Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Orange Stew

Today's stew is orange. Very orange. But not orange from oranges. Orange from sweet potatoes and squash. Beautifully orange!

1 cup dried garbanzos, soaked overnight (makes ~ 3 1/2 cups cooked beans)
2 sweet potatoes, scrubbed
1 long squash
1-2 T olive oil
1/2 very large onion
2 large cloves garlic
2 large parsnips
2 blue potatoes
2 T liquid vegetable bouillon
2 handfuls wild rice mix
3/4 cup red quinoa

What to do
Cook the beans, drain.
Chop the onion; dice the garlic.
Heat soup pot, when warm, add the olive oil. When the oil is warm, add the chopped onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another 3 minutes.
Cut the sweet potatoes into 1/2 inch rounds, then into six pieces per round slice. Add to the pot with enough water to cover.
Add the vegetable bouillon. Stir to combine. Cover the pot.
Peel the squash, halve it, scoop out the insides, and cut out the stem. Then, slice it into 1/2 inch half rounds and cut those into 3-4 pieces each. Add to the pot. Add more water if needed. Stir. Cover the pot.
Peel the parsnips and chop. Add to the pot. Add more water if needed, to cover vegetables. Stir. Cover the pot.
Peel the potatoes and cut into 1/2 inch rounds, then into six pieces per round slice. Add to the pot. Add more water if needed, to cover vegetables. Stir. Cover the pot.
Take two large handfuls of the wild rice mix and add to the pot. Stir. Add more water if needed. Cover the pot.
Let it all cook for 35-45 minutes, stirring to keep the stew from sticking.
Add the quinoa (rinse if you remember to - I didn't last night/this morning when I added the quinoa at 1-something). Stir well. Cover the pot and let it cook for another 20-30 minutes.
When the cooking is finished, cover the pot until you are ready to serve it, reheating on the stove if needed.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Vegan Pumpkin Brownies

Packed up to shared with my non-vegan friends at work

After my friend Kristi asked about vegan brownies without oil, I started searching for another recipe to send to her. (My first recipe was from my Grammie Lundquist.)

I found lots of recipes out there for vegan brownies. Woo hoo! I also found recipes for pumpkin brownies...and we all know how much I love pumpkin..I tried some in my 10-grain cereal the other morning. A was eating her pumpkin for breakfast and I thought I'd join in! A is also a lover of pumpkin. Most pumpkin brownie recipes amazingly don't have chocolate in them...not sure how they are brownies without the chocolate...

I liked the idea of pumpkin brownies, but I didn't use one recipe. I liked the layers idea from one recipe, and decided to use my own spice combo that I like with pumpkin. And, I love my spelt flour, so I was set on using it in whatever brownies I ended up making.

Here's my version of Vegan Pumpkin Brownies.

safflower oil
Pumpkin Layer
1 can organic pure pumpkin
1/4 cup organic applesauce
1 T ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground tumeric
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground Jamaican allspice
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
Brownie Layer
3/4 cup plain soy yogurt
2/4 cup organic applesauce
1 T vanilla
1 cup turbinado sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups freshly ground spelt flour
1/2 cup organic cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 - 3/4 cup chopped pecans

What I did
I preheated the oven to 375 (350 interior temp). I oiled my 9 x 13 pan with a little bit of safflower oil.

I mixed the first Pumpkin Layer ingredients together in a small bowl with a spatula.

Then, I mixed the Wet Brownie Layer ingredients together in a medium bowl.

I mixed the Dry Brownie Layer ingredients together in a large bowl. Then I added the Wet to the Dry and mixed together with a wooden spoon.

I poured the Brownie Layer into my 9 x 13 pan, and spread it out evenly. Then I added the Pumpkin Layer on top and spread it out with the spatula, mixing the layers together a bit. I sprinkled the chopped pecans on the top of the brownies, and popped the pan in the oven for 60 minutes.

They are cooking now (yes, it's almost 12:30 -- I'm up working and baking) and the apartment is starting to smell lovely. Chocolate and pumpkin...yum. I will update tomorrow/later today with the outcome of these yummy-smelling treats.

Fresh out of the oven at 1 am...
I ate two for breakfast. I know, not the best breakfast, but I needed to try them out.

The spices are a little overpowering in the pumpkin layer, so I will halve them next time. Also, parts of the pumpkin layer are still not "set" even after baking for an hour. And parts of the brownie layer are downright chewy after the hour baking time. So I need to work on getting the pumpkin to cook more and the brownie to cook less.

I brought some to work with me today, so we'll see how non-vegans like these creations...

My first non-vegan friend to try them liked them and ate two. He suggested giving the recipe to our cafeteria so that they can make something other than meat and meat and dairy-filled food for a change.

I had another (two) tonight, when I should have been ordering dinner. They are much better than this morning! The spices have mellowed and I couldn't stop after just one. Thank goodness I only brought a limited number to work!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Peanut, Sweet Potato, Barley, and Bean Stew

I used up the last of my Rancho Gordo Lila beans in this stew. So good! :)

The impetus for this stew was my sweet potatoes. After being away for five days, one of my (newly bought) sweet potatoes decided to rot. :( Dave just put my bag of sweet potatoes in another plastic bag, and I wasn't able to do anything about it until late Friday night when I got home from work. So, late Friday night, I cleaned and cut off bad spots from my remaining sweet potatoes, and ended up peeling two. (Do I know how to start a weekend or what?) I wanted to use the peeled potatoes up before anything else weird happened with these sweet potatoes, so I used them to make this stew.

The stew uses barley, because J asked for barley while we were looking at the different grains on the table. She chose barley over this cool-looking burnt-umber colored rice I got at Fairways, standard white and brown rices, and kasha. I'm sure any other whole grain would work in this stew too. And next time I'll probably make it with a different grain, because Dave thinks that J has a hard time eating barley (she chews is slowly).

