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Blueberry Surprise Apple Muffins 

Makes 6 Giant Muffins

These tasty treats make the perfect lunchbox companion or snazzy after school snack. The blueberry filling offers a surprise pop of flavor and fun. The apple purée takes the place of both the oil and the egg! This mouthwatering muffin is low in fat and lower in sugar than most commercial varieties, but high on great taste!

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

1 cup raisins

1 ½ cups fresh apple purée (see instructions below)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup maple syrup

½ cup non-dairy milk, plus more as needed

6 heaping teaspoons blueberry preserves, unsweetened variety, plus more as needed

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Oil a six-cup standard muffin tin.

Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl and stir with a dry whisk to combine. Add the raisins and stir to coat. Stir in the apple purée.

Stir in the lemon juice, maple syrup, and nondairy milk, and mix just until incorporated. The mixture will be quite thick, but if it seems overly dry, stir in a bit more nondairy milk, 1 tablespoon at a time. Don’t over mix or the muffins will be tough.

Mound ½ of the mixture into the prepared muffin cups. Top each muffin with 1 heaping teaspoon of the blueberry preserves. Then fill each muffin cup with the other ½ of the mixture, evenly distributing it.

Put the pan on a baking sheet and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden and a toothpick inserted in the side of a muffin comes out clean. Put the pan on a wire rack and loosen the sides of each muffin with a knife. Let cool for about 15 minutes. Carefully remove the muffins. Serve warm, chilled or at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator.

Note: To make the apple purée, peel and core three large or five small apples. Rough chop the apples. Put the apple pieces into a blender and process just until pureed. Be careful not to liquefy!

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Jazzy Black Bean Chili

LOW FAT VERSION RECIPE from EPISODE #104

Makes 3 to 4 servings

3 to 6 tablespoons low sodium vegetable broth, plus more as needed

1 large sweet onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, with leaves, chopped

2 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons dried cilantro

1 teaspoon reduced-sodium tamari

1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 cans (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (15 ounces) corn, drained

1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes

2 small zucchini, diced

 

Put 3 tablespoons of the vegetable broth and the onion into a large soup pot. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add the celery, more vegetable broth and cook, stirring occasionally, until the celery is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon of the chili powder, 1 teaspoon of the cilantro, tamari and cayenne. Add more vegetable broth, 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed, if mixture becomes dry. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is golden, about 10 minutes. 

Add the garlic, beans, corn, tomatoes, zucchini, and remaining teaspoon of chili powder. Taste and add the remaining teaspoon of cilantro if desired.

Decrease the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 to 60 minutes. Serve piping hot, topped with vegan sour cream and a sprinkling of cilantro if desired.

Low Fat Version of RECIPE: EPISODE #104

THE COMPANION COOKBOOK: JAZZY VEGETARIAN, Lively Vegan Cuisine That’s Easy and Delicious © LAURA THEODORE 2011/ Published by: Book Publishing Company

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Asparagus with Vegan Hollandaise Sauce

Makes 4 to 6 Servings

Asparagus is one of the first crops of spring. Paired with rich tasting vegan “hollandaise” sauce, it makes the perfect vegetable side dish for any spring meal! My grandmother grew asparagus in her back yard and she often served it with a rich hollandaise sauce, that as a child, I loved! So, I came up with this easy to prepare vegan version that tastes delicious and is low in fat too!

1 large bunch asparagus, trimmed

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

½ block soft silken or regular tofu, well drained

¼ teaspoon turmeric

¼ teaspoon sea salt

Place the asparagus in a large steamer and steam for 4 to 6 minutes, or until just crisp tender.

Meanwhile, place the lemon juice, tofu, turmeric and sea salt into a blender and process until smooth and creamy. Pour into a small saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until heated through.

Arrange the asparagus on a serving platter and pour the sauce over top. Serve immediately.

EPISODE #201 © LAURA THEODORE 2012

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Carrot and Maple Walnut Salad

Makes 3 to 4 servings

 

1 ¼ cups grated carrots 

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/3 cup raisins

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

 

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Chill 2 to 4 hours. Serve chilled.

Episode #202 - Recipe © LAURA THEODORE 2011

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Easy Black Bean Casserole

Makes 4 to 6 servings

 

2 cans (15 ounces, each) black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup low-fat marinara sauce, plus more as needed

1 sweet onion, chopped

½ teaspoon garlic powder

2 heaping tablespoons maple syrup

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix together all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Pour into a medium casserole dish. Cover and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Serve with a green salad and crusty whole grain bread.

