Tuesday, March 24, 2009

From March's Vegetarian Times. This is Wild Rice with Glazed Carrot and Tomato Ragout. It was pretty good - a little vinegary for my taste, so maybe less vinegar or lemon (or maybe using a good balsamic instead of the supermarket variety!) I added some hot pepper. And it has fennel seeds - my favorite!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Quick Mashed Potato Tip

This is not my idea, but one I saw on someone else's blog that I wanted to pass along in case you didn't see it (don't remember where I saw it!)

I rarely have unflavored soy milk on hand - we drink vanilla. If I have soy creamer on hand, I use that for my mashed potatoes. But someone said they use Veganaise. I tried this last night, and I can't tell you how good it was! I used a good spoonful for two large potatoes, along with some of the potato water. I also threw a couple of garlic cloves in when boiling the potatoes. Definitely mashed potatoes worthy of St. Patrick!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Charros and Chili Corn Bread

This dinner evolved from a bunch of collard greens that needed cooking. The book said that collards need corn bread to sop up the "pot likker." Their corn bread recipe used white cornmeal, which I don't have. So I made up my own, and it came out pretty good! It was quite moist.

What to make for some protein? Some charros (Mexican cowboy beans). Traditionally charros have bacon. I did not have any tempeh bacon, but I did have a bag of TVP. I have never used this product before - it has been sitting in my pantry forever. I must say I did not enjoy the texture, but as the flavor of the beans was good, I will print the recipe for those of you who like TVP. I think next time I will use the tempeh bacon! Also, have you noticed that canned organic beans are frequently undercooked? This seems to be true no matter what brand I use. I prefer Goya (too lazy to cook my own).

Chili Cornbread

1 c unbleached white flour
1 c yellow cornmeal
2 1/2 t baking powder
1 8 oz can creamed corn
1 4 oz can chopped green chilis
2 T oil
1/4 water
2 T sugar
1 t salt

Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8 inch square baking dish. Mix flour, cornmeal, and baking powder. Mix together remaining ingredients and add to flour mixture. Mix only until just combined. Pour into greased dish and bake for 30 minutes.


2 cloves garlic, minced
2 small tomatoes, chopped
nacho slices to taste
1 can pinto beans
2 T tvp
1/4 water
2 T maple syrup
2 T soy sauce
salt to taste

Saute garlic in oil. Add tomatoes and nacho slices and cook a few minutes. Add everything else and simmer 1/2 hour or so.

Edit>> I forgot, 2 t liquid smoke for the beans (for that bacony flavor). Also, my beans were low sodium, which is why this high amount of soy sauce worked for me.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Heard From the Dinner Table, Part 2

"Mom, I hate that white bread you gave me for lunch. I want the brown one." Yay! The white bread was the result of realizing at 9 pm Sunday night that I had no bread for lunch the next day. I chose the natural white bread over the whole wheat with all the chemicals. Guess I will have to be more diligent about running out.

Anyway, the picture is of a great bread I tried this week. I have heard of Alvarado Street bread before, but have never seen it in the store. I have had other sprouted breads and not liked them. They are too dry and heavy. This one was also a little dry, but because it is sliced thinner that is not so much of an issue. It has a really delicious rye flavor, and 5 grams of protein per slice!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

WIP Wednesday

Since last night we ate leftovers, I have no new food to post, and thought I would join in on the WIP Wednesday.
Over the winter break, the kids and I drove to North Carolina to visit my dear friend. We have known each other since 1st grade, but more as acquaintances than friends. We ended up working at the same company as adults and having our babies at the same time, and so became close friends. She moved away 4 years ago, and I miss her terribly. We try and visit as often as possible. Usually I go by myself, but since the kids had off from school I took them. We all had a great time. It is nice to see that the kids are still friends, too, even with all that distance. Maybe they will have babies together, too, and a third generation will form friendships! I also have known her husband the same amount of time, so it is old home week when we get together.

So, what we do is cook, eat, drink, shop, and craft. We make greeting cards.I do not recommend taking up this hobby, because you will end up getting addicted and spending way too much money on craft supplies. So while you can theoretically make a card for 50 cents, which sounds like a bargain, in reality they probably ending up costing $20 because you will want every single stamp and tool availabe. I have never added it all up because I am afraid to. Well, I suppose you can't put a price on all that fun!
Anyway, here are some of the cards we made that week. A disclaimer: they are not all original designs. Some were copied from a card design website.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Beautiful Blue (Green) Smoothie

I discovered the other day that if I add 1-2 teaspoons of cocoa powder to my smoothie, it adds a deep delicious flavor that has only a hint of chocolate (which allows the other flavors to shine through). And we chocoholics all know that cocoa powder is loaded with antioxidants. This one has soymilk, flax seed, almond butter, banana, blueberries, and two big handfuls of baby spinach! That is cinnamon sprinkled on top, a throwback to our favorite Milwaukee Mexican restaurant where we used to get banana milkshakes sprinkled with cinnamon. Way to get spinach into the unsuspecting kiddos!

The hubby baked cupcakes with the girls this weekend. They were really good, with cream filling and chocolate frosting. The girls love to bake!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Good Day For Soup

Since we were snowbound again yesterday, it was a good day to make bread the old-fashioned way (by hand - no bread machine)! This is my favorite french bread. It is made with a sponge - sort of a starter like with sour dough, but made fresh every time. It is supposed to sit for 12 -24 hours, but mine only sat for four, and it still added a lot of flavor. There is also a small amount of rye flour, which also adds flavor. The crust on this bread is awesome and perfectly crunchy. I often bring it when I am a guest somewhere, because everyone is always surprised and delighted with homemade bread.

Of course you must have soup to go with the bread. This one is an unusual potato soup from Moosewood's Daily Special cookbook. It is Oaxacan Potato Soup. The unusual ingredients are mustard, green olives, and pickled jalapenos. In fact, it is even good without the olives and jalapenos - the mustard adds a perfect little kick. I tried to pass it off as mashed potato soup with peas and carrots, but still only one kid would eat it! Oh well, more for lunch today.

The star of the meal was this salad, also from the Moosewood book. Avocado, cherry tomato, and orange bell pepper in a dressing of lime juice, orange juice, olive oil, dried basil, and garlic. So simple, but so delicious. I ate three helpings (well, you can't really have leftover avocados or they will spoil, right???)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Of Snowstorms and Springtime..........

Check out this snowfall on March 2..........(and it hasn't stopped snowing yet!)

Meanwhile, last week when we visited North Carolina, the trees were flowering already! I thought by the time we got back, it would be spring here. In fact we did have a 65 degree day this week, only to have a foot of snow today. I do remember when we lived in Chicago that we had snow on May 7th!

Anyway, through the miracle of agriculture, we can have spring food even though it is not yet spring. This is my favorite way to prepare asparagus, copied from a restaurant long ago. It is poached, chilled, and has a sauce of lemony mayo with capers (I use the orginal Veganaise with the blue label).

My daughter requested scones for breakfast yesterday. These are chocolate chip (of course) and dried tart cherry. I didn't have any cherry jucie to make the glaze, so I flavored it with a touch of almond extract. They were delicious!