Mattoni's Cooking Blog

A veg*n cooking blog with photos, recipes, hints, secrets, and street cred. Get with it, sucka.

February 22, 2006

Spaghetti Squash Pizza Bake

1 cooked spaghetti squash -- don't get intimidated yet...stay tuned for how to cook it.

1 small can of pizza sauce

1 green pepper

1 mushrooms

1 onion

1 spinach
artichoke hearts (or whatever topping you'd get on a pizza)
shredded rice or soy cheese

Pre-heat oven to 350 -- anyone ever notice how so many recipes involving the oven start out this way?

Get a casserole dish and on the very bottom put a layer of the spaghetti squash.

Cover that with some pizza sauce.

Then sprinkle the toppings on.

Then put a layer of cheese over that.

Start again with another layer of the squash and layer until you get to the top of your dish.

Bake for 20 min or until the top is browned nicely and it is bubbly around the edges.

I used a round casserole dish and cut it into slices like a pizza.

You can modify this to make as much as you want that's why I didn't include amounts in the ingredients list.

February 15, 2006

V-Day Cornbread muffins

What would Valentine's Day be without something red? A good start, if you ask me. But, setting all my anti-commercialism aside, I got a wild hair and made these muffins especially for Valentine's Day. They can be made any day of the year, of course, but the red color and cinnamon flavor probably fit best with winter holidays.
If you want to over do it, get a heart-shaped muffin pan. I'm using a regular one because that's all I have. You could suggest that I'm gauche or low brow for only having round muffin pans -- but that would be elitist, wouldn't it?

1 1/4 cups pastry flour
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
4 apples
1 package Cinnamon candies
1/2 cup soy milk
Egg replacer (equivalent to 2 eggs)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon ginger

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and start boiling a pot of water (about 3 cups) on the stove. Then, mix the pastry flour, cornmeal, baking powder and spices together in a bowl.

When your pot of water is boiling, add the package of cinnamon candies and let turn the heat down to med-hi. The idea is to boil the candies down into a syrup.

During this time, peel, core, and dice the apples.

Add the egg replacer (prepared with warm water as directed) and the soy milk to the dry ingredients. Once your cinnamon candies have boiled down into a syrup, add them and all but a few of the apples to the bowl, too.

Mix everything up.

Grease your muffin pans. I'm using two so there will be some large muffins and some small muffins.

Spoon the mixture into the muffin pans. Smaller spoons work better for smaller sized pans.

Sprinkle the remaining apple pieces on the muffins.

Be sure to lick the bowl clean.

Bake the muffins for about 25-30 minutes.

I put a few in a bag for someone special but you can eat them all yourself if you want.

You don't have to use apples, you can use any fruit you want. If you want to make them for fourth of july, you could use apples and blueberries. Or, if you leave the fruit out altogether, you could frost them with vanilla or something.

February 13, 2006

Toni's Tip #2 - Thou shalt steal


...or borrow, however you'd like to rationalize it. Whenever I go to a restaurant and have something that I really like, I try to re-create it at home. You can add you own flair and make as much or as little as you want. Next time you go out to eat, pay attention to the ingredients in your meal, whether it's stir-fry or a salad and try to make it at home. Reading the description on the menu will also help clue you in to any sauces or spices used in the dish. This method also works for dishes seen made or highlighted on the food channel. Then share the recipe with your friends so they don't have to steal it from you.

February 11, 2006

Seven and a half layer salad (or dip...whatever)

Ok, so it took a long time to finally post this. I've been busy and depressed so get off my case.

This was actually made for a Super Bowl party at my mom's house -- a Super Bowl party where everyone brought dip and no "real" food. It's easy to make, as it pretty much requires whatever you have lying around the house.

4 cups small dark beans
2 cups corn
2 mangoes
8 asparagus stalks
2 bananas
1 can chipotle sauce
2 roma tomatoes
A handful of green onions

Start with your asparagus and chop it into half inch pieces. Then, start a 2-quart pot of boiling water.

Throw your asparagus in the pot and start it a cookin'.

Now start another small pot on medium for the chipolte sauce. Chop up one of the bananas and put that in the sauce, too. You will have to watch it while it cooks and occasionally add water. The goal is to completely reduce the chipoltle sauce and the bananas into something a little more fluid than a paste.

While your asparagus and banana sauce cook (turn it down low when it starts to bubble), dice the green onions and the tomatoes. Peel the mango, core it, and dice that up, too.

By now, your asparagus are done. Drain them and put them in a bowl. Actually, put everything into a bowl -- except the other banana and the sauce, which is probably still cooking (keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn). To recap, here's what we have: tomatoes, asparagus, green onions, mango, corn and

Now we start to layer February (brrr). Start by putting an even layer of beans in a 9" by 13" casserole dish. Then add your corn, then asparagus, tomatoes, and mango. The idea is to contrast the colors as you add each new layer. You wouldn't put mango on top of corn, would you?

Now your sauce is probably done. Pour it uniformly on top of your layers.

Sprinkle your green onions on top.

Now it's time to chop up that extra banana. I was actually told by a significantly knowledgeable source, that this step should be optional, because of its irrationality. Well, I'll leave it up to you, but I sprinkled the chopped banana on top.

I put the whole thing in the oven on warm, to let the sauce soak in to all the ingredients and to dry out the banana.

Of course, the banana is optional. I think it gives the sauce some sweetness and adds to the mango. Any leafy green could be added -- spinach would look great. Another good idea is adding Liquid Smoke or molasses to the sauce for a richer taste.

If you're bringing this to a party, don't forget the plantain chips!

February 08, 2006

Ginger "Bomb" Cookies

Thank you to Amy for this great cookie recipe!
These are perfect. I guess you could add a little more sugar cause they aren't SUPER sweet but I think they're bomb.

Editors note: Bombs are not toys.
1 3/4 cup Flour
1/2 cup applesauce ( Plain unsweetened)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoon vegan butter or margarine
Equal parts of cinnamon and sugar in a dish set aside.

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl, and the wet ingredients together in a seprate bowl.
Mix em together and add the butter.
Roll the dough into balls and then roll the balls in the cinnamon and sugar, place on a greased baking sheet, for 10-15 minutes, or untill lightly golden brown.