Posts tagged ‘Tips’

Banana Flaxseed Freezer Waffles

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Happy Valentine’s Day, friends! I don’t know about you, but I feel strongly that almost any holiday is a good excuse for brunch. Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, Sunday; all of these are key brunch-eating opportunities. That’s part of what makes this waffle recipe so fabulous – it makes enough waffles for you to eat on all the days, for at least a week, I’d say. I’m a big fan of making a big batch, eating way too many, and then freezing the rest for later. Wait until they are completely cool and then throw them in a freezer-grade zipper bag and they are ready to go in the freezer. Then toast them and eat them later.

This recipe is adapted (beyond recognition, I should think) from my trusty 1975 edition of the Joy of Cooking. I doubled the recipe, used whole wheat flour instead of white and quadrupled the egg replacers for big, fluffy vegan waffles. If you don’t have a waffle maker, you could make some pretty great pancakes from the same batter.

Banana Flaxseed Freezer Waffles

2 very ripe bananas, mashed (about 2 cups pulp)
2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
½ cup canola or safflower oil
3½ cups whole wheat flour
1½ Tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
3 cups soymilk
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional – see tip below, if using)

  1. In a large mixing bowl, mashed bananas until no large lumps remain.
  2. Add flaxseeds, oil, flour, baking powder, salt and  soymilk. Mix well.
  3. Fold in the walnuts, being careful not to overmix.
  4. Bake in your waffle maker, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  5. If freezing, let cool completely and then freeze waffles in a freezer-grade zipper bag.

Tip: This simple method makes chopping walnuts super-easy. Place walnuts in a large zipper bag and seal it. Crush the walnuts into small pieces by rolling a sturdy rolling pin (or unopened wine bottle) over the bag. Done!

February 14, 2009 at 7:27 pm 1 comment

Veggie Noodle Soup

I was feeling a bit under the weather yesterday, so I needed something quick, easy and nourishing for dinner. This soup was incredibly easy to make and totally hit the chicken-noodle-soup-for-vegetarians spot. Serve with crusty bread and butter and you are ready to cozy up under a warm blanket and watch your favorite DVDs.

Veggie Noodle Soup
Makes 2 Big Servings

1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
4 cups vegetable broth (“Better Than Bouillon” is great here)
1 cup dry short whole wheat pasta (penne, fusilli, macaroni, etc.)
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Chop the carrot, celery and garlic. This is so easy if you use the food processor. Do it – you’re sick.
  2. In a medium pot, heat the olive oil.
  3. Add the carrot, celery and garlic and cook until soft, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the broth and bring to a boil.
  5. Add the pasta and cook until tender, about 8 minutes.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Get well soon.

Tip: Since so many winter recipes start with “one onion, one carrot, one celery stalk” and since it’s not always easy (or cheap) to get carrots or celery stalks one at a time, we like to buy in bulk and make a frozen mixture for easy cooking later. Buy a 3lb. bag of onions, two 2lb. bags of carrots and 1 big bunch of celery. Chop them up super-finely in a food processor (big chunks tend to get soggy when they thaw) and saute in a large pot with 2 Tbsp. of olive oil until tender. Drain if necessary and let cool before packing them up in freezer safe containers and freezing for later. Then, take out about 1 cup every time a recipe calls for “one onion, one carrot, one celery stalk.” It’s so easy and cuts down on prep work for your other recipes. I also like to liven up plain rice by cooking it in vegetable broth and adding about ½ cup of these veggies at the beginning of the cooking time.

September 27, 2008 at 7:42 pm Leave a comment

Slow Cooked Freezer Beans


I like beans in dips, with rice, in burritos, on salads, in soups and pretty much anywhere else, except in cans. Canned beans annoy me because they often leave me with random amounts of beans sitting in my fridge, going bad before I can think of something to do with them. Not to mention the extra salt from the canning process, or the rinsing, or the wasted packaging.

My solution? Slow-cooked freezer beans. I buy dried beans in bulk and then cook them in my crockpot. My particular appliance cooks hot enough that I don’t have to soak the beans and can cook them in about 2 hours on high. You may need to experiment to see what works best for you. If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can always cook the beans in a pot (see tips below). Once the beans are cooked, I drain them, cool them and freeze them in a large ziplock bag. They occasionally stick together and need to be broken apart. Taking a hammer to them while they are still in the sealed bag seems to work pretty well. The beans will stick together less if they are slightly undercooked. When you want to use them, you can measure out what you need and thaw them by pouring boiling water over them (in a pot or Pyrex bowl), or by boiling them for a minute or two in a pot. (Let’s just get it out now: I don’t use microwaves. I don’t know how they work and they scare me. So you are on your own for microwave instructions).

The advantages of frozen beans are many. First, many gourmands claim that reconstituted dried beans are tastier and healthier than canned beans. Second, you always have beans on hand and can use as few or as many as you need, without having leftovers in your fridge. Finally, it’s cheaper and there is much less wasted packaging as compared to canned beans.

So that’s that. I will leave you now with some handy bean cooking tips:

1. Always rinse your beans before you cook them. This gets rid of some of the sugars that cause flatulence, and can rinse away some of the colour of darker beans so that your slow cooker (or pot) doesn’t get stained.

2. Don’t add salt or acidic foods (like tomatoes) to the cooking water. Add these things after cooking since they can make the beans tough, and keep them from cooking no matter how long you leave them in the pot.

3. Beans expand by two or three times when you cook them, so you need to add at least 3 cups of cooking water for every 1 cup of beans.

4. To cook beans in a pot, soak them for at least 8 hours. Drain them and rinse them. In a large pot, bring water to a boil (at least 3 cups of water for every cup of dried beans) and simmer the beans (the water has to be bubbling the whole time) for 1 – 2 hours, or until cooked. Lentils and split peas do not have to be soaked and only cook for 20 – 30 minutes, but they do not freeze well.

May 27, 2008 at 3:18 pm 2 comments


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*All entries tagged "vegan" and "gluten free" meet those dietary requirements to the best of my knowledge as long as the vegan or gluten free instructions are followed (where applicable). It is always wise to double-check ingredients (especially when dealing with packaged foods) and to confirm ingredients and preparation methods at restaurants.