Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sweet Potato Hash

This recipe is adapted from one in Mollie Katzen's "The Vegetable Dishes I can't Live Without."

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups minced red onion
2.5 lbs sweet potato, cooked, peeled and diced
2 tsp minced or crushed garlic
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
approx. 7 oz package seasoned & baked (or baked, smoked) tofu, cut into thin strips ( I used Trader Joe's teriyaki baked tofu)

1. Heat oil over medium heat in large skillet for 1 minute. Add onion and sauté for 5-8 minutes, until onions are soft and translucent.

2. Stir in sweet potatoes, garlic and salt, spreading the mixture to allow maximum contact with hot pan. Wait 5 minutes, then stir it around again, letting it cook until everything becomes crisp on the edges (maybe 10-15 minutes more).

3. Season to taste with black pepper, then stir in tofu. Taste to adjust the salt.

Yields 4-5 servings.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Spicy Pear Cookies

One of my longtime yoga students makes about 20 varieties of cookies each year for the holidays. For the past several years, she has brought a platter of cookies, just before Christmas, to share at the end of class. A long time ago she made a pear cookie that I absolutely loved. The recipe is lost, so now we are trying to find something like it. So I found this one on allrecipes.com and asked Abel to help me make it, so he would stop hammering the fridge with the ice cream scoop and using the kitchen tongs to pinch my legs!

This recipe seems pretty uninteresting, but take my word -- the cookies are very good. They were a huge hit with everyone last night after dinner.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 pear - peeled, cored and diced
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350.

Beat together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger, then mix into batter. Stir in pears, raisins and walnuts. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove to wire rack to cool.

Classic Macaroni Salad

This is so totally NOT good-for-you, but it's really yummy in the classic American junk food sense. I think the sugar is the magic ingredient. We had this for dinner tonight, along with hot dogs, baked beans, french fries, and collard greens. Not every night is gourmet around here, that's for sure!

2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (I prefer the multi-grain kind, like Barilla Plus)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp white vinegar
1/3 cup white sugar
1 1/4 Tbsp prepared yellow mustard
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 small onion, diced (1/2 cup or less)
2 stalks celery, chopped small
1/2 green pepper, chopped small
2-4 Tbsp grated carrot
2 Tbsp pimiento or stuffed green olives, chopped small

Cook pasta until al dente. Meanwhile, combine all other ingredients in a bowl. When pasta is done, rinse thoroughly with cold water, then stir into sauce.