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.