Monday, October 29, 2012

Baked Pumpkin-Orange Custard

This week Food Matters Project recipe was chosen by Sandra of Meadowsknits. Sandra chose Mark Bittman's recipe for Baked Pumpkin-Orange Custard. The custard was very flavorful but it needed texture and crunch. I used Mark's suggestion to top the custard with crushed gingersnaps. What a GREAT idea. That was exactly what it needed. The gingersnaps need to be added right before serving so they keep their crunch. A wonderful fall dessert. Thanks Sandra for a tasty choice.

You can find the recipe for this here on Sandra's blog and for the other Food Matters Project members take on this recipe click here.

Want to cook along with us and join in the fun? Click here for all the information about our project.

Monday, October 22, 2012


This week the host for The Food Matters Project is Erin of The Goodness Life. Erin chose Mark Bittman's recipe for Raw Butternut Salad with Cranberry Dressing. I have never had raw butternut squash or even thought about eating it raw so this was an exciting challenge for me. I shredded the butternut squash, made an orange vinaigrette, and topped the salad with dried cranberries, chopped Marcona almonds, and crumbled blue cheese. What a delicious combination. I could see myself becoming addicted to this salad, it's that good. I used Citron Tea in the vinaigrette and the slices of citron really put this salad over the top. You can read more about Citron Tea here. It's the best marmalade I have ever had.

For Mark Bittman's recipe visit Erins blog here. You can check out the other members take on this recipe at our Food Matters Project site here.

Erin and I are very excited to be the new managers of The Food Matters Project. Check out our updated Pinterest Board, our new schedule here with some fantastic recipes coming up and PLEASE, invite your friends to join our group.


1 Butternut Squash (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and seeded
Dried Cranberries
Marcona Almonds
Blue Cheese

3/4 cup orange juice
6 TBSP. balsamic vinegar 
2 TBSP. Dijon mustard
2-3 TBSP. Citron Tea ( or orange marmalade)
Black Pepper

Grate the butternut squash by hand or in the food processor. Transfer to a large bowl.

Whisk together the orange juice, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, black pepper, and Citron Tea. Add the dressing to the squash and toss. Top each plate with dried cranberries, chopped Marcona almonds and blue cheese.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Call me Sandra Lee. Who? She's on the Food Network with a show called semi-homemade. She does a little cooking herself and has help with pre-made ingredients. 

I had BAD jet lag a couple of days ago. I didn't want to go anywhere. I had been gone for almost two weeks and hubby stayed home. Did a quick inventory of the fridge. Not much in there...cheese, bread, BEER, 1/2 pineapple. I don't know how he survived without me :) I thought about a recipe I had saved. Frozen meatballs (that's the Sandra Lee part) pineapple and bell pepper. I had the meatballs in the freezer, bell peppers still growing in the garden and that 1/2 pineapple in the fridge. So I put the ingredients in the slow cooker for 4 hours and it was really good! Served it over rice. Yum! I'll make this again soon.


32 oz. package of precooked, frozen meatballs. ( I used Trader Joe's)
13.5 oz. can of unsweetened pineapple chunks (I used fresh and a small can of pineapple juice)
1 large green pepper, diced (I used what was in the garden, a yellow one but red or green would look better)
1 cup of brown sugar
2 TBSP. cornstarch
2/3 cup of white vinegar
2 TBSP. soy sauce

Place meatballs in slow cooker and top with green pepper and drained pineapple chunks. In a separate bowl, mix reserved pineapple juice, brown sugar, cornstarch, vinegar and soy sauce. Pour sauce over meatballs, pineapple and green peppers. Cook on low for 3-4 hours or until heated through

Serve over rice. 

Monday, October 15, 2012


This weeks Food Matters Project was hosted by Matt & Claire from It's Not About the Recipe. They chose Mark Bittman's recipe for Spinach-Tofu Burgers. The recipe had an Asian twist to the burgers which sounded interesting but I had a spinach-tofu recipe that also contained carrots, walnuts, brown rice, miso, and Dijon mustard. Mine were also baked. I loved the combination of  ingredients and the walnuts and brown rice were a delicious addition.

I served my burgers on buns, with arugula, tomato, avocado and cheese. It was a nice light lunch.