Episode #202 - Recipe © LAURA THEODORE 2011

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Easy Paella

Makes 5 to 6 servings

 

1 can (28 ounces) organic whole tomatoes

2 cups brown rice (basmati is best)

8 to 10 ounces crimini mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 sweet red pepper, diced

1 cup frozen peas

4 scallions, sliced

½ cup fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 ¾ cups vegetable broth, plus more as needed

½ teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon turmeric

¼ teaspoon sea salt

1 jar (12 ounces) artichoke hearts, packed in oil

 

Put the tomatoes into a medium bowl and break up slightly using a potato masher or large fork.

Put the crushed tomatoes, mushrooms, rice, garlic, red pepper, frozen peas, scallions, parsley, vegetable broth, paprika, turmeric, and salt into a very large mixing bowl and stir well to combine. Pour the mixture into a large skillet or paella pan with a tight fitting lid.

Cook over medium-low heat for about 50 minutes. Remove cover. Gently stir the paella. Press the artichokes one by one into the top of the casserole, arranging evenly over the top of the rice. If the paella seems dry at this point, pour ¼ to ½ cup more broth over top of the casserole.  Do not stir!

Cook another 15 to 25 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and rice is soft, checking occasionally. If rice is still firm, add ¼ cup more vegetable broth and cook for 15 minutes more.

Serve in pretty bowls with whole grain bread on the side.

Episode #203 - Recipe © LAURA THEODORE 2011

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Rockin’ Moroccan Stew 

Makes 6 to 8 servings

 

1 large red onion, chopped

4 large carrots, peeled and cut in one inch slices

4 small (or 3 large) russet potatoes, peeled and cut in 1 inch cubes 

1 small cauliflower, cut in florets

1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut in one inch cubes

1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or less to taste)

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

2 1/2 cups vegetable broth or vegetable boullion, plus more as needed

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Put onion, carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, eggplant, chickpeas, crushed tomatoes, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne and sea salt in a large mixing bowl. Toss to combine.

Put the vegetable mixture into a 5 to 6 quart casserole. Pour the vegetable broth over the top. Cover and bake for 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. As the stew cooks, check it every ½ hour. If stew becomes dry, add ¼ to cup more vegetable broth, or more, as needed.

Remove stew from oven. Serve with brown rice or quinoa, crusty bread and a baby green  salad.

Episode #206 - Recipe © LAURA THEODORE 2011

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Apple Muffins with Pumpkin Seeds

Makes 6 Muffins

 

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

1 cup raisins

½ cup raw pumpkin seeds

1 ½ cups fresh apple purée (see note)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1/3 cup maple syrup

½ cup non-dairy milk, plus more as needed

 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Oil a six-cup standard muffin tin.

Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl and stir with a dry whisk to combine. Add the raisins and pumpkin seeds and stir to coat. Stir in the apple purée.

Stir in the lemon juice, lemon zest, maple syrup, and nondairy milk, and mix just until incorporated. The mixture will be quite thick, but if it seems overly dry, stir in a bit more nondairy milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture is moist. Don’t overmix or the muffins will be tough.

Mound the mixture into the prepared muffin cups. Put the pan on a baking sheet and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Put the pan on a wire rack and loosen the sides of each muffin with a knife. Let cool for about 15 minutes. Carefully remove the muffins. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Note: To make apple purée, peel and core two (or three) very large apples, four medium apples or five small apples. Rough chop the apples. Put the apple pieces into a blender and process just until pureed. Be careful not to liquefy!

Episode #208 - Recipe © LAURA THEODORE 2011

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Carrot & Orzo Soup

Serves 4

4 cups vegetable broth

1⁄2 cup water

1 large carrot, diced

1 scallion, white and green parts, sliced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish

1 teaspoon reduced-sodium tamari

3⁄4 cup orzo, preferably multicolored

Sea salt

Freshly ground pepper

Put the broth and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Stir in the carrot, scallion, parsley, and tamari. Decrease the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 8 minutes. Stir in the orzo and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the orzo and carrots are tender, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish with parsley if desired.

RECIPE: EPISODE #101

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 Sweet and Spicy Chocolate Mousse

Makes 4 servings

A hint of chili powder gives this fluffy dark chocolate pudding peppery undertones, while cinnamon adds sweet, earthy notes, making it the ideal finish to any spicy meal. Chocolate lovers rejoice!

1 cup vanilla nondairy milk

31⁄2 ounces vegan dark chocolate, broken into 1⁄4- to 1⁄2-inch pieces

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1⁄4 teaspoon chili powder

1⁄4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat the nondairy milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until steaming hot but not boiling.

Put the chocolate in a blender, then add the maple syrup, cinnamon, chili powder, and vanilla extract. Pour in the non- dairy milk and process until smooth and frothy, stopping twice to scrape down the sides of the blender jar.

