Friday, December 30, 2011

Chocolate-Banana Itty-Bit of Peanut Butter Fridge Pie

Chocolate-Banana Itty-Bit of Peanut Butter Fridge Pie
On January 1st, I'm starting a 2 month long no-sugar challenge and as a last hurrah I decided to make a decadent, chilled dessert.  My intention was to create a chocolate-peanut butter pie but realized too late that there was only a scant tablespoon of peanut butter left in the jar.  What to do?  The crust was made, the chocolate melted and the silken tofu blended.  I spied the large bunch of bananas across the room and popped one in the food processor with the rest of the ingredients.  Yes!  It was a good call.

This pie is super rich, yummy and easy to make - even for pie challenged people like me.  I'm not including a recipe for the crust because I'm incredibly terrible at making them as you will see from the horrendous photo.  I didn't even intend on posting this but it was so satisfying and chocolaty that my quick snapshot of the mostly eaten pie will have to do.

1 package silken tofu
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large, ripe, banana
1 Tablespoon peanut butter
3/4 cup melted semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 graham cracker pie crust.

Blend silken tofu, agave nectar, vanilla, peanut butter and banana in the food processor until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary.  Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave or in a double boiler and add to the mixture in the food processor.  Blend until fully incorporated and smooth.  Pour into the pie crust and chill for at least one hour.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Eggplant-Garlic-Bean Spread

Eggplant-Garlic-Bean Spread

This is one of my favourite things to eat.  I am officially hooked on warm, comforting bean dip slathered on toast for a quick and healthy breakfast.  This version has a slightly smoky undertone from the dry-fried eggplant.  You can eat this simply like I do on toast, as a wonderful addition to any sandwich or wrap, or it can be dressed up with more toppings on rounds of baguette or crackers.  If I have a pot of this prepared in the fridge, I never go hungry.    

Eggplant-Garlic-Bean Spread

1 small Asian eggplant, quartered lengthwise and chopped
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can navy beans, rinsed
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Preheat a non-stick fry pan on high for a few minutes while you are chopping the vegetables.  Add the eggplant into the dry pan and cook, stirring periodically.  Once the eggplant takes on a smoky, slightly brown appearance, add the olive oil and chopped onion.  Turn down the heat to medium and cook until the onion is softened.  Add the chopped garlic, cook for a few more minutes, stirring so the garlic doesn't burn and then turn off the heat. 

Place the navy beans, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, along with the veggies from the fry pan into a food processor.  Make sure you scrape all the oil from the pan into the processor.  Blend until you reach the desired consistency.   

Eggplant, onion and garlic frying.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Vegan Shortbread

Vegan Shortbread Hearts and Giraffes

I was determined to make shortbread today.  Along with my friend Farrah, I'm participating in another cooking challenge with the theme of food as gifts.  So, what better gift than home-made Christmas shortbread.  As a child, these were my favourite cookies to eat, make and decorate at holiday time.

I dug out the little booklet of family recipe cards given to me by my mom and found "Nummy Shortbread".  There was one small problem, it only listed three ingredients and not one of them was sugar.  And then I read the instructions which consisted of only three words.  "Mix, roll, cut."   Hmmmmmm, a bit cryptic for my comfort.  I called my mom and asked her about the sugar.  Her response was, "don't put in too much".

Okay, so it looks like I'll be winging it today but how difficult could it be?

I decided to use my stand mixer.  I may have baked these a few minutes too long so be careful you don't over do it or they will be dry.  The raw dough is a little crumbly but when you shape it and pat it down with your hands it sticks together just fine.  I don't think there's enough sugar in this recipe so if you try it, you might want to add a bit more.

Vegan Shortbread

1 cup vegan butter softened
1/2 cup icing sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
2 Tablespoons corn starch

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Cream the butter and sugar together in an electric mixer until fluffy.  Add in the flour and cornstarch with the mixer on the lowest setting until just combined.   Remove the dough from the mixer and pat together.  Roll out the dough to desired thickness, approximately 1/4 inch.   Using cookie cutters, cut into shapes and decorate.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes.