Monday, November 15, 2010

Dulse crackers

Dulse flakesI really wanted crackers last night. I scoured my apartment, but didn't have any besan/garbanzo flour. (And I discovered that my spelt flour had new inhabitants -- weevils! Argh!) So, lacking besan, to make the crackers more exciting, I used seaweed gomasio and dulse flakes.
(You can buy the dulse flakes on amazon and the gomasio at eden if you can't find them at a local store.)

1 cup organic white flour
1 cup organic whole wheat pastry flour

3/4-1 cup nutritional yeast

1 tsp sea salt

4T red/purple dulse flakes

2T seaweed gomasio

1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 Earth Balance (1 stick)

1/2 cup organic original hemp milk

some GF AP flour for rolling (why? b/c it's what I had available)

What to do
Preheat oven to 385 (which is probably 365F).
Mix the dry ingredients together.
Cut in the Earth Balance until the mix is mealy.
Then add the hemp milk and mix together with your fingers.

When everything is well combined (you have a nice not-tacky ball of dough), get your rolling surface ready.
Spread a little flour down and on your rolling pin.
Roll out small portions (as thick or thin as you'd like your crackers) and cut into the shapes you want for your crackers.
Place crackers on a cookie tray.

Bake for 10-12 minutes (less time for thinner crackers).

Verdict: needs more salt without the besan. But still good. :) I ate a bunch for dessert last night and left the rest for the girls to munch on this week.

Sweet Potato Squash & Garbanzo Soup with Kasha

Yesterday's dinner was a hearty, thick stew. I made the soup separate from the kasha, and served them together, making a thick, stick-to-your-ribs stew that was quite filling. I had forgotten how much I liked kasha. You could always cook the kasha with the soup, but I liked the separateness of the two. I think it led to the vibrant colors: This soup was very brightly colored -- yellow and orange vegetables in deep yellow broth, bright greens, red kasha.

2 sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cubed (from the farmers' market)
1 sweet yellow onion, chopped (from MOM's)
1/2 head of garlic, minced (from the farmers' market)
1 long delicata squash, cut in half, seeds scooped out, and chopped (ditto)
1 large gold potato, scrubbed and cubed (not Yukon, I can't remember the variety that we picked at the market on Saturday)
1 head of greens, thinly sliced (from Kira's farm stand. She said to use it like spinach, so I did)
1 cup vegetable broth
1 T extra virgin olive oil
3 cups water
1 cup garbanzos + 1 cup garbanzo cooking liquid
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning

1 cup dried kasha
2 cups water
1/4 tsp sea salt

What to do
For the soup:
As you cut the sweet potatoes and potatoes, put them in a large soup pot with the water and vegetable broth.
Add the garlic and onions as you cut them.
Add the garbanzos and cooking water, the olive oil, and the herbs. (Because I knew that I was going to use some salt in the kasha, I didn't put any in the soup. You might want to put some in the soup.)
Cook, covered, over medium heat until the vegetables are soft and the broth is a lovely deep yellow.
When the vegetables are soft enough for you, turn off the heat and add the greens. Cover the pot again and let the soup cook the greens for you.
Keep the pot covered until you are ready to serve.

For the kasha:

Rinse the kasha well and remove any blackened grains. Place in pot with 2 cups of water and seal salt. Stir, cook until all the water is absorbed. I did this right before serving, so that the kasha was warm.

To serve:

Place some kasha in a bowl, then ladle soup on top. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast. You can serve it like that or mix the kasha into the soup, making it a stew.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Squash with Root Vegetable Lentil Stew

Sunday dinnertime. My favorite squash and Jacqui's root vegetables, all carefully chosen at the farmers' market, come out to play for dinner.

First, the squash. Second, the stew...lots of white vegetables. with brightly colored skins and some gold beets to color the broth.

1 large blue-skinned (orange flesh) squash
1 cup live oat groats
1 cup green lentils
8 cups water
3 small white onions, chopped
3 small yellow beets, peeled and chopped
3 small Yukon potatoes, scrubbed and chopped
1 purple turnip, scrubbed and chopped
1 purple daikon, scrubbed and chopped
1/2 black turnip, scrubbed and chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 tsp sea salt
dried sage
dried rosemary
dried thyme
1 bulb roasted garlic
1/4 cup (or more) nutritional yeast

What to do
First, I cut up a large squash. Jacqui helped me scrape the seeds out. Then, we placed it in the over at 400F for 40 minutes (until soft enough to be pierced with a fork). Jacqui asked why I was making holes in it -- to see if it's ready to eat! :D If you don't have roasted garlic on hand (for the stew), cut the top off a bulb, wrap it in aluminum foil, and put it in the oven with the squash. It will be ready when the squash is done.

The squash will be finished baking before the soup is done cooking, so it makes a great first course/appetizer. Jacqui and Aji, like their mother, *love* all things squash, so they really ate it right up. You can add some vegan butter if you want. Jacqui actually ate almost the whole squash (and seriously, this was a large squash) by herself. Squash lovers outnumber the non-squash lovers in my home!

Second, while the squash was baking, we started the stew. In a large soup pot, add the water, lentils (rinsed), and live oat groats. (Any whole grain will do here. I used the oat groats because that's what I had on hand, fresh from the farmers' market.)
While the lentils and oat groats start cooking, wash and chop the vegetables (onions, beets, turnips, daikon, potatoes). Add them to the soup pot as you chop them. Chop as large or as small as you'd like and your kids will eat. :) Add the pressed garlic at this point too. (But not the roasted garlic.)
Add dried sage, rosemary, and thyme. I used fresh herbs that we bought a few weeks ago at the farmers' market and dried. I took the dried leaves off the stems and crushed them in my hands before adding. Jacqui became an expert at this. Add as much or as little of the herbs as you'd like.
When the vegetables are soft and the lentils and oat groats fully cooked, add the roasted garlic (just squeeze the cloves right in) and the nutritional yeast. Reduce the heat, stir to combine, and let the stew cook on low for a few minutes to combine the flavors. If you want some more herbs, add them now.
Serve in large bowls and enjoy!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Red Beet and Lentil Soup

Last night I made a very RED soup for dinner for me and the girls. I used yellow and orange carrots, red onion, red beets, and purple-skinned potatoes from the farmers' market, red lentils from bulk (Fairway or MOM's), yellow lentils from my mom (she gifted me with these two really cool lentil packages -- yellow and beluga -- last time I visited), and left-over brown rice for the soup. The girls both ate it for dinner and I had two bowls (one with rice and one without). It was so nice to get to cook again. And use up some of the lovely produce that's been living in my fridge, neglected, while I work away the days.

