Monday, May 30, 2016

Greek Broad Beans (Fava Beans or Koukia)

Vasiliki's - A restaurant that makes Greek food like Yiayia would!

Broad Beans are incredibly delicious & healthful, but very hard to find here in the U.S. The first time I ever tried them prepared this way was in Cyprus at an amazing restaurant called "Vassiliki's" in Choirokitia.

Choirokitia - a Cyprus Neolithic Archaeological site

Greek Broad Beans (Fava Beans)

My dear Sister-in-Law taught me to cook them - and they're easy! But, finding the right kind of Broad Beans (they have to be the large variety, dried, split & hulled) can be a little tricky here in the U.S.

Split, Hulled Large Broad Beans (Fava Beans)

Well, last week, I found a bag of them at the specialty store, and decided it was time to make some - they're a family favorite.

Cyprus-Style Broad Beans
Rinse and Sort
1# of Shelled, Split, Dried, Large Broad Beans
Very Coarsely Chop about 1/2 a bunch
Bok Choy (6-8 large leaves, cut in coarse 1" or 2" pieces)
Add Broad Beans and Bok Choy to a large pot
Cover with water - about 8 cups of water should be right
Bring to a boil, and then simmer, covered, till done. This doesn't take as long as most beans - generally the cooking time will be about 40 minutes, but will vary depending on the age of the beans.

They're done when the largest beans are JUST tender, and the smaller ones have fallen apart.

Serve with Red Wine Vinegar, Olive Oil & Salt for each diner to season his or her own. It is customary to pour a generous quantity of each over the beans and vegetables. (I omit the oil on my own portion, and it is still quite good without oil)

At the table, offer accompaniments such as Bread, Olives, Salad, Raw Onions & Hot Pickled Peppers.

That's it! So easy, and so delicious!

Note: This is NOT a good dish to prepare in the slow cooker, although it may appear to be at first glance. Broad Beans can be toxic if they do not reach a hot enough temperature while cooking, and slow cooking carries a risk with this type of beans (as well as with Kidney Beans).

Also, there is a cultural taboo against serving these beans to young children. I fed these to my daughter before I became aware of the taboo, then after I found out about the custom, I did some internet research. It seems that this taboo developed because SOME people are allergic to this bean (rather like peanuts in America) - so if you have a child you're feeding, it's your call.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Concord Cunningham, the Scripture Sleuth

This year, we discovered a great set of fun reading books for elementary aged kids!

Concord Cunningham, the Scripture Sleuth books are wonderful. They're the kind of book that I get with the intention that my daughter will read them as part of her schooling. But, before we even get the opportunity to incorporate them into school, my daughter has devoured the book - reading it cover to cover. The only time she stops is to race across the room and grab her Bible from a shelf to look up the next clue!

Concord Cunningham is a wholesome, Christian schoolboy who helps his Dad solve mysteries. Think "Encyclopedia Brown" but Christian. The books teach Christian values and respect for Parents. Concord solves mysteries by finding one last clue in his concordance - the Bible reference for the clue is given at the end of the short story so that the reader can look up the clue in his or her Bible. This way the reader is learning logic (by solving the mystery) and Bible reference skills all at the same time. And it's all presented in a format that couldn't be more fun.

No - this isn't an "affiliate link" I didn't get a free copy or any money - I just LOVE how much my daughter loves this series, and wanted to share it!

Concord Cunningham, Scripture Sleuth

This is being shared on
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This is How We Roll  

Monday, May 16, 2016

Three Minute, Three Bite Brownie for One

If you're craving a Brownie, but don't want bake an entire pan, here's your solution. It's quick, it's
easy, it's Vegan - and there's no obligation to finish off 15 more Brownies in front of the T.V. tonight : )

These are really delicious - fudgy, dense, chewy - they really hit the spot when you're craving a Brownie!

If the batter seems WAY too thick, add a few drops of water till it's just right. With such small quantities, you have to use a little more of your own judgment on texture of batter. 

