Butter and Milk Biscuits

30 05 2010

This biscuit recipe is a combination of several different recipes I’ve tried over time. This version is (to me) the perfect balance of flaky and doughy, sweet and salty, and most importantly, they’re super easy to make!

butter and milk biscuits

These are the biscuits I use when I make my red lentil gravy. Not only is this probably my favorite breakfast, but it’s a great crowd-pleaser for when you host brunch.


Ingredients:

•3 cups unbleached flour
•2 Tbs granulated sugar
•2 1/2 tsp baking powder
•1/2 tsp baking soda
•1/2 tsp and 1 pinch salt
•1/2 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
•1 cup low-fat milk


Directions:

butter and milk biscuits 11. Preheat oven to 450ºF.
butter and milk biscuits 22. Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
3. Cut butter into the mixture with a fork until it looks like cornmeal.
4. Gradually add milk (1/3 cup at a time), stirring constantly until well mixed.
butter and milk biscuits 35. Gently knead the dough on a lightly floured surface 3 to 4 times.
6. Flatten dough until it is about 1/2″ thick. Cut with a 2-inch biscuit cutter.
7. Place biscuits on an ungreased cookie sheet (leaving at least a 1/2″ between biscuits). Bake for 13 minutes or until golden brown.


Recommended Serving Instructions:

Serve with red lentil gravy and home fries or grilled veggies.


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Red Lentil Gravy

29 05 2010

I am a huge fan of all things breakfast! So I get excited any time I come across a tasty vegetarian version of traditional breakfast foods. This recipe is based on something I found in Vegetarian Times a while back. The picture that accompanied the recipe looked very pretty; the actual dish…well, let’s just say it tasted great!

Be sure to note the ingredients. Not only is there very little fat in this dish, but it is full of veggies and lentils. And I promise it will satisfy most any biscuit and gravy cravings!


Ingredients:

•1 1/2 cups red lentils, rinsed and drained
•1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
•1/2 large cooking onion, finely chopped
•1/2 large green bell pepper, finely chopped
•1/2 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped
•3 cloves garlic
•1/4 cup plus 1 Tbs unbleached flour
•1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
•1/2 tsp salt
•1 tsp smoked paprika
•1/2 tsp ground yellow mustard seed
•1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
•2 1/2 cups low-fat milk


Directions:

1. Add lentils to 3 cups of water and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil in medium saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until tender (8-10 minutes).
2. Drain lentils and set aside.
3. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook 5 minutes.
4. Add peppers and garlic and cook an additional 5-8 minutes, until vegetables are just tender.
5. Combine the flour and spices and stir into vegetables. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
6. Gradually add milk (1/3-1/2 cup at a time), stirring after each addition. After all milk is incorporated, cook 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly.
7. Remove from heat and stir in drained lentils.
8. Serve over split biscuits or English muffins.


Recommended Serving Instructions:

For a heartier, more traditional breakfast, serve over homemade biscuits with home fries (stay tuned for my favorite biscuit recipe). For a lighter adaptation (and a shorter prep time) serve over your favorite whole wheat or multigrain english muffins and accompany with grilled asparagus or a green salad.


Tips:

•As always, adjust the spices to your liking. I love the taste of smoked paprika, so I sometimes add a tiny bit more so that it’s more present. I also tend to add more pepper flakes for a little more heat.
•I suggest adding some of your favorite veggies to this dish. Whatever you add, just be sure you cut them so that all vegetables are roughly the same size. Also, be sure to add them at the appropriate time so that all vegetables are just tender when you add the flour. Suggested additions: carrots, squash, broccoli stems, and sweet potato.






Oatmeal Et Cetera Cookies

25 05 2010

To be completely upfront, I am not much of a baker. Desserts are only a once-in-a-while craving, and I only recently have been able to bake without burning everything. But one dessert I have always enjoyed was the “health cookie” from Java’s Cafe in Rochester, NY. While not the exact same thing, this recipe is inspired by that filling, sweet, nutty, gritty cookie that got me through so many study nights in college. Enjoy!


Ingredients:

•1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
•3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
•1/2 cup granulated sugar
•2 large eggs
•1 tsp vanilla extract
•1 cup chunky peanut butter
•1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
•1 tsp baking soda
•1 tsp ground cinnamon
•3/4 tsp salt
•2 cups steel-cut oats
•1/2 cup dried cranberries
•1/2 cup sunflower seeds (unsalted, roasted)
•3/4 cup walnuts (raw)
•1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate morsels


Directions:

oatmeal et cetera cookie 11. Preheat oven to 350 ºF.
2. Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar with a wooden spoon until creamy. It’s a great exercise and if you roll your eyes and scoff at this, just think: electric kitchen appliances are a relatively new invention… (But if you insist on using a mixer, beat on medium speed until creamy.)
3. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until fully incorporated.
4. Stir in peanut butter.
oatmeal et cetera cookie 2

Tip: If using natural peanut butter (as you should, ALWAYS), be sure to set out in advance so it gets to room temperature. If needed, spoon into microwavable container and heat on high for 30 seconds (or until softened).

5. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and incorporate into wet mixture.
oatmeal et cetera cookie 36. Add oats, cranberries, sunflower seeds, walnuts and chocolate morsels and mix well.
7. Drop rounded tablespoonfuls of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until light golden brown.
8. Cool for 1 minute on cookie sheet and remove to wire rack. Cool completely.


