March 6, 2013

Tomato Basil Cupcake

I love thinking and cooking outside of the box, and this recipe is just that. In celebration of La Madeleine's 30th Anniversary, I am including my favorite item on their menu, Tomato Basil soupe. A cupcake with tomato basil soup?! Yes, not all cupcakes have to be rich and sweet. Give it a try for your next tea or luncheon.
  • 1 box (about 18 oz) spice cake mix
  • 1 jar (15.5 oz) la Madeleine's Tomato Basil soupe
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (8 ounce) package package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 4 cup confectioners' (powered) sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Heat the oven to 350°F.  Place liners into 24 (2 1/2-inch) muffin-pan cups.

Combine the cake mix, soup and eggs in a large bowl and mix according to the package directions. Spoon the batter into the muffin-pan cups.

Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. While baking, place room temperature butter, cream cheese, and vanilla into mixer and blend for 1-2 minutes on medium until fully incorporated. Add powder sugar, one cup at a time, until frosting is light and creamy.

Let the cupcakes cool in the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pans and let cool completely. Frost, and enjoy!
Now, while your eating these delicious cupcakes, you can check out the challenge yourself here.
Give it a try, it'll stretch your cupcake imagination a bit and you have a chance to win a trip to France! Also, during the duration of the “Recipe to Paris” contest, $1 will be donated to the Children’s Hunger Fund for every jar of la Madeleine Tomato Basil soupe purchased in-café.

For one special reader, I am giving away a jar of soupe for you to help you enter the contest. Please comment below on what your favorite la Madeleine item is, and you will be entered in the giveaway. The winner will be announced at 5PM on March 13, 2013.

February 19, 2013

Mighty Bowls of Goodness, Dinner-Style

Mighty Bowl of Goodness
This colorful one-dish meal will become a new favorite.
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup Green Lentils or Mung Beans
  • 1 bunch kale, stemmed, chopped and steamed or 1 head broccoli, cut into florets and steamed
  • Choice of grilled tofu, chicken or salmon
  • 1 avocado, cut into wedges
  • Mike's All Purpose Seasoning "Original Recipe"
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
Cook quinoa and lentils or mung beans separately according to package instructions. Divide quinoa among four bowls. Top with lentils, kale or broccoli and your choice of tofu, chicken or salmon. Garnish with avocado. Serve at the table with Mike's seasoning and lemon wedges.

February 18, 2013

Tempeh Curry

Tempeh Curry
Tempeh absorbs the rich spices and coconut milk in this simple curry. Cook the rice and steam the tempeh while prepping your other ingredients and it will come together quickly.
  • 1 cup long-grain brown rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (8 oz) package tempeh
  • 1 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 Tbsp ground curry powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 (13.5 oz) can light coconut milk
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1/2 lb green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, divided
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
Bring rice and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low, cover pot and simmer until liquid is completely absorbed and rice is just tender, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, arrange steamer basket in a pot. Add enough water just to reach bottom of basket. Bring to a boil. Cut tempeh in half and place in the steamer basket. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and steam about 15 minutes or until tender. Remove tempeh and set aside until cool enough to handle. Cut tempeh into 1/2-inch cubes.

Bring 1/2 cup broth to a simmer in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic and ginger and cook 5 minutes or until onion is translucent and tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in curry and cumin and cook for 1 minute. Add coconut milk, potatoes, tempeh and remaining 1 cup broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook 10 minutes. Stir in green beans and return to a simmer, uncovered. Cook about 5 minutes longer or until potatoes and green beans are tender. Stir in 3 tablespoons cilantro and salt. To serve, spoon curry over rice and garnish with remaining 1 tablespoon cilantro.

February 4, 2013

Chai Smoothie

Chai Smoothie
Taking the time to soak the dates ensures that they will puree and sweeten this simple treat. Add ice if you like a thicker smoothie.

  • 6 pitted dates
  • 1 1/2 cup unsweetened almondmilk
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place dates and almond milk in a medium bowl or liquid measuring cup and chill for 2 hours to soften dates. Put dates, almond milk, cocoa powder, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and vanilla in a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

February 3, 2013

Tahini Mashed Potatoes

Tahini Mashed Potatoes
*Batch Cooking Recipe*
These potatoes are rich and creamy without the addition of dairy ingredients. The flavor is classic enough to serve alongside any holiday roast, or increase the tahini by a tablespoon or two and pair them with Middle Eastern dishes in place of rice or couscous.

  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks
  • 7 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 cup plain soymilk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
Place potatoes and garlic in a large saucepan, cover with cold water by 1 inch and bring to a boil. Lower heat, partially cover pan, and simmer until potatoes are very tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain, return potatoes and garlic to pan and add tahini. Mash with a potato masher or large fork until very smooth. Place over low heat and stir in soymilk, lemon juice and salt; add a little more soymilk if potatoes are too thick. Spoon into a bowl and garnish with sesame seeds.

Yellow Split Pea & Sweet Potato Soup

Yellow Split Pea & Sweet Potato Soup
*Batch Cooking Recipe*
This recipe can easily be cut in half to make a smaller batch. Keep cooking times the same but use exactly half of each ingredient.

  • 8 1/2 cups water
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 cups dried yellow split peas
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
Bring 1/2 cup water to simmer in a large saucepot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook about 5 minutes or until translucent. Stir in ginger and cook 1 minute, stirring. Add remaining 8 cups water, peas and sweet potato cubes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and simmer for 1 hour.

Uncover and continue to simmer 15 minutes. Carefully purée soup with a hand held immersion blender or in batches in a food processor until smooth and creamy. Garnish with pumpkin seeds.

Lentil Loaf

Lentil Loaf
*Batch Cooking Recipe*
Rich and Tasty

  • 1 cup brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup bulgur wheat
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2/3 cup apple cider
  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
Put lentils in a small saucepan with 2 cups water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and simmer until lentils are very tender, about 40 minutes. Drain well and set aside.

Put bulgur in a small saucepan with 1 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and simmer until bulgur is tender and water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Set aside.

In a medium skillet, combine mushrooms, onion, cider poultry seasoning and salt. Cover and simmer over medium heat until vegetables are very tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Scrape into a bowl and fold in lentils, bulgur, oats, bell pepper and parsley.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly coat 8- or 9-inch loaf pan with butter. Pack lentil mixture firmly into pan and smooth the top. Bake until edges brown slightly, about 1 hour. Cool in pan 25 minutes, then invert it onto a serving plate. Remove parchment and let the loaf cool a few more minutes. Use a serrated knife to cut the loaf into 1-inch-thick slices.

To freeze leftovers, let the loaf cool to room temperature, cut into serving slices, wrap in foil or freezer-safe plastic wrap and freeze up to 1 month.To reheat, unwrap and microwave, or place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake in a 275°F oven until heated through, about 45 minutes.