Friday, January 29, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
I'm still working my way through all the delicious recipes of the recent copy of Vegetarian Times Magazine. I wrote about making the Apple Custard Pie with Oatmeal Crust and how any issue of a magazine that devotes a whole section to oats is one well worth its weight in paper and ink. And now I have another recipe to rave about - the Smoky Split Pea Soup which became Smoky Lentil Soup because that's what I had in my pantry. I love versatile recipes and thankfully with a bit of creativity most recipes are just that. This was no different. Here's my version.
Smoky Lentil Soup
1 cup brown lentils
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon bitter smoked paprika
1 heaping teaspoon chipotle puree (blend chipotle in adobo sauce till you have a puree)
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 medium onion
3 ribs celery, diced, including leaves
4 cloves garlic
6 cups water
1 small can diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon smoked salt (optional, but it was a nice final touch and brought out the smokiness of the soup all the more)
Heat the oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the chipotle puree and the smoked paprika, let cook for a minute or so. Then add the sweet potato, onion and celery. Cover and cook until the onions are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, let cook for a couple more minutes. Add the lentils and water. Bring to a boil then turn down to medium low and simmer for about 50 minutes or until the lentils are done. Add the salt and tomatoes and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes longer.
This soup was sweet, savory, smoky and so good I almost let it all disappear before getting a picture.
Now I have to decide what to try next, the Vegetables Korma or the Garlic Kale Soup. Decisions, decisions.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
This is my ultimate comfort food. I've done this dish with a wide variety and many combinations of root vegis, but this is my all time favorite. Mark and I make this a meal often enough - it's so simple and soooo delicious!
Roasted Parsnips and Cabbage
2+ pounds of parsnips, pealed and cut into chunks
1/2 head savoy cabbage (I've used other cabbages but this is the best)
olive oil to coat
sea salt to taste
Place all the ingredients in a covered baking dish and mix well. Cover and bake at 375-400 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Remove the cover and continue baking for another 30-40 minutes or until parsnips are very tender and cabbage has started to caramelize in the parsnip juices.
I've added carrots to this when I didn't have enough parsnips. I've also done it with rutabegas, parsnips, and carrots - when Mark said he wanted to try rutabegas since he'd never had them before. It was yummy too. But if I had my way it would be just parsnips and cabbage all the way!
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
This recipe is based off of a tear-out recipe from one of the Vegetarian Times Magazine subscription inserts. It called for way too much oil and too much dressing overall. I realized this after making the whole batch of dressing and ended up using only a portion of it. The rest of the dressing is waiting for me to come up with something else to dress. In the mean time this rice salad turned out quite tasty. I've altered the original recipe to accommodate the changes that I would make in the future.
I used Lundberg Farms Wild Blend my favorite wild rice blend for most anything. It has a very nutty flavor and great texture.
Wild Rice Salad
1 16 oz package wild rice or blend , cooked according to package directions and allowed to cool.
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 c orange juice (I used a fresh squeezed cara cara orange)
2 tablespoons fresh orange zest
1 tablespoon agave syrup
1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
Whisk the above ingredients in a large bowl.
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
2 green onions, thinly sliced
Combine the wild rice blend, pine nuts, dried cranberries, mint and green onions with the dressing in the large bowl. Refrigerate to let flavors blend.
Monday, January 25, 2010
One of Mark and my favorite items from natural food store delis are the various flavors of baked tofu. These along with a one of the many salad options and we have a very satisfying meal.
I've tried to create a good baked tofu before but with little success. Lately though I've been getting better with sauces and dressing and marinades and decided to give this baked tofu thing another try. The results? Delicious! We served this tofu along side the Quinoa Mango Salad - they were a perfect match!
Tofu Baked in Coconut Milk
1 block firm tofu, well drained and cut into half inch slices
Blend together the following ingredients in an 8X8 baking dish.
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 fruit juice (I used Knudsen's Morning Blend)
1 tablespoon shoyu soysauce
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 t agave syrup
Place the tofu in the sauce in a single layer. Spoon sauce over the tops to coat well. Refrigerate for two hours or more.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for 35-45 minutes. Serve the slices with the extra sauce drizzled over them.
This is just as good, if not better, served cold the next day.
