Tag Archives: snack

Corn Blinis with Dill Cream

corn blinis with dill cream
Kelley gave me a huge amount of dill, which didn’t even make a dent in her backyard supply. I have yellow flowering heads, green seedy heads, and a lot of fronds. Our refrigerator smells like pickles. Look for a super-easy refrigerator dill pickle post later this week.

I made these corn blinis for breakfast. The recipe is heavily adapted from The Complete Encyclopedia of Vegetables and Vegetarian Cooking. At 500+ extra-large pages, this hefty volume has an extensive catalog of vegetable varieties, storage, and preparation. I’ve owned it for years and haven’t cooked much from it, but it has a lot of good ideas.

The dill cream recipe is approximate. Feel free to season with more black pepper, more or less dill, or add some crushed or roasted garlic to taste. The key components are the sour cream and dill.

Corn Blinis with Dill Cream

2 tbsp ground flax seeds (I used golden, but the dark variety would work)
4 tbsp water
1 cup soy or almond milk
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
3/4 C unbleached all purpose flour
2/3 C whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 C fresh sweet corn kernels; or frozen corn, thawed
canola or olive oil, for the griddle

For the dill cream:
1/2 C vegan sour cream (Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream is good)
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
2 tbsp chopped fresh scallions
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat a griddle pan or heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium high heat.

In a small bowl, whisk the flax seeds and water together. Let stand until it forms a thick gel.

Combine soy or almond milk with lemon juice and let stand while you measure the dry ingredients.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flours, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix well. Stir in flax mixture, milk mixture, and corn kernels. Stir until just combined, so that no dry ingredients remain. Do not overmix.

Brush the griddle or frying pan with a little bit of oil. Drop spoonfuls of the batter onto the griddle. Cook until holes appear on the top and the mixture begins to set around the sides. Flip the blinis and cook briefly on the other side. Keep warm in a low oven until all are cooked.

To make the dill cream:
Blend the sour cream with the dill, scallions, salt, and pepper.

Serve blinis warm, topped with dill cream.

Makes about 9 3-inch blinis.

Conference Happy Hour: Bruschetta

Today’s conference in Peoria had some decent bruschetta, a reminder that tomato season has begun. I need to get some tomatoes from Common Ground and make my own. I would make my own bread, but it’s too hot.

conference bruschetta

The selections at happy hour were better than what I had for lunch: romaine lettuce, black olives, orange & yellow carrots, green beans, and rolls. Quality: okay. Selection: poor, but at least it was something.

I’m glad I brought a Kind Fruit + Nut Bar for dessert/snack. The macadamia apricot flavor will probably be cloned later, or added to a Larabar style recipe.

Kind Bar Macadamia ApricotI also brought some carrot sticks, which traveled well in the heat. You’re either prepared, or you’re hungry!

Smoothies with Chocolate: Still Learning

I’m not a person who needs chocolate daily to survive, but I like it. I’ve been experimenting with smoothies for breakfast, and wanted to try some chocolate combinations.

cherry cacao smoothie

The Cherry Cacao Smoothie above was a good first attempt. Part of this was a total win… frozen tart red cherries, frozen banana, unsweetened coconut milk, some Pure Via powdered stevia, a scoop of Vega Whole Food Smoothie Infusion, and a few leaves of boston lettuce. Yum. I always try to include a leafy green in my smoothies, and boston lettuce is sweet, watery goodness.

Then I added about one tablespoon of raw cacao nibs. They blended up just a little, resulting in a crunchy-weird texture, but they were not bad. I enjoyed the bursts of strong, dark chocolate flavor. I will try this again, but grind the cacao nibs before adding them to the mix.

chocolate strawberry smoothie
Round Two: Chocolate Strawberry Smoothie

The Chocolate Strawberry Smoothie turned out with a better texture, although I opted for a fresh banana versus the frozen ones I usually use, mostly in the interest of time. (Note: when freezing bananas for smoothies, peel them first, then throw them into a gallon-sized freezer bag or plastic container.) This one contained almond milk, which worked well with the unmeasured amount of cocoa powder I dumped into the blender. I added too much cocoa powder, as you can tell from the dark, rich color. I also added some green ingredients (Vega Smoothie Infusion and boston lettuce) and powdered stevia to balance out the bitterness of the cocoa.

With a bit less cocoa and a frozen banana, this would taste like a really good milkshake. Not bad for breakfast.

Simple Goodness: Energy Bars

I recently attended a conference out of town, and needed convenient, non-refrigerated, non-processed snacks to take along. So I made a batch of these homemade bars, which are a lot like Larabars.

energy bars

They traveled well, and made excellent pre-run snacks. I added dried blueberries to half of this batch.

For post-run breakfasts, I also packed small bags of oatmeal mixed with dried fruit, nuts, cinnamon, and stevia. I added hot water from the coffeemaker in my room, and breakfast was ready after my shower. Who says you have to be stuck with greasy fast food when on the road?

The base recipe for these bars is simple: nuts + dates. I will definitely make more variations, with different nuts, spices, and added dried fruits. I have a bag of cacao nibs that would make a great chocolaty cookie variety. There are plenty of recipes for similar bars on the Health Habits blog.

Energy Bars

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/3 cup pitted dates

1. In a food processor, pulse cashews until finely chopped. Empty into a bowl.

2. In the same food processor (no need to clean it), pulse dates until they form a thick paste.

3. Add dates to cashews. Knead with your hands until well combined. Lightly coat your hands with oil to help prevent sticking.

4. Place on a sheet of lightly-oiled plastic wrap and shape into a rectangle. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for about an hour.

5. Unwrap and slice into about 10 bars. Wrap each bar in plastic wrap and refrigerate for longer shelf life. (These were just fine in a suitcase for about 4 days.)

Samosas with Cilantro Chutney

samosas with cilantro chutney

These Vegetable Samosas from VegWeb.com were the first item to be devoured at Potluck #1 (of 3) this weekend. I made a large batch of filling, with curry powder instead of Korma sauce, so I might have to make some more dough.

The cilantro chutney (sometimes labeled coriander chutney if you’re looking for a pre-made version), is a quick recipe I created. Like many of the things I come up with, it’s a combination of 2 or 3 recipes I’ve seen on the web, adapted to whatever I have on hand, and rarely measured accurately since I always adjust things to our tastes.

Cilantro Chutney

1/4 large white onion, roughly chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, roughly chopped, including seeds and ribs
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp mustard seed
juice of 1/2 lime
1 large bunch cilantro, ends of stems removed
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

In a food processor, combine onion, jalapeño, cumin, mustard seed, and lime juice. Pulse until chopped finely. Be careful not to breathe the aerated jalapeño juice!

Wash and dry cilantro, then chop into about 4 sections, breaking up stems so it will fit into your food processor. Don’t be afraid the use the stems… they have a lot of flavor. Add to food processor, and process until smooth. Drizzle in olive oil until well blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.