All Images © 2010 Lori Andrews

Do not use these images without my written permission

Monday, June 28, 2010

grilled plantain

After experimenting with plantain only once before I decided to try again.  And this was delicious! 
Wait until your plantain is ripe.  A ripe plantain is anywhere from yellow with some black spots to mostly black.  I allowed this one to ripen to about 1/2 black.  It can easily take weeks for a plantain to ripen on your counter top, so be patient.  Green plantains are used in savory dinner dishes.

1 or 2 ripe plantains
canola oil for brushing and grilling
salt, to taste


1. Peel your plantain and slice diagonally into 1/2 slices (or smaller if you want them more crisp)

2. Brush canola oil on both sides of your plantain slices and grill on a hot clean grill for about 3 minutes per side.  You want an even yellow color throughout with some nice grill marks. 

3. Season with a pinch of salt and serve. 

Super with brown basmati rice and a poached egg! 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp with Orange Zest

I was given some rhubarb by my wonderful MIL so a rhubarb crisp went in the oven asap.  I have made this one using some strawberries as well as a few raspberries (because I can).

4 cups rhubarb, washed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 cups fresh strawberries, cut into 1 inch cubes
handful of raspberries
1/2 cup sucanat
1/4 cup Bob's Red Mill all purpose gluten free flour
juice of 1/2 lime
zest of 1/2 orange

1 cup Bob's Red Mill all purpose gluten free flour
3/4 cup sucanat
3/4 cup brown rice flakes
1/2 cup butter, nearing room temperature, cut into cubes
cinnamon for sprinkling on top


1. Preheat oven to 375° . Combine the rhubarb, strawberries, raspberries, sucanat, flour, lime juice and orange zest in a large mixing bowl.
2. In another bowl, mix together your topping flour, sucanat, brown rice flakes, and butter. Combine the topping ingredients with your hands until it is crumbly and lumpy.
3. Transfer your filling mix to a lightly greased 8" casserole, crumble topping mixture over top to cover and sprinkle with cinnamon.  Bake for 30- 40 minutes until the top is browned and the fruit is cooked through.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Baked Polenta Fries

Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.  Polenta Fries are an easy treat anytime.  You could make your own polenta from scratch first, or simply use a prepared tube like Scarpone's brand.
You should probably know.  I use my convection mode on my oven for almost everything.  I know a lot of you don't actually have convection ovens so I never really mention that.  

1 tube plain prepared polenta
Olive oil
Coarse Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

1. Preheat your oven to 450°.
2. Remove the plastic sleeve from the tube and cut your polenta in half crosswise.  Then cut in half length wise and cut those into 4 or 5 strips each. The fries taste best when they are not too thick.
3. Drizzle some olive oil on a baking sheet and place your polenta wedges on the sheet.  Use a brush to brush some more olive oil on the tops of the polenta strips.  Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper and place your cooking sheet on the middle rack of your preheated oven.  Bake for 40 minutes or so (until lightly browned) , turning once about 1/2 way through the cooking time.
4. Remove your fries when they are crisp and lightly golden, place them on a paper towel.  You could at this time toss them with some nice spices like oregano or season salt.  Serve with ketchup.  Make a nice chipotle ketchup if it is an evening meal!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Roasted Squash Salad with Pomegranate Dressing, Crisp Apple & Toasted Pistachios

It has been raining for weeks, so I have been craving comforting meals.  This salad has the depth of roasted Butternut squash , combined with the fresh summery tastes of apple and pomegranate juice. An ideal  light meal for a cool and stormy evening.  

2 cups baby spinach (washed)
2 cups butter lettuce (washed and torn into bite size pieces)
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1 large red apple, diced
1/2 cup toasted pistachio nuts
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt- to taste
fresh ground black pepper- to taste
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

3/4 cup 100% pomegranate juice
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp shallots, diced
2 tsp. dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil


1. Preheat your oven to 425° and move the rack to the top position.

2. Toss your cubes of butternut squash in olive oil and place in a medium casserole so that each piece has it's own space.  Sprinkle liberally with salt/pepper and red pepper flakes.  Roast on top rack for 20-25 minutes.  Until the squash pieces are lightly browned.  Remove from oven , transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.

3. While the squash is cooking you can begin making the dressing.  In a small saucepan, bring your pomegranate juice, apple cider vinegar and shallots to a boil.  Reduce heat to low/medium and simmer for 8-10 minutes until slightly reduced.

4. Remove pomegranate juice dressing from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.  Add mustard to pomegranate juice dressing and whisk until combined.  Add olive oil to dressing slowly, whisking continuously until it is all combined.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

5.  In a large salad bowl combine your lettuce, spinach, apple and pistachios (reserve a bit of the apple and pistachio for final garnish).  Add dressing and toss.  Add the roasted squash, toss once, garnish with a few more pistachios and diced apple.  Serve.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Natural No Bake Carrot Cake

Ok so it's not really a cake.  It's pretty darn healthy though and tastes awesome!  


4 cups grated carrots
1 cup of medjool dates, (pits removed)
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
2 Tbsp organic apple butter
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 lemon, juice of
1 cup organic shredded coconut
1 cup organic raw walnuts
organic coconut oil for greasing your 9x9 pan


1. Use a food processor to grate the carrots, remove carrots and set aside.
2. Place your dates, ground flax seeds, apple butter, cinnamon and lemon juice in a food processor and process until blended.  Add the coconut and walnuts and process until the walnuts are coarsely chopped.
3. Add the carrots back to the food processor, process just enough to blend.
4. Press your finished mixture into a greased 9x9 pan and refrigerate for at least two hours before serving. 