red soup

10 cups hot water

1 cup red (orange) lentils

1 cup yellow lentils (or another cup of red lentils)
1 orange carrot (peel left on)

1 yellow carrot (peel left on)

1 red (purple) onion
2 red beets, peeled

3 purple-skinned potatoes (peel left on)

1 tsp dried minced garlic

1 tsp dried dill
1 cup cooked brown rice

What to do
This soup was souper easy.
In the food processor, chop up the onion and carrots together.
Dice the potatoes and beets on a cutting board.
Then, in one pot, add: water, lentils, potatoes, beets, carrots, onion, garlic, and dill.
Cook until the vegetables are soft and the lentils have fallen apart.
Puree the soup.
Stir in the brown rice and serve!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Polenta Dinner

polenta dinner
Friday night before we began our long long car trip to Maryland (i.e. Grammy and Gung-gung's house), I made up a polenta and beans dinner for us all (me, the girls, and Dave). We ate all the polenta. Adrianna couldn't get enough; Jacqui ate pretty quickly; and Dave and I ate up our full portions (plus an extra one for Dave). I gave each of the girls 1 1/2 pieces of polenta, giving Jacqui beans only and Adrianna beans and sauce. Two pieces each for me and Dave, with an extra piece waiting for Dave when his plate was clean.

The polenta is from my earlier-in-the-week cauliflower and polenta effort. For the bean sauce, I used some mushroom and olive marinara sauce mixed with coco rose beans, heated slightly and spooned on. On the side, farm fresh cukes. I fork-cut up Jacqui's and Adrianna's portions to make it easier for them to eat by themselves. It was a quick and easy dinner, perfect for getting the girls to eat quickly so that we could be on the road before 8pm.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Marinated Tempeh and Cauliflower Polenta

When I got home last night, I made up a quick marinade for some SoyBoy soy tempeh (cut into four triangles). After the girls were finally asleep, I cooked the tempeh, and started chopping cauliflower for my polenta.

Jacqui is in the final stages of potty-training. She wears underwear during the day and hasn't had an awake accident in more than a week. Yay! The last stage is sleep. Some days she wakes up dry from her nap, some days she wakes up wet. Of course, the days she wakes up wet are the days I foolishly allow her to nap without a diaper over her underwear. Sigh. She has yet to wake up dry from overnight sleep. And, over the last week, her body has determined that she needs to poop between 8:30 and 9:00 pm. When she should be in bed, going to sleep. Instead, she is sitting on the potty, pooping. "Mommy, I want to be a big girl, I don't want to pee and poop in my diaper." What can you say to that entreaty? "Ok, ok, go sit on the potty." Even if it's the third time since going to bed that she's asking to go. Even if I'm the only one home with the girls and Adrianna is on the verge of falling asleep. Even if I'm starving because I haven't gotten to eat yet. I just can't say no to the "I don't want to pee or poop in my diaper because I want to be a big girl" plea. Bedtime is just becoming later and later and dinner time for me is becoming much more of a Spanish-time dinner... but I don't get an afternoon siesta. Sigh.

I based tMarinated Tempehhe marinade on a tempeh marinade recipe from Veganomicon. I omitted the maple syrup (didn't have any) and only used 1/2 the liquid smoke. I used 1/3 of a bouillon square plus 3/4 cup hot water to make the vegetable broth. The tempeh marinated for a bit more than an hour, then I cooked it in my handy dandy (but a little too large) non-stick skillet. I used some of the marinade to cook with the tempeh, but saved half of it to use again for marinated tempeh sticks. (I cut up another block of tempeh, into small finger-sized strips, and put them into the marinade and the whole container into the fridge last night. I'll cook them up tonight, so the girls have something new for lunch on Friday.)

As I cooked and ate my tempeh (yum yum), I started the polenta. I've been dreaming of making polenta for some time now. (Is is odd that I dream of making certain food? I don't think it's too odd...much better than some of my other dreams!) My first attempt to cook polenta was thwarted when the polenta had grown a thick layer of green mold on the top. Eck! I took it back to the farmers market and got a new bag. No mold on this one. Phew!

I based the polenta on a recipe from Veganomicon (Broccoli Polenta). I subbed cauliflower for the broccoli -- although I didn't have any broccoli, I had a huge head of cauliflower waiting to be eaten in the fridge. :) Four cups chopped and I still had enough for 3-4 more. Instead, I ate maybe half raw while cooking the polenta. So I've got a little bit of raw cauliflower left in the fridge for another night. I chose to use my brownie pan for the cooked polenta -- after taking out some of the polenta-cauliflower slop to eat immediately! I topped it with some large sea salt and nutritional yeast. Yum!

Pan of Cauliflower Polenta
Here's my pan of cauliflower polenta. It looks eggy, no? The bowl of freshly cooked polenta really looked eggy to me. After the pan cooled a bit, I put it into the fridge to firm up. This morning before I left for work, I cut into squares and gave Dave directions on how to make it for lunch. Fry 2-3 squares in the skillet, add a little olive oil if necessary. Top with tomato sauce and coco rose or white beans (both are sitting cooked in the fridge). The girls will have a yummy lunch!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Lavender Pancakes

I found a recipe for lavender pancakes earlier this week. The girls and I had bought a bag of baking and tea-making lavender from Lavender By The Bay, a farm out on Long Island that sells on Saturdays at our farmers market. It's been sitting in our kitchen, waiting for something wonderful to make. I decided that this morning was the morning to try the lavender pancakes for breakfast.

I made some adjustments to the original recipe. My sister and niece had gone through a gluten-free (GF) phase. When it ended, I inherited their leftovers, including a HUGE bag of GF all-purpose flour. I didn't have any wheat all-purpose flour, so I used the GF AP flour.

Probably because of the GF AP flour, I found that I needed to add quite a bit more milk, and the batter still wasn't as runny as I expected it to be. When I spooned the batter onto the pan, I had to spread it out to make the pancakes. The batter was too viscous to go anywhere on its own. You can see in the photo above the results of not immediately spreading the batter as I spooned it onto the pan...the center circles are the plops of batter, the rest is the result of my expert spreading. :).

Still, the pancakes were yummy, if a little stretchy (again, I think a result of the GF AP flour). The lavender flowers added a subtle flavor when the pancakes were eaten right after cooking. The flavor was much stronger and more pronounced at lunchtime/dinnertime when Jacqui and I finished off the remaining three pancakes that weren't devoured by us and Dave at breakfast.

Here's my version of Vegan Guinea Pig's lavender pancakes.

1 ¼ cup gluten-free all purpose flour
2 T dark brown sugar
1 T lavender flowers
¼ tsp fine sea salt
4 tsp baking powder
¼ cup plain soy yogurt
¼ cup strawberry applesauce
1 ½ cup vanilla hemp milk
¼ cup organic canola oil

What to do
Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl. (I had to smash up the brown sugar by hand because it had started to gel into balls, probably from the humidity in NYC.)
In a separate bowl, whisk the well ingredients together well.
Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mixing well until you have a smooth batter.
Heat your pancake pan over medium heat. Using a ¼ cup, spoon the batter onto the pan. I had to then spread the batter out with the back of a spoon to make pancakes. (Otherwise, these would have been more like drop biscuits or scones.) Cook until the top is all bubbly and starting to dry, then flip over. The bottom should be a lovely golden brown. If it's still pale, then let it cook a little longer on that side before flipping.
Serve the pancakes with maple syrup for dipping or all alone.

The recipe made 15 4-in diameter pancakes for me, all of which were promptly eaten, leaving none to freeze for another day.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


We are loving smoothies in the hot heat of New York this summer. I'm sharing a few of our recent recipes below. Each makes enough smoothie for the four of us to enjoy for breakfast or lunch. :) Just blend all the ingredients together, pour into glasses, and enjoy with or without straws.

Strawberry Banana Hemp Smoothie
This is a lovely pink smoothie with a bit of a tang from the cranberry pom juice.
1 cup vanilla hemp milk
1 cup cranberry pomegranate juice
2 frozen bananas
1 cup frozen strawberries
2 heaping spoonfuls ground golden flax
1 avocado

Blueberry Banana Green Smoothie
This is a beautiful purple smoothie with lots of protein and vitamin C.
1 cup vanilla oat milk
1 cup green juice
2 frozen bananas
1 frozen kiwi
1 cup frozen blueberries
2 heaping spoonfuls ground golden flax
1 heaping spoonful soy protein powder
1 avocado


On Saturday, we used the large (and I do mean LARGE) bunch of basil we bought at the farmers market to make PESTO!!!!

Pesto is so easy to make, and so tasty. Store-bought pesto always has cheese in it, so if you want vegan pesto, you've got to make it yourself. All you need is a food processor (or high powered blender) and some ice cube trays, and you're ready to put some pesto away for later.

basil Pictures, Images and Photos
(image from photobucket)

6 cups loosely packed basil leaves (rinsed and patted dry)
3/4 cup pine nuts
6-8 garlic cloves
1 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

What to do
Combine the basil, pine nuts, garlic, salt, nutritional yeast, and olive oil in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. (I tried to make this in the blender first, but the blender didn't cut it. Literally.) Process until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides to ensure everything is processed.
Using a spatula, fill ice cube trays with pesto and cover tightly with plastic wrap and freeze. Keep enough unfrozen for whatever meal you want to make with it immediately.

This recipe can be halved or doubled, depending on how much basil you have on hand. You can also add more or less of the salt and nutritional yeast, as you prefer the taste. You will also notice that my recipe has lots of garlic. I love garlic. Jacqui's first comment was that the pesto was spicy. Not so spicy that she didn't like it, but spicy enough that she let Adrianna have the next three spoonfuls while she thought about the spiciness.

Saturday night, I mixed pesto with brown Basmati rice and garbanzos for dinner. Yum. The girls loved it, and it was such a quick and easy dinner for them.

Last night, we made pasta (brown rice pasta for the girls and
tofu shiratake pasta for me and Dave) with white beans and pesto. The brown rice pasta was delicious with the pesto, as were the beans. I threw some grape tomatoes in with Dave's and my meal. The tofu shiratake pasta was not very good. It was rubbery and made me want to gag. I ended up eating around it -- just eating the tomatoes and beans with pesto -- and filling up on the fresh gigantic head of cauliflower that I steamed for dinner too. I think I ate half of the cauliflower myself. It was probably a foot across. I had to steam it in three batches last night. So delicious. Fresh vegetables from the farmers market just taste better. Ahh...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Smoothies and Farmers Market Lunch

Saturday is my day with the girls. Dave was out at kung fu all day long.

For breakfast, we made strawberry banana smoothies. Jacqui has been asking for smoothies for breakfast every day lately. I think it's the heat. We had been making banana smoothies with whatever type of juice we had around for a few days because we didn't have any other frozen fruit. But Friday, we made a special trip to the store to pick up some frozen strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, so yesterday we were prepared for yummy smoothie goodness.

5 pieces (1/2 banana each) frozen banana
1 cup oatmilk
1 cup orange-pineapple juice
two heaping scoops soy protein
3/4 avocado
1 1/2 cup frozen strawberries

What to do
Place the milk and juice in the blender first, then the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth and serve in glasses (plastic for the little girls). Enjoy!

After breakfast, we took our regular Saturday trip to the market. (When I ask Jacqui where we should bike to, the market is always her first-choice destination, every day of the week. Too bad our market is only on Saturdays.) The organic woman-run farm we love (Evolutionary Organics) had the cutest selection of fresh, small zucchini and summer squash. I made the mistake of letting the girls pick some, and ended up spending $10 on squash. We also picked up a napa cabbage head and some vitamin greens. At another farmer's stand, we got lots of fresh berries (raspberries and blackberries) -- on special for 4 boxes for $10. Adrianna and Jacqui stuffed their faces with the berries before we even bought any. For the rest of our trip around the market, Adrianna's face was stained black and red (as were her hands) from all the berry goodness.
After purchasing the delicious berries, we went to play in the park for a bit. And eat more berries. And play. After playing for a while, we walked back through the market, picking up two humongous heads of white cauliflower (they barely fit in the fridge last night), a peach for lunch, two greenhouse tomatoes, and a large bunch of fresh basil. Homeward!

Farmers Market Lunch
4-5 small summer squash, sliced into rounds
1 large fresh tomato, chopped
1 T extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
black pepper
1 small red spicy pepper (from our window garden!)
1 cup cooked garbanzos

What to do
heat the oil and then saute the sliced squash. Add the red pepper, tomato, salt, and black pepper. Then add the garbanzos. Saute and cook until the squash is soft. Serve!

It's so easy and Jacqui and Adrianna loved it! So much fun picking your own lunch at the market and helping mom make it up.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Moroccan Garbanzo and Lentil Soup

I love garbanzo beans. Love love love. ♥ And lentils. ♥ Love love love.

Jacqui loves sweet potatoes. She asks for them all the time, and tells me that she LOVES sweet potatoes.

So it was no surprise that this morning, when I asked her what she wanted in today's soup, that she asked for sweet potatoes. She choose sweet potatoes over white potatoes, yellow potatoes, green peppers, and green beans -- all vegetables she truly enjoys.

This soup is a sweet potato version of a soup I made back in April. The recipe is a mix up of several recipes -- one from my mom and sister and a few lentil and garbanzo bean soup recipes that I've found over the years. I used ground ginger this morning because I didn't have any fresh ginger in the apartment.

