Sunday, February 26, 2017

Almond Pear Cake

Happy Five Year Blogiversary to Vegetarian & Cooking! I continue to be amazed at the difference between now and five years ago when I started this blog in my tiny college kitchen. As always year five brought about a lot of changes, with less free time I switched back to posting sporadically like I did in the beginning of this blog.

I made this Almond Pear Cake to serve at the end of dinner with my parents and then took the leftovers to the office. It was a hit all around, one of my coworkers took a big slice and told me that the cake was absolutely amazing. If  you're not a fan of almond, stay away, because it is in every bite of this cake.

Recipe from Bakers Royale.

-1 cup cake flour
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-2/3 cup sugar
-5 oz. almond paste
-3/4 cups butter
-3 eggs
-1 teaspoon almond extract
-2 poached pears

-4 tablespoons butter
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-3/4 cup almonds

Heat oven to 350F and then butter and flour a springform pan.

In a medium bowl, mix together cake flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Add the sugar and almond paste to a large bowl and use a pastry cutter to blend the sugar and almond paste until it looks like wet sand. Add the butter and use an electric mixer to beat the butter/almond paste/sugar on medium speed until combined. Then increase the speed to high and beat for 2-3 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure that each is combined before adding the next. Lastly add the almond extract and beat until fully combined.

Fold in the flour mixture and then your batter is ready. Thinly slice the poached pears. Spoon half the batter into the prepared pan, top with the with the poached pears and then the remaining batter.

Bake at 350F for 50 minutes.  

After 40 minutes, prepare the cake topping by melting the butter and brown sugar in a small sauce pan. Boil and then fold in the almonds. After the cake has baked for 50 minutes, remove the cake from the oven and spread the topping onto the cake.  Return cake to oven and bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until inserted cake tester comes out free of crumbs.

Remove cake from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, before removing cake from pan. 



Friday, February 17, 2017

Grapefruit and Avocado Quinoa with Honey Lime Tofu

The combination of all of the ingredients in this recipe really intrigued me, I figured I could easily make it with tofu instead of shrimp.

We enjoy all of the included ingredients and the idea of honey lime tofu paired with grapefruit just seemed really fresh and bright to me -- which is much needed during this snowy, cold month. The caramelization on the tofu added really nice flavor to this dish as well as a nice texture contrast.

Recipe slightly adapted from Whole Bite Blog.

Honey Lime Tofu
-1 package extra-firm tofu, pressed and cut into 1 inch cubes
-salt and pepper
-1/4 cup olive oil
-1/2 cup + 1 tbsp.  fresh lime juice
-3 tablespoons honey

-1 cup quinoa
-2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
-1/4 cup chopped cilantro
-2 avocados, diced
-1 large grapefruit, peeled and segmented
-1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles

-1/4 cup lime juice
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-1 tablespoon honey
-1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
-1 teaspoon mustard
-salt and pepper

In a bowl, whisk the oil, 1/2 cup lime juice and 2 tbsp. honey (reserve the remaining lime juice and honey or cooking). Add the tofu and season with salt and pepper. Cover and marinate the tofu for 30-45 minutes.

Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl -- whisk, and season to taste.

Bring the quinoa and two cups of water to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the water has absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy, 15-20 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Heat a large skillet and add the tofu pieces (you'll want to use a slotted spoon to remove them), cook on all sides until the marinade has started to caramelize on the outside of the tofu.

Add the grapefruit, avocado, and feta to the quinoa toss and then stir in the dressing. Top with the tofu and serve.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Cranberry Orange Stir-Fry

Happy 2017! The month of January was pretty busy for us, but I have several recipes that I plan on sharing during February.

Dave and I have been working on getting better at meal planning in order to avoid falling into a take-out rut -- we've been loving the pre-made meal plans created by Oh My Veggies. Oh My Veggies creates both vegetarian and vegan meal plans and even makes the shopping list for you too, it's been so wonderful to use the past few weeks. We're making everything on the 02.06.2017 meal plan this upcoming week and last week we made the recipes for the 11.02.2015 meal plan.

I couldn't resist trying this recipe when I found it on another blog, I shared it with some friends and they attest the original pork version is pretty satisfying and we loved the tofu version. The sauce is sweet, tangy, and spicy -- if you'd like to cut some of the sugar you can make the Thai chili sauce yourself.

Recipe adapted from Half Baked Harvest.

-2 tablespoons olive oil
-1 block extra-firm tofu, pressed and cut into 1 inch cubes
-1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
-2 small bunches broccoli florets
-3/4 cups sweet Thai chili sauce
-1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon ginger
-1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
-3-4 clementines, peeled
-roasted cashews and sesame seeds, for serving

Heat one tablespoon of oil in a wok until heated, then add the tofu cubes and cook for 5-10 minutes turning occasionally.

Once the tofu is cooked on most sides, add the remaining olive oil and the minced ginger. Cook for 30 seconds. Add the broccoli and cook for 5 minutes. Now add the sweet thai chili sauce, soy sauce, cinnamon, pepper and cranberries.

Bring the entire thing to a boil and cook until the sauce has thickened and the cranberries have started to burst , about 5-8 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the clementine segments.Serve over a bed of rice and garnish with cashews and sesame seeds, black sesame seeds will contrast nicely with the other ingredients.