Three Minute, Three Bite Brownie for One
Basic Method
Mix together in a small, microwavable dish
(I use a Pyrex Custard cup - as seen in the picture)
1 1/2 Tablespoons Flour
1 1/2 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Tablespoon Cocoa
Dash Salt
1/2 Tablespoon Oil
1/2 Tablespoon Water
8 Chocolate Chips
Pat down
Microwave 30-45 seconds (depending on how crunchy you like it, and the power of your microwave)

Or, make it like this if you have my mix on hand:

Three Minute, Three Bite Brownie for One
2 Tablespoons StuffedVeggies Cake & Cookie Mix
1 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder
1/2 Tablespoon Water
1/2 Tablespoon Sugar
1/2 Tablespoon Oil
6 or 8 Chocolate Chips
Microwave in microwave safe dish for 30 to 45 seconds.
Cool enough that you don't burn yourself!


Vegan Cookie Mix for the Pantry

A canister of homemade Vegan Cookie Mix
Measure into canister, shake & store
4 1/2 cups Flour (your choice - unbleached flour or whole wheat pastry flour)*
2 cups Sugar (your choice, brown, white or turbinado/raw sugar)**
4 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt

This is being shared on
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Hearts for Home  

Monday, May 9, 2016

Lemon Snack Cake (Vegan)

What is a "Snack Cake"?

It's a cake that is simple, quick to make, and is usually served in its baking pan, informally.

It's the kind of cake you can make if you're the kind of family that invites guests over and THEN decides what to make.

Not that we ever do that ; )

It might be frosted with a simple frosting, or it might just be dusted with powdered sugar. For this picture I used the remainder of the store bought frosting I had on hand, but the previous time I made it,  I whipped some up from scratch (no picture of that because it disappeared too fast!)

This is the kind of cake that you can whip up for guests while you're making dinner, and not miss a step : )

Just combine the ingredients in one bowl, stir, pour into prepared pan and bake.

Of course, if you prefer, you can use the batter to make a quick batch of cupcakes.(cupcakes bake at the same temperature, but for a shorter time - about 30 to 35 minutes)

Before mixing Cake Batter, Oil an 8x8 square cake pan or a round cake pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Easy Vegan Lemon Snack Cake
Mix in a single bowl, till batter is smooth:

2 1/2 Cups stuffedveggies Vegan Cookie & Cake Mix (recipe here)
2/3 Cup Water (or a smidge more - enough to make batter like a thick, fast food milkshake)
1/3 Cup Lemon Juice
1/3 Cup Light Flavored Oil (I use Sunflower)
A few drops of Yellow Food Coloring (I use 8)

Stir all ingredients together in one bowl. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for about 45 to 50 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit - until done (toothpick inserted in center is clean, cake pulls away slightly from edges of pan - you know - the standard cake-doneness tests)

Cool before serving warm. For best frosting results, wait till entirely cool so frosting doesn't melt. But, if it does melt a little, it's still tasty! : )

Monday, May 2, 2016

Vegan & Omnivore Spring Menu

If you're looking for some Vegan ideas for a week's worth of menus, and wish to also serve an Omnivore in your household here ya go:

Vegan Mock Crab Cakes  
With Fish Sticks or real Crab Cakes for the Omnivores
With Baked Potatoes in the Slow Cooker
And Salad

Vegan Mock Crab Cakes 

Baked Potatoes in the Slow Cooker

Szechuan Green Beans over Rice with
Teriyaki Chicken for the Omnivores
Spring Rolls, Easy Vegan and  
Sweet & Sour Dipping Sauce, Three Minute 

Szechuan Green Beans over Rice

Spring Rolls, Easy Vegan

Greek Style Black-Eyed Peas ( Louvia ) 
With Tuna for the Omnivores
With Veggies and Dolmades from a Can

Greek Style Black-Eyed Peas ( Louvia ) 

Confetti Spaghetti 
With Cubed Chicken for the Omnivores 

Confetti Spaghetti

Indian Lemon Rice with Peas  

Trader Joe's Veggie Masala Burgers
With Tandoori Chicken & Raita for the Omnivores
& Salad

Indian Lemon Rice with Peas

Mexican Haystacks  
with "Taco Meat" for the Omnivores

Mexican Haystacks

Burgers & Fries Vegan Style
With Regular Burgers for the Omnivores

Burgers & Fries Vegan Style

AND This Week's Featured Dessert
Samali (Greek Semolina Dessert)

Samali (Greek Semolina Dessert)