Sunday, February 28, 2010

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Someone in my house LOVES pineapple so I decided it was time to try this out! Ours is cholesterol-free but I've listed it both ways if that's not a concern for you!


3 Tbsp margarine (you can use unsalted butter)
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
6 slices of pineapple (I've tried fresh and canned and the canned in juice turned out better)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
8 Tbsp margarine (or 1 stick of butter) at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
4 egg whites (or 2 eggs) at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt 3 Tbsp margarine in bottom of 9 inch cake pan. With hands evenly distribute brown sugar in pan. Lay pineapple pieces on brown sugar in any design you want.

Mix all cake ingredients together with electric blender until smooth. Pour into pan over pineapple/butter/brown sugar mix. The butter will show on the sides of the cake.

Bake for 40 minutes (or until tester comes out clean). Remove and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Put cake plate on top of cake pan and flip over. Cake should slide right out of pan.

Cut, serve and enjoy!

Zuchetti & Sauce

In my desire to try out new things and make our diet healthier, I made a dish that I will call Zuchetti & Sauce. I used a new contraption I got on Amazon that takes a zucchini (or a myriad of other foods) and turns it into ribbons that are pasta-esque. Click for product link!

I used 2 medium zucchini for the 'pasta'.

For the sauce I used 5 organic vine-ripened tomatoes (take the skin off and seeds out), 1/4 cup fresh oregano, 1/4 cup fresh basil, 2 cloves of garlic, about 5 strips of sun-dried tomatoes (the kind that come in olive oil) and 1 teaspoon olive oil.

To take the skin off of a tomato easily just drop it into a bowl filled with boiling water. Let it sit for a couple of minutes and then take it out. You'll be able to see where the skin has wrinkled up. Grab ahold and just peel the skin off! Voila!

Put peeled, seeded tomatoes, basil, oregano, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and oil into the blender and blend it all together!

Now lay the zuchetti out on a plate and cover in sauce. We added some tofu that had been marinated in pesto and roasted.

Note: The sauce by itself will taste really strong and the zuchetti by itself will taste really bland... together though? Harmony!!! :) Enjoy!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Yes, You Can... Make Sushi!!!!!

Yay! I made sushi today! I have to admit, it's not my first time When we were in Illinois for a year, we couldn't find any good sushi.. so I decided I would learn how to do it myself. Since we've been back in LA, I haven't made it. No time like the present to show you that you can do it too!

First, let's talk about fish! Sashimi is the raw fish deal. You need to find SUSHI GRADE fish at either a fish market or, as I do, at Whole Foods. Sometimes Trader Joe's will carry it. Do not use fish that is not labeled SUSHI GRADE or that your fish person has not told you is sushi grade!

Next, let me say that you don't have to have fish to make sushi as most of my veggie friends can tell you. I love all different types of ingredients including:

Sweet Potato
and more!!!

Let your imagination run wild. We're currently doing a lot of raw food so it's great to have bunches of different tastes thrown together.

Rice: Buy sushi rice which is a really sticky rice (it's coated with gluten so if you have Celiac Disease please avoid this!). It's cooked like regular rice, that is 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water. Bring to boil, add rice, let simmer til water is absorbed. The trick is to add a rice vinegar and sugar mixture to the rice and NEVER use metal objects with the rice after it's cooked. No metal bowl, no metal spoons.. nothing! (You can find great sushi rice recipes online.. pretty easy stuff)

Fish: Remember what I wrote above.. then go find your favorite. The fish should be made and eaten the same day you get it. I'm really picky about this and you should never eat day old sushi that has raw fish in it.

Veggies: Slice any veggies (or even fruits) into strips for the best results.

You'll need bamboo rollers for this.. they're the easiest to use, but you can also use a thin dishtowel. Not the terrycloth kind.. you don't want bits of fluff in your sushi.

Nori: the seaweed wrappers used to roll everything together.

Wasabi: Y-UM! Japanese horseradish. Mixed with soy sauce and dip your lil rolls in! What a kick! You control how hot you want it.

Lay the nori on your bamboo roller mat.

Spread your rice on. You can put rice over most of the sheet or just on a section like I've done.

Now lay your goodies onto the rice. Do them neatly so they'll roll up nicely. Any combination you pick is right! This is your creation... go to town. In this roll I've used: asparagus, imitation crab meat, cucumber and avocado.

Once you've filled it, just roll it. Many of you will remember this action from college. You can wet the outside edge to help it stick together.

Now use your bamboo roller (or dishtowel) and evenly roll your creation. It will tighten the roll and help it stay together better.

Need I say the next line? Oh, ok...

(What are you waiting for? Eat!)