Spoon the mixture into four dessert cups or wine glasses and refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours. Serve chilled.

RECIPE: EPISODE #104

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COOL CUCUMBER SOUP

Makes 4 servings

This creamy chilled soup is ideal for entertaining, as it can be prepared well in advance. The refreshing taste of the cucumber is carried by the tofu, which adds substance and stands in for the heavy cream so often called for in similar soups. Whenever I serve this, diners inevitably ask, “Are you sure there isn’t any cream in this soup?”

2 cucumbers

12 ounces soft regular or silken tofu, drained and cubed

1⁄2 sweet onion, chopped

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 to 2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon dried dill weed, or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish

Sea salt Freshly ground pepper

Cut 4 thin slices of cucumber and set aside for the garnish. Peel, seed, and chop the remaining cucumbers.

Put the chopped cucumbers, tofu, onion, lemon juice, garlic, brown sugar and 1⁄4 teaspoon of the dill weed in a blender and process until creamy. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the remaining dill weed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours.

About 30 minutes before serving, chill four soup bowls. To serve, ladle the soup into the chilled bowls. Garnish each bowl with a cucumber slice topped with a sprinkling of dill weed. Serve immediately.

RECIPE: EPISODE #105

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Pea and White Bean Puttanesca

Makes 2 to 3 servings

 

3 tablespoons vegetable broth, plus more as needed

1 ½ cups frozen peas

1 cup cooked white beans, drained and rinsed (see note)

1 cup prepared vegan marinara, plus more as needed

2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed

1 large scallion, sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

¼ to ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

½ teaspoon all-purpose seasoning or Italian seasoning

8 ounces whole grain lasagna noodles

 

Place broth and scallions into a large sauté pan. Sauté over medium heat for 3 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic, crushed red pepper and seasoning and sauté for 2 minutes more, adding more broth a tablespoon at a time if mixture becomes dry. Add frozen peas, white beans and marinara. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes, or until heated through.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the pasta. Decrease the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but firm. Drain the pasta, then add it to the skillet. Toss gently until thoroughly combined. Serve immediately.

Episode #207 - Recipe © LAURA THEODORE 2011

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Fancy Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa and Black Beans

LOW FAT VERSION from SHOW #112

Makes 6 servings

This tempting, hearty entrée is especially well-suited to wintertime, and the festive presentation will grace the table at any holiday celebration. Choose the color of peppers accordingly: orange and yellow for Thanksgiving, red and green for Christmas, or red for Valentine’s Day.

1 cup quinoa, rinsed thoroughly

2 cups vegetable broth

6 bell peppers, any color or a combination of colors

1 jar (about 25 ounces) low-fat marinara sauce, as needed

1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed

6 ounces cremini or white button mushrooms, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1⁄4 cup toasted wheat germ, plus more as needed

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon dried basil

Put the quinoa and broth in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. De- crease the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is soft but not mushy. Let cool slightly. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours.

When ready to assemble the stuffed peppers, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Slice off the top 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 inches of each pepper and set aside (these tops will be used to “cap” the peppers later). Seed the peppers.

 Spread 1⁄2 cup of the marinara sauce into the mixture in the bottom of a deep casserole large enough to hold all the peppers snugly so they remain upright during baking.

Set aside 1⁄4 cup of the remaining marinara sauce. Mix the quinoa with the beans, mush- rooms, onion, wheat germ, garlic, basil, and half of the remaining marinara sauce. Stir until well combined, adding more marinara sauce, a couple of tablespoonfuls at a time, until the mixture is moist but not soupy. If the mixture does get a little soupy, simply add more wheat germ.

Spoon one-quarter of the mixture into each pepper, mounding it if need be. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the reserved marinara sauce over each pepper,

then top with the pepper tops. (The stuffing will peek out between the pepper tops and bottoms.) Carefully position the peppers in the casserole so they will remain upright while baking.

Cover and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly and the peppers are slightly tender but not mushy. Serve immediately or let cool for 15 minutes before serving. Put the sauce that has accumulated at the bottom of the casserole in a gravy boat or small bowl to pass at the table.

EPISODE #112

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Autumn Delight Soup

This low-fat, but filling soup is inspired by the tastes of fall and winter fare.. It is easy to make using basic, bountiful vegetables from the fall harvest. Add your favorite veggie varieties to make your own version of this delightful, hearty soup.