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1 large sweet potato, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 cup dried lentils, picked over
1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes, with juice
2 1/2 - 3 cups cooked organic garbanzos
6 cups warm or hot water
2 low-salt vegan bouillon squares

What To Do
Heat the oil while chopping the onion. Saute the onion for 5-10 minutes, letting it brown a little. Chop the garlic, and add it for one - two minutes. Then, add a bit of water to de-glaze the pan (get all the good brown stuff off the pan). Let this simmer while you put all the other ingredients in the soup pot.
Jacqui unwrapped the bouillon and put the 2 cubes into the pot, then helped me put in the 6 cups of water. Jacqui and Adrianna then helped me add the cooked garbanzos (cooked last night with 2 bay leaves), chopped sweet potatoes, and green lentils.
Add the ginger, tumeric, cinnamon, cumin, and cardamon. Add the onion, garlic, and whatever water is still there with them. Stir everything well.
Place over medium-high heat and let everything come to a boil. Reduce the heat, and let the soup cook for 45-60 minutes, stirring every so often.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tofu Pancakes Stuffed with Mushrooms and Spinach

After talking to my work cafe's chef about Vegan Brunch and the tofu omelet recipe that made me buy the book, I decided to make them for dinner last night.

I used the boxed silken soft tofu because that was the only thing the Met supermarket had. I also used 1/2 the black salt that the recipe calls for, arrowroot powder instead of corn starch, and the two garlic cloves suggested in the recipe.

Jacqui and Adrianna helped me get all the ingredients together into the food processor and helped me wash the mushrooms for the stuffing. Jacqui said that she *loved* each ingredient as we put it into the food processor.

Adrianna decided that I *had* to hold her as I was making the pancakes (as Jacqui called them) and making the filling.

Filling ingredients
one large box of white organic mushrooms, rinsed and chopped
1 T olive oil
fresh rosemary, tarragon, and oregano from my mom's garden, chopped
fresh spinach
grated vegan cheddar-style cheese

What to do
Heat the olive oil over medium heat while you start the first tofu pancake. Spread the pancake thin using a spatula.
Add the mushrooms and the chopped fresh herbs, and stir fry. The mushrooms will let out their juices, keep stirring and cooking until those have evaporated. Stir to make sure that nothing burns.
Make all of the tofu pancakes, placing them between two plates to keep them warm while you are finishing up the rest of the pancakes and the filling.
Jacqui and Dave grated the vegan cheese up.
To make the stuffed pancakes: put fresh spinach, mushroom mixture, and vegan cheese on one half of a pancake. Fold over, then heat over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, to let everything mush together a little. Serve and enjoy!

Dave really liked these; I made his without the vegan cheese because he's a little wary of it. Jacqui loved the tofu pancakes and ate hers up without any help! Adrianna, once we broke the spinach up into smaller pieces, ate up a bunch too. Yay! :)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Two Bean Sweet Potato Chili

Last night I wanted to make a chili for me and Dave to eat. But for some reason, I didn't really want tomatoes. And I had some sweet potatoes that I scored from my mom's kitchen. I think this dish can be called chili with its spices -- if white chili exists, then tomatoes certainly can't be a requirement!

1 T extra virgin organic olive oil
1 medium organic sweet onion, chopped
2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
1/4 cup water
1 can organic black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can organic pinto beans, rinsed and drained
ground cumin
ground cinnamon
Mexican chili powder

What to do
While trying to get Jacqui to finish her dinner, chop the onion.
Heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the chopped onion and saute for 5 minutes.
Add the sweet potatoes and the water. Add some cumin, cinnamon, paprika, and chili powder (to taste). Cover the pot and let the sweet potatoes steam.
When the sweet potatoes are steamed and bright orange, add the beans and some more spices. Stir to mix everything together well. Cover and let it all cook together for another 10 minutes or so. (Or, like me, until Jacqui finished her sesame green tea noodles.) Taste again, and see if you want to add any more of the spices. I added a little more chili powder and cumin because Dave and I were going to eat this dish, not Jacqui. :)
I let this sit (covered) until I had gotten the girls to sleep (45 minutes or so), but you could eat it right away too!
We ate it with chunks of a whole wheat baguette I picked up on the way home. I found it very comforting and filling -- just what I was looking for last night!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Beans and Tomatoes Soup (what else?)

After a week of not being home much because I was working until 2am almost every night, I made soup on Sunday night/Monday morning for the girls. Dave had admonished me to leave him with food that they would eat, nothing new. (I left beets for them last week. Jacqui loves beets and ate hers. Adrianna was trying them for the first time. She threw them across the kitchen. Hence the admonition.)

We got home from MD at 2:30 in the morning. After unloading the car and getting the girls back to bed, I made this soup up. Finished it in the morning as I left for work. The girls ate it for lunch and dinner yesterday. Jacqui really liked it and was excited to tell me that she ate it for lunch and dinner. Adrianna ate it; she's not much for talking, so I'm not sure how much she liked it. But she ate it and didn't throw it across the kitchen, so score one for SOUP!

Slow cooker, I love you.

1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 sweet, yellow onion, diced
1 1/2 - 2 cups of cooked garbanzos (I used cooked because I had them in the fridge, but you could also use one 15 oz can, drained)
1 can organic diced tomatoes with juices
2 cans of water, plus extra if needed
1 vegan low-salt bouillon square
1 cup sliced zucchini
black pepper and sea salt to taste
1 tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
two handfuls green lentils (~1/2 cup)
2 handfuls brown Jasmine rice (~1/2 cup)

What to do
At night, plug in and heat up the slow cooker while you are dicing the onion. Put the olive oil in and let it warm up. Add the onion, and let it cook for a few minutes before adding the other ingredients.
Add the garbanzos, tomatoes, water, bouillon square, zucchini, pepper, salt, thyme, and bay leaves. Cook on low.
In the morning (5-6 hours), add the lentils and rice. Season with salt and/or pepper as needed.
At lunchtime, enjoy the hot soup!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Italian Provencal Lentils and Pasta

It's been a long time since I've taken the time to write about what I'm cooking. First my excuse was work (too much, not at home enough to cook), then my excuse was time (spending it with the kids instead of at the computer), then my excuse was traveling (traveling means not cooking, right?). Enough excuses.

I got home from work in time to make dinner with the kids last night. I made a version of a lentil dish that I've been making regularly recently. I like lentils because they cook quickly and don't require me to remember to soak them the night before!

Here is a shot of last night's meal.

