or until fragrant. Transfer to bowl. Heat 1 Tbs. sesame oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper and edamame, and stir-fry 2 minutes.
4. Move vegetables to sides of skillet, and pour remaining 1 tsp. oil in center. Add ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes, and stir-fry 1 minute. Stir in 2 Tbs. water, Glazed Seitan and cashews. Cover, and cook 2 minutes, or until pepper is tender.
5. Combine orange juice and arrowroot powder. Stir into vegetable mixture. Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat, and serve.

Nutritional Information

Per SERVING: Calories: 421, Protein: 32g, Total fat: 19g, Carbs: 33g, Cholesterol: mg, Sodium: 346mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugars: 15g

nuts - cashews, meat substitutes - seitan