Thank you Matt & Claire for a great choice. For all the other members take on the recipe click here. For the recipe that Mark Bittman wrote click here.


10 oz Fresh Spinach (frozen chopped spinach works too)
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Cup Scallions (or leeks) chopped
1/2 Cup Carrot grated
1/2 Tsp. Oregano dried (or 1 1/2 tsp. fresh)
1-2 Garlic Cloves, pressed or minced
1/2 Cup Walnuts
1/2 Cup Brown Rice cooked
16oz Firm Tofu (1 cake)
1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
2 Tbsp. Light Miso
Dash of Ground Black Pepper
2 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Dill or Basil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Steam the spinach and drain it well. Set aside.

Warm the olive oil in a saucepan on medium-high heat and cook the scallions (or leeks), carrots, oregano, and garlic until soft (about 3-4 minutes).

Pulse the walnuts and brown rice in a food processor until crumbly, and set aside in a mixing bowl.

Pulse half the tofu and half the spinach until well combined, then add this mixture to the bowl.

Pulse the rest of the tofu and spinach and add the mustard, miso, black pepper, and dill (or basil) until well blended.

Add the scallion/carrot/garlic mixture and mix well. Feel free to add some more miso or soy sauce to taste

Shape the mixture into 6 burgers (about 1/2 cup each) and arrange on a lightly greased baking sheet.

Bake for about 35 minutes until puffed and browned (flipping them half way through).

Serve on toasted buns spread with some mayo, arugula, tomato, cheese, and avocado.

Recipe from The Science of Eating

Monday, October 8, 2012


It's Food Matters Project Monday today! This weeks host is Sophie of Biographiedemafaim. Sophie chose Mark Bittman's recipe for Tofu Mayo and/or Bread-and-Nut Mayo.

I'm on vacation and traveling but I whipped up a quick batch of the Bread and Nut Mayo before I left and used it in this Egg Salad Sandwich. I loved this mayo. In fact it was more like a spread that tasted great with pita chips. In my mayo I used walnuts which gave it a great nutty flavor. The mayo made my egg salad a little brown but still delicious.  I added arugula, tarragon and tomato to the sandwich.

I don't have my cookbook with me so I don't have the recipe but I will share when I return home. For all the other members take on this recipe click here.

Monday, October 1, 2012


It's Food Matters Project Monday and this weeks host is Jessica of Cheese Please. Jessica chose Mark Bittman's recipe for Cheese-Nut Balls. The recipe sounded great but I wanted something a little lighter, not only in consistency but also in calories. I decided to take the easy way out and make my own cheese for my cheese ball. What????? Labneh, a Middle Eastern soft cheese. Delicious and really easy to make. Labneh is strained yogurt with a little salt.. That's it!

You simply mix yogurt with some salt, let it strain in a coffee filter like I did to remove the whey ( or you can use muslin or cheese cloth and hang it to drain) and in 24-48 hours you have cheese.

What is sometimes referred to as Lebanese Cream Cheese the result is a soft, slightly tangy cheese, something between yogurt and cream cheese. I think it's tastier than cream cheese, lighter, and lower in calories.

You can flavor this cheese any way you want. Using spices such as zaatar or sumac, adding fresh herbs like mint, oregano, or chives. Sprinkled with chili flakes, or topped with olives. The possibilities are endless. You can form it into small balls, cover it with olive oil and it will keep for weeks.

I served mine on a plate with warm baguette slices. I surrounded it with chopped cucumber, chopped tomatoes, mixed chopped olives, and chopped pistachio nuts. Topped the whole thing with chopped fresh mint. This is awesome. I hope you try it and get creative with it. Take this cheese ball to your next party and tell everyone you made the cheese yourself. Now that's impressive :) :)

For the original recipe click here on Jessica's blog and for all the other creative takes on the recipe click here.


3 cups plain yogurt
1 tsp. salt

Mix yogurt and salt together. Place a coffee filter in a sieve over a bowl and let the whey drain out. Put in a cool place or the refrigerator and let set 24-48 hours. Change the coffee filter once during the process.

Form into small balls and cover with olive oil or make one large ball and get creative using the suggestions above or make it your own.