Unlike my previous versions of this dish, the lentils can stand alone. I've been making this dish with red lentils, making it much more of a sauce that coats the pasta and much less of a dish on its own. Making the dish with the green lentils totally changed it up. I also used only 1/2 cup of lentils last night; normally, I've been making the dish with 1+ cup. Next time I make the red lentil version, I'll post about it. (I made it the morning of our trip out to Cali, put it in to-go containers, added it to the diaper bag, and Jacqui and I ate it on the flight for lunch/dinner.)

1 T olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup dry green lentils, washed and picked over
2 cups water plus one low-salt vegan bouillon square -- or 2 cups vegetable brother if you have it
1 can diced tomatoes
2 tsp provencal spice blend
brown rice pasta

What to do
Set a pot of water (with salt or olive oil, as you like) to boil. This is for the pasta. When the water is boiling, add the pasta and stir to keep it from sticking together. The pasta I made said to boil for 1-2 minutes (I boiled it for 2 minutes), then turn the heat off and cover for 20 minutes. Worked well for me! (My family was recently on a gluten-free kick. On our trip to Maryland this past weekend, I inherited the left-over gluten-free booty, including this rice pasta from Tinkyada.)
Meanwhile, chop the onion, garlic, and carrot. Heat a deep pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion and saute for a few minutes, until fragrant. Add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes more. Add the carrots, water plus bouillon/broth, spices, and lentils, and stir well. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer on lower heat for 15 minutes.
Uncover and add the can of tomatoes plus juices. Cook for another 20-30 minutes, until the lentils are tender enough for your taste. If you think it's too liquidy, just up the heat for a few minutes (don't let it burn!).
Serve by putting pasta in a bowl and spooning the lentils over top.

Adrianna fed herself (!) the pasta and lentils using her fingers and spoon. The tomato pieces were a little too large for her. Jacqui ate some of the lentils and pasta by herself, but then succumbed to the "Mommy, help me" routine. She ate up all the pasta and lentils in her bowl and would have eaten more had I given her a larger bowl. (I filled her bowl up to the top with food last night!) I ate up two (small) bowls pretty quickly myself...the second was accompanied by a glass of a new wine (Yellow + Blue malbec) I picked up to try -- vegan and organic and environmentally friendly Yellow + Blue. Dave's saving the lentil leftovers for the girls' dinner tonight.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Not Quite Banana Muffins

I tried to make muffins over the weekend -- Saturday morning to be exact. But I forgot a **crucial** ingredient -- the rising agent! So, instead of fluffy muffins, I had compact, but delicious, things. I don't really have a word for them. But I just finished off the last one. Yummy.

Not Quite Banana Muffins
1 cup whole spelt flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup organic canola oil
1/3 cup turbinado sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup pepitas

What I did
Preheat oven to 350F.
Put the flours and salt into a bowl, let Jacqui mix.
Mash the bananas in another (bigger) bowl.
Give Adrianna her own bowl and a spoon to mix her imaginary not-quite-muffin-batter.
Add the oil and sugar to the mashed bananas, let Jacqui mix well. Add the water and vanilla, and let her mix well again.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and fold everything together. Once it's mostly mixed, let Jacqui mix some more. Make sure to incorporate all the dry ingredients.
Chop the pecans. Let Jacqui add in the chopped pecans and pepitas.
Have Jacqui (is this child labor???) line the muffin tins. Spoon the not-quite-muffin batter into the tins. Bake for 30 minutes at 350F.
This made 16 not-quite-muffins for me. The first set, I put in as if I had remembered the rising agent, expecting some vertical growth. After there was none in the first batch, I just topped the second batch out to the top of the liners, so I only had enough batter for four more. I filled the other muffin-holes with water and baked for 30 minutes too.

Not muffins. No rising. Looked really funky. Taste: Delicious! Jacqui ate them. Adrianna ate them. I ate them. Even Dave ate them! Woo hoo! And we finished them in just a few days. Next time, though, I'm going to try to remember the rising agent. Muffins, here we come!

(If you want to make them rise, I think I meant to add 1 or 1 1/2 tsp baking soda to the dry ingredients. Try it out. Let me know if that works!)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Vegan Sprouted Spelt Lentil and Garbanzo Stew

This will be dinner (or lunch) for the girls tomorrow. It's supposed to be a cold day tomorrow, so I thought a good hearty soup/stew would be welcome. This is made in a slow cooker.

I bought whole spelt on our last trip to Maryland. On Saturday night, I soaked a cup of it, draining the spelt on Sunday, and left it in the pot. Today (Monday), I left it out for the whole day, and the spelt sprouted! I was planning on using it to make spelt minestrone, so the soup is now sprouted spelt minestrone.

1 cup whole spelt grain
2 T extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 carrots, sliced
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 green (or yellow) zucchini, sliced and quartered
1 cup frozen green beans
1 can diced tomatoes with liquid
2 squares vegan low-sodium bouillon
3/4 cup dried green lentils
3/4-1 cup dried garbanzos -- 2 cups cooked
2 handfuls pine nuts

What to do
Sprout the grain (or don't, but at least soak it overnight).
Put the slow cooker on high. Add the olive oil, onion, garlic, carrots, celery, zucchini, beans, tomatoes and tomato liquid, bouillon, and enough water to cover. Mix together. Pick through the lentils, rinse, and add. Toss in two handfuls of pine nuts. Cook for 2-3 hours on high, then switch to low and cook overnight. In the morning, turn the slow cooker to warm.
Meanwhile, soak the garbanzos overnight. Cook in a pressure cooker in the morning, and add 1 to 1 1/2 cups garbanzos to the slow cooker. (This is my tomorrow-morning-step.)
(I'm actually soaking 1 1/2 cups dried garbanzos to make extra to freeze for future meals. 1 1/2 cups dried garbanzos should cook up to at least 4 1/2 cups garbanzos, maybe more.)

More tomorrow on this soup.

Update: This is not a soup. It is a stew. A thick and hearty stew. I also updated the amount of garbanzos -- Jacqui and I decided to add two cups of cooked beans this morning after I pressured cooked the beans. We both thought that the stew needed more of these super delish beans!

I renamed this stew. It's not really a minestrone anymore. It's a pure stew. I brought some for lunch, so a blackberry photo will be added shortly. :)

Update: photos up. As usual, my blackberry photos aren't too good. The soup tastes better than it looks. It's a little tangy, and quite filling. This thermos filled me up for lunch.

