Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Case of Happy Easter and...and Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate features prominently in modern Easter celebrations and I have to say I don't mind a bit.

This holiday post gives me the opportunity to share a chocolate recipe that I adore. Chocolate Pudding. Those two words bring one back to a simpler time, don't they?

Mine is a simple recipe. You will find many, many like it because it's a favourite among vegans. My adaptation includes a touch more maple syrup. After all, I am Canadian.

Chocolate Pudding

I avocado
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/8 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp vanilla

Blend all ingredients in your blender until creamy.

Fill dessert dishes and refrigerate covered for at least 30 minutes.

Serves 2.

Becki

PS Cynthia and I welcome your thoughts. Click on the comment button below.      

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Case of Easy Tomato Quiche

Have you found yourself neglecting to make a favourite recipe because it's too much trouble?

What if you could make it easier and healthier at the same time?

That would be a keeper, right?

That's exactly how I feel about this adaptation of my original quiche that had a pastry crust. In the photo above, my new Easy Tomato Quiche in a hollowed-out tomato shell is served with mixed baby greens tossed in Orange Vanilla Vinaigrette.

Easy Tomato Quiche

4 large tomatoes, with ribs and seeds scooped out, drained upside-down
4 large eggs
1-1/2 cups evaporated 2% milk
1/2 cup 2% milk
1/4 tsp salt plus more for seasoning the tomatoes
pepper to taste
grating of nutmeg
1 cup grated Gruyère

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Grease a baking dish.

Season the inside of the tomato shells with salt and pepper and set them on the baking dish.

Whisk together the eggs, evaporated 2% milk, 2% milk, salt, pepper to taste, and nutmeg.

Divide the egg mixture between the 4 shells, leaving about 1/4" at the top for expansion. Cover with the Gruyère. Bake for about 30 min. or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Serves 4.

Becki

PS Cynthia and I welcome your thoughts! Click on the comment button below.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Case of the Recent Attack on My Right Breast. Greek Salad Too!

Half-sister Anne and I tend to make light of it when something goes wrong in our lives. Weird I know. But it's how we cope.

My current bad is that I was just diagnosed with grade II invasive ductal carcinoma breast cancer, which comes with a lumpectomy and five weeks of everyday radiation.

I've been given wonderful pamphlets to read that remind me of the brochures girls are given in public school about the joys of starting to menstruate and how that will mean we have become women and will bleed for an accumulation of 3360 days—which amounts to 10 years—before it's all over.

I have been armed with websites on which I can communicate with other cancer patients. All survivors I presume.

My friends and family have been extremely supportive and I can't think of a punch line about them, but get me on painkillers and all bets are off.

Seriously, many cancer risks are beyond our control, yet I'm expecting a backlash from detractors of vegetarianism as a result of my diagnosis. Don't know why anyone would want to point a finger now but the vegetarian diet has been singled out before... More than ever I want to address it.

Straight from the website of the Canadian Cancer Society: "Vegetarian diets tend to have healthy characteristics, such as being low in saturated fat and high in fibre, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals."

Below I'm typing out a recipe that makes me feel better because of its fresh mouth taste.

As for the future of my right breast, Anne quips, "We can rebuild it."

Greek Salad

1 cup seeded, chopped cucumber
1 cup seeded, chopped tomato
1/2 cup Greek olives, pitted
1/8 cup minced onion
1/2 yellow pepper, chopped
2 tbsps olive oil
1/2 cup feta, crumbled
vegetable seasoning

Toss together all the ingredients, including vegetable seasoning to taste. Serves 2.

Becki

PS To leave me (and Cynthia) a comment, click on the comment button below.
 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Case of Chocolaty Chocolate Banana Muffins

Presenting my first ever guest blogger: my friend Detective Charlie Kerrian (created by author Patti Phillips)! Charlie is accompanied by his wife, Sheila, who contributes these mouth-watering muffins. I've tried them myself at home. They can't be beat! Over to Detective Kerrian—
  
Hi everyone,

Sheila and I are so happy to be here with Becki today. When not off solving crimes, she’s busy coming up with recipes, so the three of us always have lots to talk about. Becki offered to serve up a tasty lunch and I said as long as it didn’t include broccoli or tofu, I was good with that. She kept her promise (as any great detective would) and we had pasta, grape tomatoes and a great pesto sauce. I’m pretty sure it’s a featured recipe here on Vegetarian Detective.