My inspiration for including the peanut butter was J and our breakfast this morning. I made us some Bob's Red Mill 10-grain cereal and she wanted me to add peanut butter to our hot cereal, in addition to our standard soy milk, pumpkin seeds, pecans, and dried cranberries. It creamed up really well and the little chunks of peanut tasted great in the cereal. So, I thought, why not try it in the soup. Not to mention that every recipe I've ever seen for African stew includes peanut butter and sweet potatoes or yams!

The main part of the stew is the beans. The delicious, and now finished, Lila beans.

1 cup dried Lila beans, soaked overnight or two nights
2-3 in piece of Kombu
2 T freshly ground organic peanut butter
handful of whole organic peanuts
2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into small cubes
1 cup pearl barley
1 square no-chicken vegetable bouillon (optional)
1 bunch Vitamin greens

What to do
Soak the beans. (Start on Friday night, get too busy on Saturday to make anything, and finally get to cook them on Sunday.) Cook the beans in a large pot with the Kombu. If the beans need more water as they cook, add boiling water to the pot to keep the beans from getting hard.

After the beans are finished cooking, add the sweet potato cubes, barley, and peanut butter. Add enough more water - everything should be covered. Don't dump the bean cooking water -- it's the broth for this stew. The barley will soak up a lot of water as it cooks, so make sure to add enough. Also, you can add the bouillon if you are using it now. You can add the peanuts now or right before serving, up to you. ( I added them earlier so that they could cook with everything else. I was also not sure if I would get to add them otherwise, as my little A was requiring lots of attention and nursing.) As the stew cooks, stir it regularly to break up the peanut butter and the bouillon and distribute evenly throughout the stew.

While the stew is cooking, chop the greens (including stems). Put them in a pan with some water, cover, and sweat for 5-7 minutes, adding water as needed to keep the greens from scorching.

To serve, put the stew into a bowl and top with the greens. See J's bowl below. That's her cheesing it up for my cell phone camera (we can't find our camera since our trip to Maryland! Have you seen it?).

If reheating, you'll probably want to add more water, as the barley continues to soak up the broth. We have one serving left of this, which J will get for a meal this week.

I have the coolest kids. J asked for the greens for her snack this afternoon (D asked, J, do you want a cookie. J replies, no, I want greens!). And A had some of the greens for dinner tonight. Heehee.

Creamy Potatoed Veggies

This was Dave's and my dinner tonight, and will be J's lunch tomorrow. One bowl full filled me all the way up. The seasoning had just enough garlic in it -- it smelled really great while I was eating it. Make sure it's hot when you eat. I based tonight's dinner on a recipe I found in Kathy Cooks. (Ugh, I paid a lot more than what's being offered on Amazon tonight for this book -- I wonder what happened that all of a sudden there are numerous copies for really cheap??)

6 medium organic Yukon gold potatoes

1 organic carnival squash
1 1/2 cups organic carrots
1 cup frozen organic peas
4 T Earth Balance
1/2 T no-salt organic seasoning
4 heaping tsp nutritional yeast
2 1/4 cups organic soy milk
coarse sea salt & black pepper

What to do
Scrub the vegetables well. With the exception of the carrots, the skins are all used in this dish, so you want to make sure your veggies are clean!

Cut out any eyes or bad spots and prick the potatoes with a fork. Bake or microwave the potatoes until soft.
Cut the squash in half, scoop out the insides (save the seeds!), and bake or microwave. Make sure you have water in the pan, whichever you do, to keep the squash moist. After it's cooked, cut the squash, with the skin, into small cubes.
Peel and cut the carrots into 1/2 to 1 inch chunks. Steam.
Cut 2 of the cooked potatoes into small cubes.
Cut 4 of the cooked (still warm!) potatoes in quarters and mash with the Earth Balance. Put this mixture, the soy milk, seasoning, and nutritional yeast into the blender and blend until smooth.
Add the carrots, squash, and remaining potatoes to a large pot and add the creamy potato sauce. Add a little more soy milk if it looks too thick. Add the frozen peas.
Heat through.
Serve on top of pasta with sea salt and pepper to taste.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Brownies :)

Just for my friend Kristi, who wondered why I didn't have any dessert-type recipes up here. Well, the short (and not-so-sweet) of it is that Dave doesn't eat sweets, and I cannot eat an entire recipe of sweets myself! That and there's SO MUCH sugar in these brownies! :)

Here's one of my favorite brownie recipes, for Kristi. It's passed down from my Grammie Lundquist -- vegan without any substitutions!

OIL -- I think that you can use any type of oil, although I've only made these with vegetable oil, canola oil, and sunflower oil. If you want to use olive oil, refined olive oil is processed to remove the strong taste associated with olive oil (extra virgin, virgin). Or you could just add a little more cocoa. :)

Equal Exchange Baking CocoaCocoa -- I use Equal Exchange baking cocoa. Yum.

Sugar -- I like using turbinado or raw cane sugar in this recipe.

I might even make these up this week. It's December, so I can bring a bunch of them to work, thereby avoiding the danger of eating them all myself!!!

3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
2 tsp salt
3/4 cup oil
2 T vinegar
4 tsp vanilla
1 cup water
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

What to do
Sift dry ingredients together. Add wet ingredients to dry. Stir just enough to completely mix the wet and dry ingredients. Stir in the chopped nuts, if using. Spread into a lightly oiled 9 x 13 pan. Bake 40-30 minutes at 325 degrees. Let the brownies cool for five minutes or so in the pan before cutting them. Cut them as big or as little as you'd like.