Vegan Cranberry Orange Scones

I made scones yesterday for breakfast with Jacqui's help. Just a few ingredients (that you probably already have in your kitchen) mixed together and baked at 425F for 12 minutes. Jacqui ate the batter, Dave ate two, and even our visiting (non-vegan) friend ate two and liked them! :)

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole spelt flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp orange zest
2/3 cup chopped pecans and walnuts
2/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup maple syrup
6 T sunflower oil
3/4 cup orange juice (I juiced our remaining orange for ~ 1/2 cup and then filled it up with orange-mango juice)

What to do
Preheat the oven to 425F.
Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Total flour should be 3 cups. I broke it out into 1/1/1 because I wanted to use spelt flour, I wanted to use whole wheat flour, and I had 1 cup of all-purpose flour remaining in my bag. I think that, to keep the scones from becoming too heavy, you'll not want to use more than 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour, but it might work with 2 cups. Chop the nuts (I used 1/2 cup chopped pecans and 1/6 cup chopped walnuts for two reasons: 1. I only had 1/2 cup pecans and 2. I am allergic to walnuts, but can generally handle them in small quantities). Stir in the cranberries and chopped nuts.
Juice orange or measure out the boxed orange juice. Mix (whisk) the wet ingredients in a smaller bowl.
Add the dry to the wet and stir to combine. Jacqui did this step mostly by herself. I had to mix in the bottom/last flour myself, but she was able to do this really well herself.
Place parchment paper on your baking sheet. Using one or two spoons, spoon the mixture and drop it onto the paper. Put 6 - 8 dropped scones on the sheet, then bake for 10-12 minutes (12 minutes did it for me, but I checked at 10 just to be sure). Drop 6 - 8 scones on the sheet again, and bake for 12 minutes, this time setting off one of the alarms in the apt and waking anyone still sleeping. (But really, who is still sleeping at 8-something in the morning on a beautiful Sunday???) Place on a cooling rack and let them cool for a few minutes before devouring.
Serve plain, or with some vegan butter or jelly or maple syrup.

We enjoyed these plain. They are just sweet enough to not need anything else. Jacqui had filled up on the uncooked dough/batter and didn't eat much of her baked scone, but Dave, Ryan, and I ate two each. Yum yum yum.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Not food I made....

Today, Adrianna and Jacqui went to the doctor. I had told Jacqui about the trip last night, and how Adrianna was going to get a shot. Jacqui asked about the shot all morning, and kept telling me that "I want Adrianna to get her shot." Cute? Not so sure. When I asked her if she wanted a shot, she cried, "No No No! No Shot!"

Jacqui got a shot this morning. So, while Adrianna slept off the effects of her shot, we scootered over to Washington Ave and got some vegan pistachio ice cream for me and Jacqui to share and some vegan pasta pie for Jacqui to have for lunch. The ice cream was yummy, and Jacqui ate a cone for the first time! Not sure how much of the pasta pie she ate after all that ice cream, but she got a shot. I think she can have ice cream instead of lunch.... :)

And last night, I decided to do something new with the girls before bedtime. I got them into clean diapers and then gave them each a massage with organic baby massage oil. I used to do this all the time with Jacqui when she was first born, but at some point, we stopped. And never really started with Adrianna.

Jacqui said that Adrianna should have the first massage -- she's such a generous older sister! Then it was Jacqui's turn. Then pajama time. Then, Jacqui said that she wanted to give me a massage too. So, she had me lie down on the blanket I had put on the ground for her and Adrianna, and proceeded to try to wipe some oil from her tummy onto her hands, and then massage my feet (after first tickling them) and my hands/arms (again, first tickling them). Such a sweet girl! :)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Vegan Lentil Soups

I made these two soups last week. Both were big hits with the girls -- and with me! Both are lentil-based soups, made in the slow cooker. Perfect for days when you need a home-cooked meal, but just don't have the time (or won't be home) to make it when you want/need to eat.

Lentil Soup with Kale Ribbons
olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 large yellow carrots, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 cups dried green lentils, picked over and rinsed
6 cups warm or hot water
3 low-salt vegan boullion squares
1 T Bragg's sauce
remains of a bunch of kale, stemmed

What To Do
Before going to work on Sunday afternoon, heat a saute pan over medium heat. When warm, add the olive oil. When the oil is warm, add the chopped onion, celery, and carrots. Saute unil soft, adding water if needed, approximately 8-10 minutes.
Add the water and vegetable boullion to the slow cooker, mix to break up/in the boullion. Add the sauteed veggies to slow cooker. Add the lentils and Bragg's. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
Meanwhile, roll the kale and cut thin strips. Boil a salted pot of water, add the kale when it is boiling, and cook the kale for 5-6 minutes. Drain in a colander.
Leave the kale next to the slow cooker for Dave to mix into the soup before feeding it to the girls for dinner.

This soup was a big hit with both Jacqui and Adrianna. Woo hoo! :)

Lentil and Garbanzo Soup
olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 yellow carrots, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp groun cumin
1/4 tsp ground cardamon
1 cup dried lentils, picked over and rinsed
1/2 large can of diced tomatoes, without juice (save other half to make soup again)
1 can organic garbanzos, drained and rinsed
6 cups warm or hot water
3 low-salt vegan boullion sqaures

What To Do
When I get home late Sunday night from work, and know that I won't be getting a meal tomorrow unless I make it tonight...heat a saute pan over medium heat. When warm, add the olive oil. When the oil is warm, add the chopped onion, garlic, and carrots. Cover and cook unil soft, adding water if needed. Add the ginger, tumeric, cinnamon, cumin, and cardamon, stirring to coat the veggies. Add water if it gets too gummy.
Add the water and vegetable boullion to the slow cooker, mix to break up/in the boullion. Add the coated veggies to slow cooker. Add the lentils, garbanzos, and tomatoes. Cook on low overnight (for 6-8 hours).

Place the slow cooker to warm in the morning, spoon soup into a to-go thermos, and enjoy a piping hot container of soup at lunchtime on the go!

I meant to make couscous to serve with this soup, but didn't have the time to get it made Monday morning before I dashed out of the apartment at 7 am. So it was couscous-less the first day. It should be served with couscous or brown rice, or any other whole grain. Jacqui and Adrianna loved this soup too. Yay!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Fassolatha (Greek Bean Soup)

On Sunday I made Fassolatha soup, after seeing the posting on Disposable Aardvarks about the Greek lunch she made for her oldest. (Can I say that I am totally jealous of her culinary and bento-making skills?)

I used the same recipe from as a base. I changed a few things though...

To make this a soup that my kids and I could enjoy, I omitted the hot peppers, added some more carrots and celery, and used the 3 T of tomato paste. I used up the rest of my organic olive oil in the soup (1 cup!). The soup took an hour and a half to cook, during which time Jacqui and I watched and stirred it, and I tried to teach her how to say Fa-sou-la-tha.

On Sunday, we enjoyed the soup with breaed (not crusty, just Vermont Breads from the grocery store) and extra salt and pepper. Dave and I had it for a late lunch (at 5 pm) and Jacqui snacked on it with us and ate it for dinner. Adrianna even got in on the fun at dinner time and was eating up the beans like crazy. She wasn't a big fan of the potatoes, which I think I cut too big anyway. She did eat a few pieces of the carrot.