Icing Ingredients:
1/2 cup raw whole cashews (soaked)
2 medjool dates (pits removed)
1/2 Tbsp agave nector
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup water
shredded coconut for topping
lemon zest for topping
walnut pieces for topping

Icing directions:

1.  Process the cashews, dates, agave, lemon juice and vanilla extract  in a food processor until smooth.  Add the water until desired consistency of icing is reached.
2. Spread icing on carrot cake, top with coconut, lemon zest  and walnut pieces.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Peanut Butter and Banana cakes

So easy! Buckarooken likes them too. 


2 yellow bananas or heading to ripe
1 egg- beaten lightly
1 hugely heaping tablespoon of organic natural peanut butter (crunchy)


1. Mash your bananas well in a medium bowl.  you can leave a few little lumps.
2. Heat some vegetable oil on your non stick griddle on medium heat
3. Mix your peanut butter in with the banana and then add the beaten egg and stir that in well.
4. Drop batter onto the griddle, again 3" diameter cakes  work best.
5.  When the underside is medium brown, flip them and cook the other side.
6. Serve with Berries and you can call it a PBJ!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Almond Pancakes

This recipe uses no processed flours.  Just almond flour (you can make your own in a food processor or buy it at a health food store).  It's really delicious.

1 cup almond flour
2 eggs
1/4 cup soda water or sparkling water
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tbsp sucanat (or sugar)
(a bit of oil for the griddle as well)

1. Mix your dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk your eggs until soft peaks begin to appear.
3. Preheat your non stick griddle on medium with about a teaspoon vegetable oil.
4. Add your oil and water to the eggs and stir to blend just a couple of stirs.
5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry flour mix and stir with a wooden spoon until just blended.  Don't over mix.
6. Spoon your pancake batter onto the griddle.  These pancakes won't bubble like "regular" pancakes, so you simply flip them when they are browned on the bottom.  If you keep them smallish it is easier to determine if the pancakes are done.  We made about nine- 3" diameter pancakes.
7. Serve with fresh fruit, maple syrup, butter, jam, whichever you prefer.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Hominy & Egg Scram

I happened across this South American style cooking blog and saw this recipe for Mote Pillo.  I was intrigued, so off I went to a local Latino Market to purchase the required ingredients to make my breakfast.  Apparently Mote Pillo is a typical dish from the highlands or Sierra region in Ecuador.  To Laylita it is comfort food.
 For me it was an entirely new experience.  The texture of the Hominy (treated maize kernels) is somewhat similar to a dense pasta.  The flavor is brand new to me.  I liked the dish but of course felt it needed a kick or something.   I tried a bit of cayenne (nope) some hot sauce (better) and finally some maple syrup (always best!) haha -I never tried ketchup though that might have been nice. I enjoyed the dish and ate my entire meal but like most regional comfort food.  It might take me a while to actually crave it.  :)
Here is the recipe as she wrote it with my substitutions in parenthesis (I made a 1/2 batch) -


1 lb cooked mote or hominy (canned is fine)
2 tbs butter (or organic red palm oil for color)
4 eggs
1 cup chopped leeks (white part only) or white onion
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 tsp ground achiote
1/4 cup milk (rice milk)
2 tbs chopped chives
1 tbs finely chopped cilantro
salt to taste

serve with cheese slices and black coffee  (or herbal chai tea if you are like me and don't do dairy or caffeine )


1. Heat the butter over med. heat in a large sauté pan, add the leeks, crushed garlic, achiote and salt.  Cook until leeks are soft (about 5 min)
2. Add the hominy, stir in well and cook for another 2 minutes.
3. Add the milk (rice milk) and cook until it is almost absorbed by the hominy.
4. Whisk the eggs and add them to the pan, stir well and cook for 3 minutes or so.
5. Stir in the chives and cilantro, season to taste.

note- the achiote powder is what gives the dish it's color.  You can mix together some oregano, cumin, clove, cinnamon, black pepper, allspice, garlic powder, salt and annatto in a mortar and pestle and make your own.  It is the annatto seeds that dye the mixture red.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Breakfast Project

 I have started a fun new project on flickr called- The Breakfast Project   Inspired by my Norwegian friend Astrid and her Dinner Project    It's only for a couple of weeks, but I figured it would be rather fun and turns out it is!  It is forcing me to consider the aesthetics of my morning meal a bit more.  Trust me, I often eat stuff that looks like a dog's breakfast because it's just a mash of leftovers from the night before.  If I do have one of those mornings, I promise to photograph it anyhow.  :)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Quinoa chocolate cake

My MIL made me this delicious cake for my birthday.  I loved it.  I intend to make it myself sometime.  When I make it, I will replace the milk with rice milk and the processed cane sugar with sucanat. It is super moist and really delicious! Buckarooken loved it as well.  That's the thing with gluten free chocolate cakes, they are just as good as regular cakes.  Only this one is made with whole quinoa which is fabulously good for you. 

2/3 cup white or golden quinoa
1 1/3 cups water
1/3 cup milk
4 large eggs
1tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

1. Combine the water and the quinoa in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 10 minutes.  Fluff with a fork and cool.

2.  Preheat oven to 350°F.  Lightly grease two- 8" round cake pans.  Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper.

3.  Combine milk, eggs and vanilla in a blender, add the 2 cups of cooked quinoa and the butter.  Blend until smooth.

4.  Whisk together sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda in a medium bowl.  Add the contents of the blender and mix well.  Divide the batter between the two pans and bake on center rack of oven for 40-45 minutes (until a knife inserted comes out clean).  Remove cakes from oven and cool completely in the pans before serving.  You could make a two layer cake and frost it at this point.  Or just serve each cake as is (my preference).

5. Eat for dinner, lunch or breakfast until the cake is gone.  :)