Tips:

•The best part about this recipe is that it’s so adaptable. Use nuts, seeds and dried fruits you already have laying around. This is just my preferred version using ingredients I love and always have in the cupboard.
• Freeze the cookies and enjoy them for up to 2 weeks!






Follow BEETNIK Recipes on twitter!

24 05 2010

BEETNIK Recipes on twitterJust to make things a little easier for you, you can now follow BEETNIK Recipes on twitter! All new posts will be tweeted immediately (yes, even this post about being on twitter!).

Twitter not your thing?
You can still subscribe to this blog or use an RSS feed with the links in the bottom right of this page.

Still not your thing?
Then just come on back periodically to see what’s new!






Tomatillo Sauce

23 05 2010

This sauce is easy to make, low in fat and full of green veggies. In addition to being good for you, it adds a bright color and bold flavor to otherwise bland dishes and ingredients (i.e. tofu and tempeh). My favorite use of this sauce is as a light, fresh alternative to traditional mole sauce.


Ingredients:

•2 lbs fresh tomatillos, peeled and quartered
•2 large poblano peppers, seeded and quartered
•2 tsp ground black pepper
•2 tsp ground cumin
•2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
•1 large yellow onion, chopped
•6 cloves garlic, minced
•2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
•2 cups vegetable broth
•2 medium jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
•1 tsp salt
•the juice from 1 lime


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 500ºF (use broiler if available).
2. Prepare tomatillos: remove skins, rinse in warm water to reduce stickiness, pat dry and quarter.
3. Toss tomatillos and poblanos with 1 Tbs olive oil, pepper and cumin. Place in lightly greased large casserole dish. Bake on top rack of oven until charred, roughly 10 minutes.
4. Heat remaining olive oil in medium sauce pan. Add onion and garlic and cook until tender and slightly translucent.
5. After letting the tomatillo and onion mixtures cool for at least 5 minutes, combine with cilantro, vegetable broth, jalapenos, salt and lime juice in blender. Blend on high for 30 seconds until mixture is smooth.


Recommended Serving Instructions:

Enjoy with your favorite tortilla chips. Simmer vegetables, tofu or tempeh in this sauce until heated throughout (at least 5 minutes) and enjoy with rice and beans. Make delicious enchiladas (stay tuned for a recipe!).


Tips:

•Adjust the level of hotness by adding or subtracting jalapeno peppers.
•Adjust other spices to fit your taste preferences (I personally love extra cumin and sometimes add a Tbs of garlic powder).
•Blend less for a chunkier sauce – particularly great if using as a condiment.
•Short on time? Replace 2 lbs of fresh tomatillos with 2 28-oz cans of tomatillos. Drain and rinse before cooking. Follow the directions as you would with fresh tomatillos, noting that the roasting time may be shorter.






Welcome to BEETNIK Recipes

20 05 2010

Welcome to BEETNIK Recipes, your source for gritty, grungy, taste-good, feel-good vegetarian cooking!

BEET is a modern vegetarian philosophy and lifestyle. At it’s core is the same fundamental philosophy of the Beat movement: bettering ones inner self above superficial and materialistic matters.

BEETNIK Recipes takes a look at a wide range of vegetarian ingredients and recipes, in hopes of discovering and sharing feel-good food for all tastes and occasions. While this website focuses on bringing diversity and quality to the reader, the posts will tend to feature dishes that defy traditional cooking standards of beauty – you will see a lot of browns and gritty textures. One of the strengths of vegetarian food is that it is of the earth. I want to highlight that connection in my cooking, celebrating the earth as much as possible.I think the best way to describe the food featured on this website is to quote Jack Kerouac in describing the Beat movement:

“ragged, beatific, beautiful in an ugly graceful new way.”

To learn more about this website, check out About BEETNIK Recipes. 






Tamale Pie

20 05 2010

This is a casserole-style, tamale-inspired dish, fusing fresh vegetables with earthy spices and a mild polenta crust. This recipe is based on one I came across in Vegetarian Times (view it here), but I have tweaked it some (namely the filling and proportions) to make it more veg-centric and gritty.

tamale pie


Ingredients:

Filling
•1 Tbs vegetable oil
•5 cloves garlic, minced
•1 large yellow onion, diced
•1 medium zucchini, diced
•1 1/2 peppers (a combination of red, yellow and/or green), diced
•1 Tbs chili powder
•1 Tbs ground cumin
•1 tsp oregano
•1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
•1 15-oz can tomato puree
•3/4 cup frozen corn kernel
•1/4 cup chilled water
•2 tsp flour

Topping
•2 cups water
•1 cup dry polenta or corn grits
•1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese


Directions:

1. Heat oil in large sauce pan over medium heat. Sautee garlic and onion for 5 minutes.
2. Add zucchini, bell pepper, chili powder, cumin and oregano. Stir and cook an additional 5 minutes.
3. Stir in beans, tomato puree and corn. Cook for 1 minute.
4. Mix cold water and flour and add to vegetable mixture. Cook 3 minutes; sauce will thicken slightly.
5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
7. Bring 2 cups of water to boil. Stir in polenta and simmer on medium-high heat for 5 minutes.
8. Remove from heat and stir in cheddar cheese.
9. Coat 9×13″ casserole dish with cooking spray.
10. Spread vegetable filling into dish. Spread polenta topping evenly on top, making sure it touches the edges.
11. Bake 30 minutes. The filling should bubble slightly and the top will become golden brown.
12. Let stand 5 minutes or more and serve.


Recommended Serving Instructions:
Serve with fresh salad greens, avocado and sour cream.