Yesterday, Jacqui had the soup for lunch with brown rice mixed in -- her idea -- I served it on the side and she added it right in. I tried the soup with the brown rice and liked it too! Adrianna didn't seem to like the rice in the soup. She still ate the beans, but mostly just played with the rice portion of it. I could get her to eat the rice with the beans if the spoon held 2-3 beans and 2-3 grains of rice. Otherwise, it was straight in and out of the mouth, just like the potato pieces!

Dinner last night for Jacqui was brown rice, green beans, tofu pup, strawberries. Jacqui was disappointed that we didn't have soup too. I can't remember the last time she's asked for the same meal three times in a row!

Next time I make this soup (and there will be a next time), in addition to adding extra salt and pepper (and maybe trying a hot pepper), I will also add in rice. The soup was delish with the rice soaking up the broth, and it became a full meal without having to scrounge around for some bread. Yum!

Friday, February 5, 2010

First Week of February Granola

I tried to make granola a few nights ago. By memory. But I forgot an important ingredient. Well, I remembered it when I woke up the next morning. And I didn't measure out the other ingredients as I should have. And I think I added an extra cup of oats (Jacqui was helping me).

4-5 cups whole oats
1 cup whole flax seeds
1/2 cup wheat bran
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp sea salt
ground cinnamon
ground nutmeg
ground allspice
lemon zest
1/4 cup sunflower oil
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 cup chopped pecans
(blackberry photo. not in focus. please forgive.)

What's missing? The vanilla!!

Still tastes good. :) I think I underdosed on the oil though -- at least in connection with the (extra cup of) oats because the granola, while yummily coated, did not stick together.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Jacqui's Birthday!!

For Jacqui's birthday last week, I made vanilla cupcakes in pink and red silicone heart molds and topped them with chocolate peanut butter frosting. Both recipes came from The Joy of Vegan Baking, an excellent cookbook that I regularly read, if not use. The cake was soft and springy, and not too sweet. The frosting was a little decadent, and a little like Reese's pieces in spreadable, vegan form.

Surprisingly, the recipes turned out well (other than my overfilled and overflowing cupcake molds) considering my lack of measuring spoons and cups. The recipe, which claimed to make 10-12 cupcakes, made 16 (and could have made more if I hadn't overfilled those 16).

Jacqui and Fiona decorated the cupcakes with vegan sprinkles that I bought some time ago from I wish I had gotten some photos of them decorating, but I was busy frosting to keep up with their sprinkling, and didn't get any action shots.

Granola a la Rita

I can't remember which day I made the granola anymore. I do remember that it was a big hit. It was early in the week...

I worked off of Rita's recipe that she shared with me when we visited her and Carlos a few weeks ago in Philly. I made a few adjustments to reflect the ingredients/lack thereof at the house.

~4 cups whole oats
~1 1/2 cups mixed nuts, chopped
~1 cup brown whole flax seeds
~1/2 tsp sea salt (might have been 1 tsp)
~1 tsp ground cinnamon
~1/4 cup organic canola oil
~1/2 cup molasses
~1/2 cup light brown sugar
~1 tsp vanilla
~3 cups dried cranberries and pineapple
NB: all the measurements are approximations because the house was lacking in measuring spoons and cups. I used mugs for the cups and spoons for the teaspoons.

What to do
Preheat the oven to 300 F.

In a big bowl, mix the oats and flax seeds. Chop the nuts and add them too.

On the stove, heat up a large pan, then add the oil, molasses, brown sugar, and vanilla. (The brown sugar was hard as a rock, so I had to cook it with the liquid stuff.) Cook for a few minutes on medium-high heat, until the kitchen fills with the aroma of molasses and everyone surrounds you asking what you are making.

Add the liquid ingredients to the oats and flax, and mix well. Spread into the brownie pan I found, and stick in the oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove and stir the granola around. Put it back in the oven for another 20 minutes.

Chop the pineapple and mix the cranberries and pineapple together.

When the second twenty minutes are over, remove the pan from the oven and turn it off. Let it cool for maybe five minutes, then stir in the dried fruit. As the granola cools, make sure to break up any large pieces. And hope that there's still some left in an hour!

Mild Lentil Tomato Stew

It was Saturday, still in Vermont on vacation. Andy/Toly was planning a big, fancy non-vegan dinner for the group. So I needed a big, fancy vegan dinner for me and Jacqui. And lunch. It was morning, and I had to decide what to make for the rest of the day (morning meal was a delicious tofu scramble of tofu, tumeric, sweet potato, broccoli, onion, garlic, shallots, and olive oil).

Enter the red lentils, which Dave and Andy/Toly scored on Friday after searching several stores (who knew red lentils would be that hard to find in Vermont?). Enter the diced tomatoes I had bought earlier in the week (intended for a chili that was never made).

My stew might not have been big or fancy, but it was yummy, and brightly colored. Jacqui and I had it for lunch and again for dinner on Saturday. As with all the meals prepared in Stowe, I was limited in the spices that were available (what was at the house and what I had bought), so feel free to change them up if you make this stew yourself.

olive oil
2 cups (1 lb) red lentils (red lentils are really orange)
1 red onion, diced (red onions are really purple)
3 cloves garlic, diced (white garlic is really white)
4 large organic carrots, peeled and diced (carrots were orange this time around)
1 28-oz can organic diced fire roasted tomatoes (plus juices)
1 14-oz can organic garbanzos
ground cinnamon
ground tumeric
4 bay leaves
whole coriander
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

What to do
After dicing the onion, garlic, and carrots, heat up a stew pot up on med-high heat (or high if you are using an electric stove, as I was, that only heats on high) and add the olive oil when warm. When the olive oil is warm, add the onion, garlic, and carrots, and saute until the onions are translucent.

Add the lentils, garbanzos, and enough water to cover. The amount of water you add with make this stew more or less soupy, so go with what you like. (If I had vegetable bouillon, and not the MSG-laden crap that was in the house's pantry, I would have used it here.)

Add the tomatoes, and season with ground cinnamon (in the pantry) and ground tumeric (I bought it to make tofu scramble). Use as much or as little as you'd like. Feel free to replace the ground cinnamon with one or two cinnamon sticks, if you have those around. Add the bay leaves (brought from home) and some whole coriander (because that's what is in the spice pantry). Again, if you have ground coriander, that would work too. Season with salt and pepper.

Bring to a low boil and cook for at least twenty minutes -- the lentils should be soft. You can cook it longer, it will become more stew-like. Check the water content as you cook and make sure it doesn't get too solid. Also, check to make sure that nothing burns (the pot I was using had a very thin bottom, and the heat had to be on high to cook, so I had to be extra vigilant in my stirring).

