Friday, August 12, 2016

Cauliflower Tots

In 1953 two brothers who operated a French Fries potato business found themselves with large amounts of leftover pieces of potatoes. Instead of tossing the scraps into the trash, the brothers decided to add a little flour and seasonings to the mix. Presto! The tater tot was born. The word on the Internet is that over 70 million pounds of tater tots are consumed annually in the United States.

Tater tots make a great side with sandwiches and burgers, and they can also be used as an ingredient in casseroles (see Tatertot Casserole on this blog).

Cauliflower is almost as versatile as the potato as an ingredient. Cauliflower can be used to make a healthy pizza dough, seasoned to mimic chicken nuggets, or served as a vegetable. This recipe makes a two-person batch of cauli-tots. Homemade cauli-tots are healthier than commercially prepared tater-tots and almost as easy to prepare. Yes, you can substitute potato for the cauliflower and make tater-tots.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F).
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.


  • 4C cauliflower florets
  • 1/3C panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4C nutritional yeast flakes (or 1/4C grated parmesan cheese)
  • 1T ground flax seed (or 1 egg)
  • 1/2t salt
  • seasonings to taste


  1. Steam cauliflower in a large pot. Drain in a colinder. 
  2. Place cauliflower in a food processor and pulse until very fine.
  3. Transfer to a dish cloth or cheese cloth and squeeze out excess water. If the cauliflower is hot, use a spatula or wooden spoon to press out the water.
  4. Transfer the cauliflower to a mixing bowl.
  5. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
  6. Using your fingers, grab a small handful of the mixture and form into a tater tot-sized cauli-tot. Place on the baking sheet.
  7. Bake the cauli-tots for 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees (F) until golden brown. 
  8. Serve with ketchup. Mix ketchup and Sriracha hot sauce for a spicier dipping sauce.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies are delicious, but many recipes make a large amount and require a mixer to proper make the dough. We had a bag of chocolate chips that seemed to lose chips over a period of time (due to snacking), until only 1/2 bag was left. Before any more chocolate chips disappeared I searched for a recipe, and found this one.

This is a small batch recipe with a yield of approximately 24 cookies.



Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F).


  • 1/2C margarine, melted (I melted the margarine in a small cast iron pan)
  • 1/4C dark brown sugar
  • 1/4C granulated sugar
  • 1/2 very ripe banana, mashed
  • 3/4t vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2t baking powder
  • 1/2t salt
  • 1 1/4C flour
  • 1/2C semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4C finely chopped pecans


  1. In a medium size mixing bowl, combine melted margarine, mashed banana, and sugars. Mix well.
  2. Stir in vanilla, baking powder, and salt. Mix well.
  3. Stir in flour and mix until well combined.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Place dough by tablespoonfuls about an inch apart onto an ungreased baking pan. I actually rolled the dough into balls and mashed them down a little.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for 9-11 minutes.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Banana Nut Muffins

Previously, I shared a recipe for banana bread. The recipe below is for banana walnut muffins. These are lighter in texture than the banana bread. Since they are baked in muffin liners, these muffin are portable, and can be packed easily into lunchboxes and backpacks.

A photo posted by Douglas Pratt (@_misohappy_) on


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Place paper muffin liners into a muffin pan (twelve regular size muffins).


  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1T ground flax seed mixed into 3T of water (or 1 egg)
  • 1/3C oil
  • 2T strong coffee
  • 1 1/2t vanilla extract
  • Almond milk

  • 1 1/2C flour
  • 1/2C sugar
  • 1/2t salt
  • 2t baking powder
  • 1/2t ground cinnamon
  • 1/2t ground nutmeg

  • 1C walnuts, finely chopped


  1. Place dry ingredients (except chopped walnuts) in a bowl and stir to combine.
  2. In a small bowl, mash the bananas. Transfer to a 2-cup measuring cup.
  3. In a 2C measuring cup, combine wet ingredients. Adjust the amount of milk so that the total measure of the liquid is 2 cups. Mix well.
  4. Pour the liquid mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients. Stir to mix well. Mix in walnuts.
  5. Place approximately 1/3C of batter into each lined muffin cup. Evenly distribute batter across the twelve muffins.
  6. Place in an oven preheated to 350 degrees and bake for 20-24 minutes.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Cashew Basil Pesto

This cashew-based creamy basil pesto sauce is a nice alternative to a traditional marinara sauce.


