berkeley girl Recipe Reviews (Pg. 1) - (18072621)

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Tofu Creamed Spinach

Reviewed: Oct. 14, 2006
Great flavor, good texture, and very healthy. I halved it and used 1 bunch fresh spinach, 1/2 onion, 1 clove garlic, 1/3 c milk, 1/2 pkg soft tofu, 1/3 nutritional yeast (rather than cheese), generous amount of onion and garlic powder to taste, and pinch of pepper (left out the butter and only used canola). Cheesy taste, creamy texture, very flavorful. Very good for vegetarians and vegans (substitute soy milk).
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33 users found this review helpful

Healthy Banana Cookies

Reviewed: Mar. 19, 2006
Amazingly sweet and addictive, esp. for such a healthy dessert. I agree they are not the crunchy, crispy cookie type. Instead, they're moist, soft, and chewey. I changed the recipe for 1 dozen cookies, but used the same amount the spices: 1/2 cup very ripe mashed banana (1 large banana), 3/4 cup rolled oats or other rolled grains (I used mixed triticale, oat, and rye flakes), 1 Tbsp oil, 1/3 cup mixed chopped dried apricots and dates, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tsp ground ginger, and 1 tsp ground cardamom. The ginger really brought out the sweetness of the bananas and was a nice break from the usual cinnamon/nutmeg combination. I also threw in some chopped nuts, but they didn't seem to add much as the oats are already chewey and crunchy. Mine only took about 17-18 min to bake.
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5 users found this review helpful

Suzanne's Spinach Quiche

Reviewed: Mar. 5, 2006
I'm joining the chorus in praising this recipe. I made my own pie crust and blind baked it in a deep dish pie plate. The filling did not overflow. I used 1/2 cup fat free yogurt and 1/2 cup low fat sour cream, and the baking time was not affected. Other changes: Asiago cheese instead of cheddar, cooked fresh spinach in a pot until it started to dry and stick to the bottom (shy of 1 bunch - added no oil), sauteed the mushrooms with 1 clove garlic, and placed sliced tomatoes over the top (1-2 small tomatoes), 3 eggs plus 1 egg white (used the yolk to glaze the crust). This was my first time baking a quiche ever, and I brought it to an Oscar's party. Everyone complimented me on both its appearance and taste. A very trustworthy recipe.
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2 users found this review helpful

Persimmon Bread I

Reviewed: Feb. 14, 2006
Great recipe. I've made this twice. The first time around, it was fruit-cake like, except not disgusting like the store-bought variety. I added 1 1/2 cups (combined) dried apricots, raisins, dates, and candied ginger, the zest of 1 whole orange, and 1/2 tsp each nutmeg, cloves, and cardammom. The second time, I wanted a more persimmon flavor (the bread has no persimmon flavor as written). I added added 1 1/2 cups chopped ripe fresh unpeeled persimmon, 1/2 cup dried dates, and 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, with as much spices as the first time. It was the perfect amount of spice for me. The 2nd time around, I also replaced white with whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup brown sugar rather than the suggested amount of white sugar. The result was a much stronger persimmon flavor and a moist bread, despite the subtracted sugar. I also find it easier to mix in the nuts and dried fruit right before pouring the batter into the pan rather than with the dry ingredients.
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145 users found this review helpful

Sugar Free Granola

Reviewed: Jan. 31, 2006
This recipe based on date paste is really original. The only problem I had was with the baking time. I followed the directions carefully, and my granola was soft and soggy. I had to bake it for an additiona 40 min or so, stirring every 15 min, and it became sufficiently crispy as it cooled. However, the wheat germ also burned. I would recommend mixing the date paste mixture into the rolled oats (and nothing else) FIRST, and THEN baking it at 275 degrees for about 30-45 min, stirring every 1/2 hour. Then, add the nuts, seeds, and wheat germ, and bake for an additional 10-15 min. I wouldn't add the raisins until the granola has cooled completely, or else the raisins may get further dehydrated and too hard and chewey. This recipe can indeed have no refined sugar, if you you can find no sugar added dried fruit. For multigrain, use a variety of grain flakes, such as spelt, oat, barley, triticale, wheat, and rye flakes. To increase the sweetness, use 2 cups dried fruit (choose plump, soft ones, as leaving it in granola for a week or two dries it out - dried apples and pitted Deglet dates are my favorite). I also like to add flavor by mixing in vanilla extract or fresh orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and cardammom into the date paste. You can also replace part or all of the wheat germ with wheat bran (or other grain bran) and/or soy protein powder.
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69 users found this review helpful

Honeydew Blueberry Soup

Reviewed: Jun. 15, 2005
An easy-to-make refreshing soup, perfect for a hot day. I gave it 4 instead of 5 stars because I found the blueberry/honeydew combination to be slightly bland. Replacing the blueberries w/ some other berry that has a stronger flavor, such as strawberries or raspberries, would be great. I used gingersnap granola instead of crumbled oatmeal cookies, and it worked out very well. Anything crunchy, sweet, and preferably w/ a bit of a gingery/spice kick would be good. This would be great for breakfast or dessert.
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5 users found this review helpful

Caroling Wine

Reviewed: Dec. 20, 2004
The first time I made this I didn't follow directions, and I liked it better than the time I did. Instead of waiting to add the wine, I just threw the wine in together w/ the rest of the ingredients, and simmered it for about 1/2 an hour. It was less heady that way and could accommodate even the worst of red wines. Also, I put in entire orange wedges instead of orange rinds. Although I adjusted the water, sugar, and fruit juice for having only 3 cups of wine (thanks to the reviewer who said that 1 bottle = 3 cups), I kept the same amount of spices and oranges and left out the salt. Next time, I'd add even less sugar. It was a tad on the sweet side for me.
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27 users found this review helpful

Parsley Spinach Chicken Stew

Reviewed: Dec. 20, 2004
This recipe is absolutely delicious! I never follow recipes perfectly, so my judgement reflects some adjustments as well. I used only about half or three quarters as much chicken and more spinach and parsley. I also added garlic for fragrance before frying the spinach and parsley. I chopped the chicken breast into smaller pieces after the first 10-minute boiling period. The lemon (I used the juice of an entire lime instead of measuring) gives the soup a freshness and most of its flavor. If you're worried about blandness, as one review complained, then taste the soup and adjust it for saltiness before adding the lemon juice. Besides the obvious of adding more tomato paste, turmeric, and salt, you can also add chicken bouillon powder at that point. Cut up mushrooms would be a very good addition to this soup too. Calling it a stew is a little misleading. There's very little liquid, and it's more broth-like than stew-like.
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5 users found this review helpful

Slow Cooker Root Vegetable Tagine

Reviewed: Oct. 9, 2004
I like Morocca food, but this recipe is a little disappointing. The concept behind this recipe is great; the excecution is not. First, it takes a lot longer than about 45 min-1hr to peel and dice so many tubers, not 1/2 an hour. Second, 9 hours is so long that the vegetables get overcooked. Third, there's so little broth that you run the risk of eating steamed vegetables rather than stewed ones. For the amount of vegetables, there's not enough spice, so it comes out rather bland. My suggestions: less cooking time by an hour or two, double the spice and the broth (or mix in a second set of spices after you finish cooking), use only 3/4 lbs of each tuber and increase the amount of dried fruit. I suppose suggesting using chicken broth or adding meat would be a travesty, but it would help make it more flavorful.
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90 users found this review helpful

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