Saturday, February 28, 2009

More Green and Orange........

This soup is Butternut with Chipotle and Croutons with Paprika and Brown Sugar from A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen. I had bought a package of pre-trimmed squash, thinking it would save a lot of time and aggravation if I didn't have to peel the squash. I was thinking of roasting it with chipotle and maple syrup, and then I came across this recipe. Unfortunately it was quite the disaster! Mostly my fault. I think I added too much chipotle - it was too hot even for me! Also a watery texture (not sure if that was me or the recipe). I think it would have benefitted from adding a little soy creamer. Then I proceeded to burn the croutons ('cause the sugar got all clumpy instead of spreading evenly over the bread). But it sure looks pretty. By the way, the pre-cut squash was pretty slimy, because they didn't do a good job of cleaning off the "strings." Next time I will trim my own.

I used to love a frozen meal of potatoes, broccoli and cheese sauce. I had seen the posts by That Pain in the Ass Vegan, talking about the cheese sauce from the Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook (Pg. 68) . I thought I'd try that for my dish (although I had no potatoes, so I subbed rice on the side). This sauce is easy because it is made of tahini and seasonings - just whip it together in the bowl, no need to bother with cooking and thickening a sauce. It was properly salty and cheezy. I thought the tahini flavor was a little strong, and will try it with cashew butter next time. In fact, there is a similar recipe in the book based on cashew butter. It did the trick for my cheeze fix!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ravioli and Sausage Stew

This was really delicious and took about 2 seconds to put together.

1/4 very large onion, finely chopped
2 Tofurky Italian sausages, chopped
1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
3-4 c veggie broth
1 14 oz can Italian style tomatoes, undrained
1 9 0z package mini ravioli
3 oz baby spinach

Brown onion in some olive oil. (Does anyone remember the Frugal Gourmet? I can still hear him - "hot pan, cold oil, food won't stick......." It is true!) Add sausage and brown. Add red pepper and cook a few more minutes. Add broth and tomatoes. Simmer for as long as you feel like, so the flavors blend. Add ravioli and spinach. Cook 5 minutes and serve. (If your pasta requires longer than 5 minutes, add spinach a little later so it doesn't overcook.)

I really love these sausages. They are so flavorful that no additional seasoning was needed for the stew. Also they have a lovely texture. They are pretty high in fat - I rinsed them off before chopping, with no loss of flavor. Yum!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Heard at the Dinner Table..............

This from my nine-year-old........ "Wow, all of a sudden I really like mushrooms and squash. It must be puberty." WTF? I am not ready for that conversation!
The squash in question is how my mom used to prepare it - with buttah and brown sugar. What's not to like? The tofu is made with a tomato garlic glaze. Sounds better than it was - basically an Italian style marinated tofu. It was okay, but the recipe needs tweaking. Perhaps more EB? Hmmmm, I remember once a recipe of carrots and scallions in a butter vinagrette. That would probably work well for the tofu. The potatoes are from Vegan YumYum. I think I didn't cook the potatoes enough and didn't use enough olive oil. These have lots of potential and I will definitely try them again. Plain steamed green beans - the kids like them that way and out them out of hand. I am trying to get green and orange on the plate every night!

This Red Pepper and Eggplant Spread from Trader Joe's is fabulous! It doesn't taste like eggplant, just pepper. We used it on paninis when we visited my friend last week. Also as dip for pita triangles. You could probably get the same effect by pureeing a jar of roasted peppers with garlic and basil - just in case you are not lucky enough to have TJ's by you!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Tempeh and Curry Noodles

This is Pineapple Coconut Curry Noodles and Tempeh Fries with Wasabi Mayo from Vegan Express.

I had a craving for soba noodles the other day, so I saw this recipe and thought I would try it. I wasn't sure that the kids would eat the soba, which was $5.29 for the package! So I used whole wheat spaghetti ($1.59) instead. Wow, whole wheat noodles have come such a long way. For many years I wouldn't eat them because they were so heavy and strange. Now they really don't taste that different from regular, and they have so much more fiber. I think they will be a regular in our house. These are Ronzoni brand from the supermarket. They also have flax seed in them, so they even have some omega 3's. I will save the soba, which conveniently are already divided into individual serving size, for myself! As for the recipe, it was quite delicious, with the noodles soaking up the coconut milk and Thai spices. This is the first time I have cooked with lemongrass. It is quite a lovely flavor.

You know I am not a lover of tempeh (except for Fakin' Bacon), but this was easy and good. It is simply sliced and sauteed in a mix of olive oil and tamari. I did not pre-steam the tempeh, and still the bitter flavor was gone! I was going to add maple syrup to make it more bacon-like, but decided to try the recipe straight first. It was good as is, and no sugar! The mayo was good, too. My wasabi powder was actually horseradish, even though I bought it right from the sushi counter. I had read that most of what's sold as wasabi is actually horseradish, and in fact when I read the label I discovered that this is true!

And a surpise - kid #2, who is a very fussy eater, ate the tempeh, while kid #1, who eats everything, would not eat it!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Veggie Mom's Favorite Phrase

What is the phrase a veggie mom wants to hear most from her children? "More tofu, please!" (Well, maybe "more kale, please," but this is darn close.)

This tofu is from the Grit cookbook (highly recommended!), and is based on the holy triune of olive oil, tamari, and nooch. I left gravy off some so you can see how nice and brown it gets, even in a non-stick pan. The nooch and tamari form a sort of breading. The gravy is also from the Grit. It's my favorite - really creamy and flavorful. It has worcestershire in it - I add extra, because that's the best part!

The salad is an oldie but goodie from "The Occasional Vegetarian" by Karen Lee (yes, I know I am dating myself). Despite the title it is all vegetarian (but not vegan). I often use this book when omnis are visiting -everything is delicious and non-threatening. The salad is blanched asparagus, raw shredded carrot and scallion, in a dressing of tahini, lemon juice, and mustard. Really delicious.

I baked these cookies for my daughter to take to a Valentine's party. They are from the Vegetarian Times website, and are vegan. I subbed lemon extract for the almond, which was nice with the rasberry jam.

Did you know that cilantro has flowers? I had never seen that before this extra fresh bunch!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Peanut Butter Cup Oatmeal

Another breakfast creation. Plain oatmeal (I used instant) with a tablespoon of peanut butter swirled in, cinnamon, chopped fruit (here apple, but banana is even better), topped off with a (large) sprinkle of chocolate chips. Why skip breakfast when you can have this?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tofu Balls and Chickpea Sauce

These Baked Tofu Meatballs are from Toni Fiore's Totally Vegetarian. I didn't think I would like them. The raw mix didn't taste good, because it has a few bitter ingredients in them (ground walnuts, wheat germ, and parsley. But when baked, they were delicious! Funny, with some other things I have made, I have loved the raw mix and not liked the cooked version.

The sauce is just a marinara with chickpeas added, but I used up some grape tomatoes that were on the brink, and they made the sauce super sweet. I think a meatball sub will work for the leftovers!