Monday, May 23, 2011

Vegan Rhurbarb Strawberry Crisp

When rhurbarb is in season there is only one thing to pair it with: sweet fresh strawberry and a crispy crumble on top, warm out of the oven. To keep portion size under control, I made individual servings in small, but tall ramekins. Each one was filled to the brim with the fruit mix and topped with a bit of the rolled oats and almond meal mixture. After baking, the fruit mix shrunk to have the ramekin, but the kitchen smelled fabulous and of course, I had to eat one, hot out of the oven. Heaven!
Fruit mix:
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, cut into small chunks
  • 1 cup fresh rhubarb, cleaned and cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 tart apple, small dice
  • 1 TB organic sugar
Crisp Topping:
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 2 TB almond meal (basically ground non-blanched almonds)
  • 2 TB flour (any kind)
  • 2 TB brown sugar
  • 1 TB earth balance, at room temperature
  • 1/2 ts vanilla extract
In a bowl, mix the fruits with the sugar. Fill into 4 small ramekin. Set aside. In the same bowl, mix the dry ingredients, and with a fork knead in the butter. Distribute on top of the 4 ramekin. Since there is little butter and no baking powder the crisp will not rise, but it will still be a sweet crunch on top of the fruit mixture. Bake at 400F for 35min. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream or… straight up!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Feta Pumpkin Spinach Muffins revisited

It was a warm sunny day, the regular farmers market had started up again with its wonderful mix of produce, artisan cheeses, free range organic eggs and chicken, fresh pressed wheatgrass, fish and shellfish from the coast, and bakery items, most stands with plenty of samples. Last fall I had tried the Appleton Creamery feta cheese for the first time, and it is undoubtedly the best feta I ever ate outside of Greece. Strong, creamy, tart, salt, strong rich flavors. Last fall I made feta spinach pumpkin muffins with the feta, and I waited all winter for the feta to be available again to make these muffins. They are delicious, and freeze well.
horseradish thai orchid
Pictures from the farmers market.
 halloumi cheese appelton
Appleton Creamery Halloumi and Feta.
feta cheese appleton
Feta Pumpkin Spinach Muffins:
  • cooking spray (for the muffin pan)
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 255g cubed butternut squash, cut 1/2-inch cubes (I buy peeled butternut squash)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large handful of fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds kernels, roasted, unsalted
  • 100g cubed feta (full-fat)
  • 2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 180 ml non-flavored almond milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup quinoa flour
  • 4 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
Preheat oven to 405F / 200C, with rack in the top third. Grease a 12-hole muffin pan and set aside.
Sprinkle the olive oil, salt and pepper over the cubed squash. Arrange in a single layer on a baking pan and bake for 15-20  minutes so that the squash is mostly cooked, but not mushy or dry. Set aside to cool.
In a bowl beat the eggs and almond milk together. Sift the flours and baking powder onto the mix, add in some salt and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper, and mix until smooth. Fold in gently the spinach, sunflower seeds, feta, and all of the mustard. At last, fold in the baked squash.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan, filling each hole 3/4 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tops and sides of the muffins are golden, and the muffins have set up completely. Let cool for a couple minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack. 
muffin dough feta pumpkin dough feta muffins