Monday, May 2, 2011

Amanda's African Peanut Stew

This dish was inspired by two dishes often found on parts of the continent. The first is a Ghanaian pepper soup and the second is Cameroon's traditional Ndole dish. Although I haven't been to either countries, I have had the experience of trying both locally. I've made this dish on several occasions, each time different and often described as the best. It can be made vegetarian by substituting smoked tofu that has been baked firm.

1 large + 1 small can of good quality chopped tomatoes
6 ounces of baby spinach
1 inch piece of ginger minced
2-3 cloves of garlic minced
2 + 1/2 Tbl of all natural chunky peanut butter
5 ounce piece of smoked salmon or smoked white fish (not the thin slice type)
1/2 green bell pepper chopped
1/2 onion chopped
1 jalapeno pepper deseeded and finely chopped
1/2 cup of water (as needed)
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder


1. Add everything, except salmon and peanut butter to a slow cooker or large pot. Bring to a low boil, add peanut butter, stir to make sure it mixes well. Turn down simmer a few more minutes

2. Break up the salmon/fish and add to the pot 5-10 minutes before serving, mix well. Serve alone, over rice or with french or flat bread.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Ruben's (Maid's) Tuna Pie

This savory pie was inspired by one cooked by my college roommate Ruben, who moved into our apartment armed with a list of recipes of his favorite meals prepared by his maid, whose name I unfortunately can't remember. The original recipe called for giardiniera, or pickled vegetables, which I would mostly pick out. In my version I threw in some of my favorite veggies and used a frozen crust to save time.


  • 1 whole wheat pastry crust
  • 1.5 cups white sauce (see below)
  • 2 cans tuna, drained
  • 3/4 cup frozen vegetables thawed and drained (i use broccoli and pepper combination)
  • 1/2 cup of fresh or frozen corn ( thaw and drain)
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
White Sauce
  • 3 tbl butter
  • 3 tbl sifted flour
  • 1 cup milk + 1/2 cup water

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, whisk. Add 1/2 cup milk mixture at a time. Continue to whisk allowing sauce to thicken before adding remaining liquid. Add salt and pepper.
  2. Turn heat down to low.
  3. Add drained tuna, stir.
  4. Add vegetables, stir.
  5. Pour into pastry crust.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes.
  7. Cool and enjoy!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Best Blueberry Pancakes

After many misses with various pancake recipes, I've finally developed one that I like, or better yet, love. These come out nice, thick and fluffy. Enjoy with pure Grade A maple syrup, its worth the extra cost!


  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (subs. regular all purpose flour)
  • 1 + 1/2 cup vanilla soymilk at room temperature (subs. regular milk)
  • 1 + 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 egg or equivalent using EnerG egg replacer
  • 4tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbl sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 tbl melted butter

  1. Mix dry ingredients, whisk and set aside.
  2. Mix room temperature milk, and melted butter and whisk.
  3. Add egg or prepared egg replacer to wet ingredients, whisk until combined.
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients, dont overmix, smooth lumps with a spatula, add blueberries.
  5. Preheat griddle or frying pan to medium heat.
  6. Lightly coat the hot pan with vegetable oil or cooking spray.
  7. Pour 1/4 batter onto pan. Flip when edges appear dry or bubbles form on top.
  8. Top with butter and syrup.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Spicy Carrot Cake w/ Whipped Cream Cheese Icing


  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 cups grated carrot (7-10)
  • 1 cup toasted pecans
  • 1/2 tbsp ground ginger (or 2tbl fresh grated)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg


  • 8oz cream cheese Softened
  • 2 + 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 + 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp dried ginger (or 4 tsp finely grated fresh ginger)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 8 inch round cake pans with non stick baking spray. Set aside.
  2. Toast pecans by spreading them on a baking sheet and placing them in the over for 6-10 minutes or until golden.
  3. Beat eggs, oil, applesauce, sugars and vanilla.
  4. Add dry ingredients to mix.
  5. Stir in grated carrots making sure not to add too much additional moisture.
  6. Divide batter into two 9-inch pans (or three 8-inch), Bake for 45-50 mins checking to see if a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool for 30 minutes, remove from pan and then frost adding pecans decoratively to the side of cake.
  7. If making cupcakes, this recipe yields two dozen. Bake for 22 minutes.
  8. For Frosting -- Beat cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla until smooth.
  9. In a separate bowl, whip heavy cream until it creates stiff peaks.
  10. Fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture. Chill before icing cake.
    Please note that the carrot cupcakes pictured above are darker in color because they were made with a berry blend applesauce, which has a burgundy hue.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Banana Walnut Bread w/ Dark Chocolate Chips


  • 3 bananas very ripe (partial or mostly black skins)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp plain yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar (see substitution note at bottom)
  • 3 tbl vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup bittersweet dark chocolate chips (I love Ghirardelli)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil and flour bread pan.

Mash bananas and set aside

Add both flours to a bowl along with baking soda and salt, whisk. In a seperate bowl mix egg, sugar, agave nectar and oil until well blended.

Combine the flours with the egg mixture, adding yogurt, vanilla extract and mashed bananas.

Fold in 1/4 cup of the walnuts and all the chocolate chips. Pour into pan.
Add remaining walnuts to the top of batter.

Bake for 50 minutes or until a fork inserted into the center comes out clean.
NOTE: If baking muffins add all the walnuts to the batter and bake for 25 minutes, makes 1 dozen. Also agave nectar can be substituted with honey or granulated sugar.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Stuffed Peppers per Uno

Ingredients (serves one)

  • 1 green bell Pepper
  • 1 medium tomato (or half can diced tomatoes)
  • 1 cup soy protein crumbles or cooked ground beef/turkey
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1/2 tsp tomato paste (omit if using canned)
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 3 fresh basil leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
  • hot pepper sauce
  • pinch garlic powder
  • shredded parmesan cheese (or your favorite)
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
1. Cut tops off of peppers and remove seeds. Blanch in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain and set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Swirl olive oil around medium sized saute pan over medium heat and add garlic and onions. Cook until translucent. Add meat, rice and tomatoes. Stir. Next add add worcestershire, salt, pepper, garlic powder, hot sauce and basil.

3. Place peppers in an lightly oiled baking dish cut sides up. Spoon in filling and brush a little olive oil on skins of peppers. Add a small amount of cheese on top.

Bake for 25-35 minutes and enjoy.

Strawberry Cream Pie

This recipe is an adaptation of one published in Domino magazine.


  • 4 pints strawberries, cut and stemmed
  • 1 + 1/4 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tbsp sugar
  • 10 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 + 1/2 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 1 cup heavy/double/whipping cream
  • prepackaged graham cracker crust
1. Place strawberries in blenders (reserving a handful for decoration) and puree.

2. In a medium saucepan combine milk, flour and 3/4 cup of sugar on medium high heat. Whisk or stir until well blended. Add strawberry puree and lemon juice, continue mixing until sauce thickens and bubbles.

3. Pour filling into crust and cool, before refrigerating overnight.

4. Before serving add sugar and heavy cream blend with hand mixer or whisk until it forms soft peaks. Spread over pie, garnish with remaining strawberries and enjoy.