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!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Crackers in January

Not that I had time tonight, but I really needed to cook or bake or something to improve my mood. I got home late, to a waking baby, put her back to sleep, did a little work (forwent working out), put the other child back to sleep, started doing more work, and realized that I really needed something else.

So I made crackers!

Here's what I used tonight:
1 cup besan
1 cup organic all-purpose flour
3/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup Earth Balance (stick)
1/2 cup + 1T original organic soy milk

Here's what I did:
Combine the besan, AP flour, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper.
Cut in the Earth Balance with pastry cutter.
Add the soy milk (1/2 cup first) and mix with hands (take off wedding ring first!). Add the 1T if needed (I needed it). The dough should make a nice ball, and not be too sticky. Tacky is ok, but not sticky.
Let the dough sit for a few minutes, while preparing the oven (365F), the pan (tonight I used a round pizza pan because it's all I could find) with parchment paper, and finding the cutter (really, it's for getting dough off surfaces, but it works really well as my cutter for crackers).
Press the dough out onto the parchment paper on the pan; try to spread it evenly. It will fill the pan.
Cut it into half, then quarters, then smaller pieces. I made rectangles tonight. And, because I couldn't find my larger cookie sheet, I didn't separate the rectangles.
Put in the oven and bake for 18 minutes.

We'll see how these turn out, unseparated. They are starting the smell pretty cheezy....mmmm...and yes, it is after 1am and I'm still working. But I got to make my crackers, so I feel much better. Or at least, that's what I'm telling myself. Back to work...

Friday, January 1, 2010

Creole-style Yellow-Eyed Peas

For good luck in the New Year!

I had a cup of the yellow-eyed peas that I bought from Rancho Gordo remaining, and New Year's Day upon us, so I decided to use those beans for our good luck lunch. I'm also in love with my pressure cooker, so it makes another appearance here!

First Step
little bit of olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red pepper & 1/2 green pepper, chopped (I took a bag of pepper strips from my mom's fridge when we left there earlier this week)
1 rib celery and leaves, chopped
1 cup dried yellow-eyed peas, picked, rinsed, and soaked overnight (I'm sure that black-eyed peas would work too)
2 1/2 cups water

Second Step
14-15 oz diced tomatoes (and juice)
1 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 scant tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Third Step
1/2 tsp hickory liquid smoke

What to do
Step One
Heat pressure cooker, add bit of olive oil, and saute onion. Add the peppers, celery + leaves, and garlic, and saute some more. Add a bit of water if necessary to keep everything from burning. Add the yellow-eyed peas and water. Cover, and bring to pressure. Cook at pressure for 10 minutes. Let the pressure release.

Step Two
Once the pressure is released, open the pressure cooker and add the ingredients for step two - the spices and tomatoes. Cook for ~20 minutes, until sauce-like.

Step Three
Add the liquid smoke, and cook for a few more minutes.

Serve with brown rice and greens (if you had time to make them, which I didn't). So we enjoyed the beans with brown rice. And Dave added a bit of hot sauce (all the "creole" recipes I saw used hot sauce in the actual cooking, but I did not, so that there was a chance that Jacqui might eat it!

Too much hickory smoke for my taste...I will be reducing that if/when I make this dish again.

Dave liked it, as did I. Jacqui tolerated it, which means that she wouldn't eat it by herself, but readily ate it when I helped her. And she drank a lot of milk with it! :)

Here's to the New Year!

End of December Cooking and Baking

Our camera is lost or was stolen. And I had a lot of work to get done before Christmas. Those are my excuses for having nothing posted since December 15.

Here's what I was up to...

Curried Lentils and Cauliflower with Brown Rice
--I was afraid of overspicing these (for Jacqui) and didn't use enough curry powder. Next time -- more!

Tunisian Tomato and Lentil Soup
--Delicious! Not too spicy, and with some brown rice or other whole grain, very filling.

Grammie's Brownies
--this recipe is just too big to make for me! I ate too many and gave the rest away to friends. I also used apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar, which gave the brownies a bit of a tangy kick.

Steamed beets, turnips, Brussels sprouts, and carrots with brown rice and walnuts
--this dinner needed a sauce. The beets were delish (Jacqui ate them all!), but steamed veggies are, as Dave says, blah without something else.

Pea and Barley Soup
--used my mom's pea soup recipe, but added barley and changed the spices around a bit. A big hit with Jacqui and Dave. Jacqui will be eating this for meals this week (back to work!).

Cheezy Pasta and Mushrooms
--made a few changes to my cheezy sauce; Dave liked it a lot more. I used some more brown rice miso (I think that's what changed the flavor for him), and replaced the cornstarch with kuzu powder (2 tsp), used 3/4 tsp salt and 3/4 tsp garlic, and used roasted sunflower seeds. The sauce makes A LOT -- 6 cups. I used 3 1/2 cups of it with the pasta (1 and 1/2 packages of spirals) and topped it all with mushrooms (black Chinese ones and miataki) sauteed with Earth Balance, olive oil, and two minced cloves of garlic. Yummmm....