4 medium white potatoes, scrubbed, peeled, cubed

1 large sweet potato, scrubbed, peeled, cubed

4 carrots, scrubbed and sliced

1 shallot, sliced

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 red onion, chopped

6 stalks celery, with leaves, sliced

8 ounces Baby Bella or white mushrooms, sliced

16 ounces, low fat vegetable broth

1 vegetable bouillon cube

pinch cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon Italian style herbs

Spring or filtered water

Place all of the ingredients into a large soup pot. Add enough water to cover. Cover loosely and simmer over medium/low heat for 50 minutes to one hour. Serve in deep soup bowls with whole grain crackers on the side.

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Whole Grain Rotini with Broccoli Rabe and Garbanzo Beans

Serves 2 to 3

This tummy warming dish is full of good taste and easy to prepare for a weeknight meal.

 

1/2 vegan boullion cube, crumbled

1/2 cup water, plus more as needed

1/2 pound whole grain or whole wheat rotini pasta

1 bunch broccoli rabe, cleaned, trimmed and chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1/8 to 1/4 crushed red pepper, to taste

1/2 teaspoon organic tamari 

Sea salt (optional)

2 to 3 teaspoons wheat germ

Pour the 1/2 cup water into the bottom of a large skillet. Add the crumbled boullion cube and bring to a simmer. Stir the boullion cube into the simmering water unitl it is almost dissolved. Add the broccoli rabe, garlic, garbanzo beans and crushed pepper to the large skillet. Cover and simmer for 6 to 7 minutes, adding a bit more water as needed if the pan becomes dry. Add tamari. Cover and simmer a few more minutes, or until broccoli rabe is tender, but still firm. Do not overcook!

 

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the rotini. Decrease the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rotini is tender, but firm. Drain the pasta well.

 

For each serving: Place about 1 cup (or more) of the  cooked rotini into a pasta bowl. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon wheat germ. Top with generous portion of the brocolli rabe mixture, making sure to include some of the broth (this will flavor the rotini). Season with sea salt, if desired. 

 

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Low-Fat Veggie Stew

Makes 4 servings

A great choice for a weeknight meal, this filling stew is delicious served over brown rice or quinoa. If you don’t have all of the veggies listed, just substitute whatever you have on hand and adjust the cooking time accordingly. This is a great way to use local veggies from your Farm Market!

2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

6 carrots, sliced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 sweet onion, chopped

1 cup cut green beans, in 2-inch pieces

10 cremini or white button mushrooms, sliced

6 to 8 ounces organic kale, stemmed and sliced thinly

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1 tablespoon whole-grain flour

1 teaspoon all-purpose seasoning

1 teaspoon reduced-sodium tamari

Freshly ground pepper

Steam the potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, and garlic for 15 minutes. Add the onion, green beans, mushrooms, and kale and steam for 10 to 15 minutes more, or just until the root vegetables are fork-tender and the kale is soft and wilts slightly.

Meanwhile, put the broth, flour, all-purpose seasoning, and tamari, in a blender and process until smooth. Transfer to a soup pot over medium-low heat and cook, stirring often, until steaming hot but not boiling. Add the steamed vegetables and stir gently until well combined. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid thickens and the vegetables are heated through, 5 to 7 minutes. Serve piping hot.

Recipe © LAURA THEODORE 2010

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Blueberry Surprise Apple Muffins

(Low Fat Recipe)

Makes 6 Giant Muffins

These tasty treats make the perfect lunchbox companion or snazzy after school snack. The blueberry filling offers a surprise pop of flavor and fun. The apple purée takes the place of both the oil and the egg! This mouthwatering muffin is low in fat and lower in sugar than most commercial varieties, but high on great taste!

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

1 cup raisins

1 ½ cups fresh apple purée (see instructions below)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup maple syrup

½ cup non-dairy milk, plus more as needed

6 heaping teaspoons blueberry preserves, unsweetened variety, plus more as needed

 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Oil a six-cup standard muffin tin.

Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl and stir with a dry whisk to combine. Add the raisins and stir to coat. Stir in the apple purée.

Stir in the lemon juice, maple syrup, and nondairy milk, and mix just until incorporated. The mixture will be quite thick, but if it seems overly dry, stir in a bit more nondairy milk, 1 tablespoon at a time. Don’t over mix or the muffins will be tough.

Mound ½ of the mixture into the prepared muffin cups. Top each muffin with 1 teaspoon of the blueberry preserves. Then fill each muffin cup with the other ½ of the mixture, evenly distributing it.

Put the pan on a baking sheet and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Put the pan on a wire rack and loosen the sides of each muffin with a knife. Let cool for about 15 minutes. Carefully remove the muffins. Serve warm, chilled or at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator.

Note: To make the apple purée, peel and core three large or five small apples. Rough chop the apples. Put the apple pieces into a blender and process just until pureed. Be careful not to liquefy!

Recipe © LAURA THEODORE 2010

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