This was one of the best meals from last week. Mark raved about it while praising me for my diverse cooking abilities. What a good man!
The Quinoa Mango Salad was inspired by Curried Quinoa Salad with Mango from The Tropical Vegan Kitchen. Once again I tweaked it to fit what I had on hand.
Quinoa Mango Salad
1 cup quinoa
In a large saucepan bring salted water o a boil over high heat. Add the quinoa and turn the heat down to medium. Cook for about 12 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Drain and let cool.
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon fruit juice (I used Knudsen's Morning Blend)
1/2 teaspoon agave
1/2 teaspoon stone ground mustard
1/16 teaspoon cayenne
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper (white pepper would be even better)
Whisk the above ingredients in a medium to large bowl and set aside.
1 mango, peeled and diced
1 medium cucumber, pealed and diced
3 scallions, thinly sliced
Once the quinoa is cool, add it, the mango, cucumber and scallions to the dressing. Toss well to blend.
I loved this salad and I have to admit, I bought more mango and cucumber to make another batch sometime this week. I might add some chopped mint this time just to try something a little different.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
This dish was inspired by a recipe from The Tropical Vegan Kitchen, a cookbook that has so many recipes in it that make me hungry, I will eventually have to get my own copy and give up the one from the library.
I was looking for a quick and simple recipe that used several ingredients I had in the house, including coconut milk and vegetables. The Thai-Style Spicy Mixed Vegetables in Coconut Milk over Rice on page 104 came close enough to give me a starting point for what turned out to be a very tasty dinner.
Here's how I made it:
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
3 kaffir lime leaves, shredded
2 inch chunk lemongrass, chopped roughly
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons shoyu soysauce
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
pinch of salt
Place all of the above ingredients into a large pan and simmer gently for several minutes.
Add the following (or whatever combination of vegetables you have on hand):
1 1/2 cups frozen green bean pieces
3 cups of savoy cabbage, shredded
1 large carrot, shredded
Stir the vegetables into the coconut milk mixture, cover and let cook until the vegetables are done to your liking.
Serve over jasmine rice.
One thing that I would do in the future, that the recipe does not call for, is to pick out the shredded kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass chunks after they simmer in the coconut milk and before adding the vegetables. This would make the overall texture of the dish more pleasant.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
The recent issue of Vegetarian Times got me drooling. (A whole section on oats - I love oats!) And the recipe for their Apple Custard Pie with Oatmeal Crust sounded delicious. So I made it. Well my own tweaked version of it,that is. I rarely follow a recipe exactly. This time it had to do with not having some of the exact ingredients on hand - like oat milk and oat flour. I got creative and used some almond milk (that has been in the pantry waiting to be used in some recipe ever since I discovered I don't like to drink straight almond milk.) Whole wheat pastry flour had to take the place of the oat flour. Butter took the place vegan margarine, since that is what I have and tend to use if not using oil. To top it off, literally, I doubled the cinnamon and halved the sugar in the topping.
The Verdict: It came out beautifully in the presentation category. The crust was the highlight of this pie in my opinion and I am looking forward to using it for other pies in the future. The custard was nice and light with a slightly nutty taste, most likely imparted by the almond milk. The main thing I would change in the future is to slice the apples very thin and layer them in stead of using the larger wedges the original recipe called for. I think this would give the pie a more delicate texture, allowing the custard and apple to be appreciated together more thoroughly.
Here's the final recipe as I would do it.
For the crust:
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup oat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup water
For the filling:
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup oat or almond milk
3 small apples, peeled, cored, and sliced very thinly.
For the topping:
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees F. Coat an 8 or nine inch pie plate (I used a 9.5 but the crust would go up higher on the edges with a slightly smaller pie plate) with cooking spray or oil.
2. For the crust: Mix together oats, flour, brown sugar, salt, and the cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir in melted butter and water until the mixture forms into a crumbly dough. Press the dough into the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Bake for 15 minutes or until the crust looks dry.
3. For the filling: Whisk together eggs, sugar, and the vanilla. Whisk in the oat or almond milk until smooth.
4. In the bottom of the pre-baked crust, arrange the apple slices. Pour the filling over the apples and return the pie to the oven. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the custard has set.
5. For the topping: Blend the cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle over the hot pie. Cool on a wrack until serving.