Back during the summer when Becki was a Visiting Detective at www.kerriansnotebook.com, the mystery featuring her as the sidekick, A PURSE TO DIE FOR, had just had its one year anniversary and had become a bestseller. Sheila and I now have news of our own to share: KERRIAN'S NOTEBOOK, VOLUME 1 (a collection of my stories from the website) was recently published and is in the top #100 on Amazon for mystery anthologies. Wahoo!

To celebrate the news, we brought our Chocolaty Chocolate Banana Muffins along to share with Becki and her readers. Sheila baked them and I taste-tested them to make sure they were up to Becki’s chocolate lovin’ standards. We normally have them at breakfast, but they work well for dessert when you want something chocolaty, but not too sweet.

I promise that no bodies were found while making these muffins, nor have any bodies ever been reported in my backyard. But, if Becki ever wants to pick up a shovel and dig with me, I’m sure we can find one somewhere. There’s a suspicious looking empty lot not far from us. Just kidding, folks. Maybe. ;-)

Chocolaty Chocolate Banana Muffins

Ingredients

1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup brown sugar
1 jumbo egg (or 2 large eggs)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup stone ground whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose unbleached King Arthur flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup Ghirardelli cocoa powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 ½ cups)
1 cup Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips 

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375.

Set standing mixer at slowest speed.

Cream oil and sugar.

Add egg(s) and vanilla and beat until smooth.

Add flours, baking powder, and baking soda a little at a time and beat until smooth.

Add cocoa powder and salt and beat until smooth.

Add bananas and mix thoroughly. Add chocolate chips and stir until blended.

Divide mix evenly among greased, floured muffin tins (or use baking cup papers).

Bake 20-25 minutes in center of oven or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

Makes 6 jumbo muffins.
 
 
Homicide Detective Charlie Kerrian sees bodies everywhere—in the backyard, in the neighborhood, even on vacation. Join Kerrian as he recounts his take on life as a cop in this collection of his 2012 stories.
 
Viewing and Purchase Links
 
 
 
Patti Phillips is a transplanted metropolitan New Yorker/north Texan, now living in the piney state of North Carolina.
 
Her best investigative days are spent writing, cooking, traveling for research and playing golf. Her time on the golf course has been murderously valuable while creating the perfect alibi for the chief villain in her novel, ONE SWEET MOTION. Did you know that there are spots on a golf course that can’t be accessed by listening devices?
 
Ms Phillips (writing as Detective Charlie Kerrian) can be found at www.kerriansnotebook.com. Her book reviews can be read at www.nightstandbookreviews.com.
 
 
PS To leave a comment for Becki, Charlie, Cynthia and Patti, click on the comment button below.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Case of Happy Valentine's Day—Be Good to Yourself!

For those times when there's barely a moment to spare, what can a vegetarian have stored in the refrigerator/freezer?

I took my cue from Wild Wing Restaurants but instead of boneless chicken nuggets, I serve Zoglo's Golden Meatless Nuggets with Frank's RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce for dipping. And just as in the restaurant, I accompany them with carrot sticks, celery sticks and Renée's Gourmet Ranch Dressing and Dip.

This meatless small meal/snack is quicker than restaurant fast food and healthier too.

Do you live somewhere where these products are not available? Do you have recommended alternatives? If so, why not list them in the comments for other readers?

Becki

PS To leave me (and Cynthia) a comment, click on the comment button below.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Case of Hotter Hot Chocolate

During that terrible, beautiful ice storm I captured this photo. Google+ opted to enhance the image with falling snow! I was thrilled!

Just as I'm excited to share with you my enhanced recipe for Hot Chocolate.
 
I was inspired to add chilli powder to my original recipe by one of my favourite blogs, Dying for Chocolate. I was inspired to use a sugar-free natural sweetener by my waistline...
 
Hotter Hot Chocolate
 
1/2 tbsp. cocoa
1-1/2 packets (about 3/8 tsp) Krisda premium stevia extract
pinch salt
1/8 tsp chilli powder
1 cup 2% milk
 
Stir together the cocoa, stevia extract, salt and chilli powder in the bottom of a mug. Gradually add the milk to blend.
 
Nuke in a microwave on high for approximately 1 minute 45 seconds until perfectly hot.
 
Enjoy!
 
Serves 1.
 
Becki
 
To leave me (and Cynthia) a message, click on the comment button below.