You can eat this alone, or with some couscous or pasta or rice, or anything else for that matter. It's a very mild, delicately spiced stew that is pretty filling. Adrianna even ate some. Yum yum.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sunday night fettucine

Nothing special, but thought I'd log it in anyway. Sunday night when we arrived in Stowe, VT, well, before we arrived in Stowe, we got off the highway at Waterbury. And stopped at the Shaw's. And picked up ingredients for dinner.

The store sold two varieties of meatless meatballs. I picked up the "zesty" flavor, and Jacqui picked up some fettuccine. We found a jar of organic tomato sauce with mushrooms. (We bought some other stuff too, for other meals, but not important for this meal.)

On we drove to Stowe, to try to find the place we're staying at this week. Finally, we found it, and I put a pot of water on to boil for the fettuccine. In another pot, I put the sauce and the meatless balls. Jacqui snacked on some tofupups while I was cooking away.

Dinner was one package of fettuccine, one jar of mushroom tomato sauce, one bag of zesty meatless balls. Tasty, and easy, perfect for the end of a long day of driving form Brooklyn to Vermont.

Btw, Dave found a great diner on our drive up here. We stopped at Georgie's Diner in West Haven, Connecticut, which served a great variety of vegan! and non-vegan (normal diner food) food. Jacqui and I had the California Malibu burger and the Southwestern Frittata.

More besan crackers

We found a natural food store (Sunflower) up here in Vermont, so I was able to buy some nutritional yeast and make crackers!

Last night's crackers:
--all measurements are approximate because measuring things are missing here --
2 cups besan
3/4 cup nutritional yeast (from Sunflower)
2 tsp sea salt (also from Sunflower)
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup crisco (I know, I know, but I didn't have anything else!)
2/3 cup vanilla soy milk

I ended up baking these for 20 minutes together (two sheets) and then another 14 minutes each sheet. The dough was a little wet, so I couldn't spread them out as thin as I would have liked. And I'm not sure that the oven really was 350F even though it said it was.

Tasty crackers resulted, so not much to complain about!

Beans and Cauliflower Stew

Two types of cauliflower, two types of beans. And a whole lot of goodness.

The seasoning is weird (although I like poultry seasoning, I don't normally cook with it, and I usually use other herbs) because the pantry here at the house we're staying at (on VACATION!!!) is heavy on the granulated garlic and baking powder and light on everything else. Including measuring spoons! But I'm on vacation and it's snowing, so trying to make the most of what I've got.

Romanesco cauliflower, cut into small pieces (it's neon green with spires)
Orange cauliflower, cut into small pieces
1 large sweet onion, minced
3 gloves garlic, minced
olive oil
3-4 cups cooked garbanzos (cooked with shallot and garlic), and any remaining cooking water
1 cup dried Sangre de Toro beans (Rancho Gordo - Xoxoc Project beans), cooked with garlic, with cooking water
1 potato, thinly chopped
lacinato kale
poultry seasoning
black pepper
2 heaping T nutritional yeast
1/2 cup organic rice
handful of angel hair pasta, broken into two inch pieces

What to do
I cooked the garbanzos last night with shallots and garlic, and saved the remaining (not much) cooking water for the soup today. (As I found, this house, while large, is lacking in the kitchen department -- despite the size of the kitchen. No vegetable bouillon. Not many spices at all...)
This morning, with breakfast, I hard boiled the Sangre de Toro beans with 3 cloves of minced garlic for twenty minutes, then let them sit for 1 1/2 - 2 hours before cooking them.
While the beans were cooking, I minced the garlic and onion for the soup and sauteed them in some olive oil.
I washed and cut up the two heads of cauliflower. (I didn't use all of the cauliflower in the soup though).
Last night, I had washed and chopped all the kale when I was making the Christmas Lima Lasagna, so that was ready already, but if you haven't prepared it, wash and chop the kale.
Wash, peel, and chop the potato.
Once the Sangre de Toro beans are finished cooking, add the garbanzos and cooking water, the sauteed onions and garlic, several handfuls of cauliflower, handfuls of kale, the potato, some poultry seasoning (because it's the spice here!!!), dried basil (the spice I bought yesterday for the lasagna), salt, and black pepper, and water. As much water as you need to cover everything. Also, add the rice and broken angel hair pieces. Cover the pot and let it all cook.
After 30-40 minutes, taste and check the cauliflower to see if it's finished. Add more spices.
When it tastes good and the cauliflower is finished cooking, take off the heat and add the heaping spoonfuls of nutritional yeast. Let it cool a bit, and Lunch Is Served!!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Christmas Lima Lasagna

I've been dreaming about making this lasagna since I first spied the purple-marbled Christmas Limas on Rancho Gordo. That was several months ago, but I finally had the time to cook the beans and the lasagna today. I'm on vacation!!!!

9 pre-cooked lasagna noodles
2 zucchini, thinly sliced
5-6 large leaves lacinato kale
1 jar marinara sauce
3 1/2 (maybe a little more) cups cooked Christmas limas (I cooked a bag of Christmas limas with two diced garlic cloves and 1 large diced shallot)
4 T bean cooking water + 2-4 T water
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 cup Sesame Parmesan (1/2 cup sesame seeds, 3 T nutritional yeast, 1 tsp sea salt)

What to do
Preheat oven to 350 F.

Make Lima Bean Sauce: Cook the Christmas Limas. They become a beautiful purple color (Jacqui's favorite!) Then, place Christmas Limas, bean cooking water + water (as needed), sea salt, and basil in a blender and blend until smooth.

Make Sesame Parmesan: Grind ingredients together in a coffee grinder. Be careful not to overgrind (like I did!) or you'll get a bit of tahini with your sesame parm. But it all tastes good, so don't worry if it happens.

Assemble lasagna: Cover the bottom of your 9 x 13-inch pan with a thin layer of marinara sauce. Place a single layer of lasagna noodles in the bottom of the pan (I used three per layer). Leave a little space between noodles because they will expand when you bake the lasagna. Spread 1/3 of the Lima Bean Sauce over the noodles. Arrange zucchini slices evenly over sauce. Cover with 1/3 of the remaining marinara sauce. Place a layer of noodles over sauce. Cover with a layer of Lima Bean Sauce, then spread the kale in an even layer. Cover with marinara sauce. Repeat with Lima Bean Sauce, zucchini, and marinara. Press noodles down gently to make sure they are covered with liquid. Sprinkle the Sesame Parmesan evenly over the top.

Bake 50 to 55 minutes, or until noodles are tender. Let the lasagna rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing to set. Enjoy!!