Archive | October 2011

Ginger-Orange Muffins

ginger orange muffins
Speaking of Matt, he does these cookbooks. Every year, for the last ten years, he and Rachel have culled recipes from their brains, their cookbooks, and their friends and family to create a smorgasbord of vegan (and later, vegetarian) delights.

Now, I’ve been on a muffin kick lately. Aren’t they sort of the perfect breakfast? They are fast and cheap to make, they keep you full until lunch, and you can make them as healthy/sweet/savory as you’d like. I have been trying to swim in the mornings before work, and muffins make it a lot easier to get out the door in a timely manner. So, Matt suggested I try the Ginger-Mandarin Muffins from volume 2 of his cookbooks. According to Matt, the recipe came from Pablito, the farmer who gives them their produce every week. Also according to Matt, “They are mind-blowing.”

And I can attest: mind adequately blown. I made a few substitutions and added coconut–and they were fantastic! I also de-veganized them, as I really like butter (which I’m sure they’ll forgive me for, since they now eat dairy too). I also skipped the glaze at the end, because they are beautifully sweet without it. The results: moist and full of flavor. All the other slowpokes are gonna eat my dust in the pool tomorrow morning!

Ginger Orange Muffins

1/2 c. butter
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 c. milk
1/2 shredded coconut
1 tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
1 navel orange or 2 mandarin oranges
1 tsp. baking soda
2 c. flour
optional for the glaze: 2 tbsp. powdered sugar

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Cream butter with the sugar and eggs. Combine with the milk, coconut, ginger, and the orange zest. I used a food processor so that the coconut was pulverized and not in large shreds anymore.

In a separate bowl, sift together the baking soda and flour. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined.

Spoon the batter into greased muffin tins, then bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

If you’d like to make the glaze, dissolve the powdered sugar with 1/4 c. of the orange juice. When the muffins are finished baking but still warm, drizzle them with the juice mixture.

Guest Blogger: Matt’s Wild Rice, Kabocha, and Vegetable Pilaf

My good friend Matt has been self-publishing a vegetarian/vegan cookbook with his wife, Rachel, every year for Christmas for the last ten years. Needless to say, he is a veritable treasure trove of amazing recipes. Thankfully, all my prodding and pleading has finally led to a guest post! Here he channels the idea of fall (I say “idea” because, you know, he lives in Oakland) into a gorgeous medley of deliciousness.

When not cooking, Matt's being a great dad to Oslo (who's now a wee bit older than in this pic, but just as cute!)

Kate and I have had a long running discussion of just what the order the seasons take out here in Northern California. After much debate, we’ve settled on “Spring, Winter, Indian Summer, Fall.” Given that it was 84 degrees here in the Bay Area¬†last weekend, but just 70 by Tuesday, it feels like Indian Summer is on its way out, and Fall (which runs from November to March), is picking up speed.That means that we’re just starting to get a hint of our fall veggies in our CSA box, and fall means squashes! 

wild rice pilafSquashes are a fun vegetable because they’re so flexible; depending on our mood and the weather, we will use the many kinds of squashes we get to make soups, pupusas, curries or many other kinds of dishes. But sometimes, when you’re first getting reacquainted with your seasonal foods, it’s nice to just keep it simple.

This recipe relies on a roasted kabocha squash, with just a bit of allspice to bring out the earthiness, plus the always-needed salt and pepper. The rice pilaf, we threw together with whatever vegetables we had on hand, and we were lucky enough to get fresh-picked cranberry beans in our box last week as well, which gave the meal more heft.

Wild Rice, Kabocha, and Vegetable Pilaf

1 c. wild rice or wild rice mix
3 c. broth
1 clove garlic, peeled but whole
1 large or two small kabocha squash, seeded and sliced or cubed
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced
1 dozen crimini mushrooms, quartered
1/2 c. peas, frozen or fresh
2 c. cooked white beans (we used cranberry beans, but cannelini or great northern beans would work well too)
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. sage
Allspice
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil or butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a rice cooker or saucepan, combine the rice, broth and whole garlic clove. Cook until the rice is done.

Once the squash is sliced or cubed, lay flat on a lightly oiled baking sheet, sprinkle with salt, pepper and allspice. Bake for 20-30 minutes, turning over or stirring once, until easily pierced with a fork.

While the squash cooks, sauté the onions, garlic and carrots in 1-2 tablespoons of butter or oil, until the onion is translucent. Add the rosemary, thyme and sage and cook for one minute more, while stirring. Add the mushrooms, peas and beans, stir for one minute, then cover and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are cooked. You may want to add a little bit of water or broth to prevent sticking.

Serve immediately, either after combining the rice and vegetables in the skillet, or separately.