Posts Tagged ‘Orange’

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Fresh and Fun Vegetarian Fajitas

March 13, 2011

Zut alors!  It has been quite a while since our last post.  In all honesty, I meant to post something up but simply kept procrastinating. <(-_-)>  I’ve been juggling a lot of recipes in the R&D department lately, most of which are still works-in-progress.  The recipe I wanted to share today I’ve tweaked a couple of times, and think I’ve finally got it to a share-worthy stage.

Since becoming a vegetarian, there are naturally some “off-limits” foods that I crave.  But, while it is occasionally a craving for the meat (OMG pork chops), more often than not, it is the spices and depth of flavor of the dish that I crave.  One of my favorite classically meaty dishes was fajitas.  I love the sound and scent of the sizzling plates, the gentle spiciness, and flavors reminiscent of citrus.  Now, while I do love me some veggie protein substitutes when it comes to tacos and such, I really didn’t want to rely on “meat” to bring this comforting dish to life.  For this recipe I enlisted the help of a trusted friend, butternut squash.  It’s slightly sweet, vibrantly orange — always a good decision.

Thoughts:

-You can use your favorite fajita seasoning (packet) if you don’t have all these spices on hand. However, all of these spices (perhaps sans ground coriander) should be in your cabinet. <(>.>)>

-Speaking of ground coriander, I used it here because my parents aren’t the biggest fans of cumin. I find that the coriander softens the pungency of the cumin, while enhancing the citrus flavor. P.S. Ground coriander is the seed of the lovely cilantro plant. ❤ Cilantro.

-Add more or less cayenne based on your fire threshold. This recipe should rank about a 2-3/10 on the spiciness scale.

-If you want to add a bean component to your dish, serve with some black beans jazzed up with chopped green chilis, diced onion, a sprinkle of fresh cilantro and diced tomato.

-You can garnish these fajitas with the typical fare, or opt for the Sweet and Spicy Sour Cream-y Cole Slaw — yes, it’s a mouthful but sooo worth it! — we whipped up (Recipe below).  It really offers a nice cooling contrast to the warm richness of the fajita veggies!

*disclosure: all photos are from recipe version 2.0 before addition of green peppers and coleslaw. Still delicious however.

 

Roasted Butternut Squash Fajitas

  • 1 ½ lb butternut squash, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 sweet onion, cut in half-moon slices
  • 1 bell pepper of choice, sliced
  • 1 pkg of cremini or white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 lime (zest+juice)
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • Flour or corn tortillas (I favor the corn)

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Yah for shake and roast!

In a large bowl or a gallon size plastic bag toss in all ingredients. Mix/shake vigorously to get every bit nicely coated. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet or roasting pan and roast for 20-25 minutes or until the squash is tender and aroma irresistible.

So colorful! (well even more colorful with green peppers)

Scoop roasted veggies into a tortilla (or several) and top with your desired fixin’s. The cole-slaw topping was a nice addition by Josie that really makes this dish some good noms. P.S. This recipe is vegan friendly, well minus the sour cream, woot woot!

A before picture of the fajitas. I took an after but it was just an empty plate so...yeah. <(^_^)>

Sweet and Spicy Sour Cream-y Cole Slaw

  • 1 head green cabbage*, shredded
  • 1 head red cabbage*, shredded
  • 2 large carrots*, julienned
  • 5-6 radishes, julienned
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste

This recipe yields A LOT of cole slaw.  Reduce everything by half if you want a more managable amount, or see the following option:

*If you’re in a hurry, you can use a pre-packaged cole slaw veggie blend in place of the cabbage and carrots, in which case halve the sour cream sauce.

~Josephine and Erik <(^_^)>

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Let it Snowcake!

December 14, 2010

Last week I was asked to make a cake by my friend Ashley for her mom’s birthday. Woot woot!

From a lot of baking and tweaking I’ve finally come up with what I think to be the best Pumpkin Spice cake. It was this cake that I had made for Ashley’s Birthday back in October and she requested for her mom’s cake as well. It has a warm spiciness of ginger and sweet cinnamon accompanied by a pleasant citrus zing.

For Ashley’s cake I had focused on making it very fall via warm colors and making some chocolate leaves. So when she asked me to winterize her cake, I ended up making some royal icing snowflakes and iced the cake in a pale blue. I also included some cupcakes in her order, as she was hinting she wanted some pre-party cake. Here are the results and the recipe for my pumpkin cake.

Thoughts:

-I usually don’t do the whole product placement dance but I do love pampered chef cinnamon plus for a few reasons. 1.) I’m not the biggest fan of cinnamon as I feel it is overused a lot. 2.) This blend is pretty tasty as the cinnamony-ness has been cut with ginger, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, and orange peel. 3.) I could only think of two reasons. You could replace it with pumpkin pie spice.

-A classic cream cheese icing would be just as well.

Yah Autumn!

Half of the royal icing snowflakes...so. many. snowflakes.

Extra mini-snowcakes (Ashley was fearful she would snack on the cake during her commute).

Pumpkin Spice Cake Laced with Citrus

For Cake:

  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon plus
  • ½ tsp fresh nutmeg (I’m kinda in love with fresh nutmeg)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Zest of ½ orange
  • 1 ½ c granulated sugar
  • ¾ c vegetable oil (or canola)
  • ½ c unsweetened applesauce
  • 15 oz. can pumpkin
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs

For Frosting:

  • 1 ½ stick cream cheese
  • ½ stick butter
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon plus
  • ¼ tsp fresh nutmeg
  • Zest of ½ orange

To make cake:

Preheat oven to 350°F and grease and flour 2-8” or 9” pans. In a bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg.

In another bowl mix together the oil, applesauce, and the sugar. Using an electric mixer on low beat in the pumpkin, orange zest, and vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Now gradually add the flour mixture on low speed, beating until just combined.

Spread the batter into the baking pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 min then flip onto a wire rack. Cool completely before frosting or else you’ll have a sad melty cake.

Cake prior to frosting.

Love that color contrast: orange cake + blue frosting = ❤

To make the icing:

In a mixing bowl put the room temperature cream cheese and butter. Beat together until creamy. When they are incorporated add the orange zest, cinnamon, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Blend together until it is a good spreading consistency. Add more powdered sugar if too thin; add some milk if too thick. Frost cake and decorate to your desires. Enjoy!

The finished cake yah!

~Erik <(^_^)>