  • 3/4C raw cashews
  • 1C fresh basil
  • 1/2C vegetable broth
  • 1/4C olive oil
  • 2T nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 1/2T lemon juice
  • pinch salt
  • 2 garlic cloves


  1. Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth. 
  2. Add additional vegetable broth to achieve a thinner consistency.
  3. Place pesto sauce into a small sauce pan and heat.
  4. Pour over pasta.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Kale and Grits

On one of my business trips to the Florida coast my daughter asked me to bring back stuff animal. She want a shrimp. At the time I didn't know that stuffed animal shrimp even existed. However, while eating out with colleagues I saw a Bubba Gump Shrimp restaurant. This, I thought, is my best chance of finding a stuffed animal shrimp. Sure enough! Bubba Gump had them in several sizes and shapes. I found a small shrimp for my daughter and brought it home. Of all her stuffed animals, it is the ugliest!

Fortunately, no shrimp - real or manufactured - have to die for this delicious, easy vegetarian substitute for the classic shrimp and grits. This recipe for kale and grits combines garlic-infused kale with fancy grits, prepared with vegetable broth and a small amount of cheese.


  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2lb kale, washed and cut into small pieces
  • 1C quick grits
  • 4C vegetable broth
  • 1/2t salt, divided
  • 1/4C finely shredded cheese


  1. Pour the vegetable broth and 1/4t salt into a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil.
  2. Add the grits and reduce the heat to medium. Stir occasionally. Grits will continue to thicken and will be ready after 10 minutes.
  3. While grits are cooking, place the garlic, 1/4t salt and 4 cups of water into a large pot. Bring the water to a boil.
  4. Add the kale to the boiling water and let it cook, covered, for 5 minutes.
  5. Drain the kale.
  6. When the grits are at the desired thickness transfer them to a serving dish.
  7. Place about half of the kale in a pile on top of the grits.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Baked Zucchini Chips

As I was sitting on the couch this afternoon, I heard a knock at the door. An old man stood there with holding a plastic bag. As soon as I opened the door he asked, "Would you like some zucchini? I have more than I can use." "Of course," I said. It turns out that my elderly visitor lives just down the street.

Most gardeners end up with more zucchini than they can realistically eat. Once I found myself in possession of three zucchini I began studying how to prepare them in a non-traditional way. The recipe below transforms this over-abundant vegetable into a crispy side dish and excellent substitute for potato chips.


  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.


  • 1 medium or 2 small zucchini
  • 1/4C panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4C Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/4t garlic powder
  • 1/4t seasoned salt
  • 1/8t fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4C almond milk


  1. Slice the zucchini into 1/4-inch slices.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine.
  3. Pour milk into a separate small bowl.
  4. Dip each slice into the milk and then into the bread crumb mixture. Place on the baking sheet.
  5. When ready, bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Special K Loaf

Special K Loaf is a popular vegetarian entree. Most recipes for Special K Loaf include generous portions of cottage cheese, cheese, and eggs. While all three of these ingredients are delicious, this recipe below offers a healthier version of the dish by omitting them.

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper.

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed/minced
  • 1 1/4C pecan meal
  • 19oz pkg extra firm tofu
  • 2C almond milk
  • 1T ground flax seeds
  • 2t chicken-style seasoning
  • 2t onion powder
  • 2t salt
  • 1/4C nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1/4C olive oil
  • 1C chopped mushrooms
  • 1/2C walnut, finely chopped (these provide a crunchy texture, so don't grind them into a meal)
  • 8C Special K or other flake cereal

  1. Saute onion and garlic in olive oil.
  2. In a large bowl mash tofu.
  3. All all ingredients except the cereal to the bowl and mix well.
  4. Stir in dry cereal.
  5. Let the mixture rest for 15 minutes.
  6. Transfer to a 9x13 baking dish lined with parchment.
  7. Bake for 60 minutes at 350 degrees.