Friday, January 03, 2014

Black Eyed Peas and Spinach

Happy New Year! I haven't been around the blogosphere of late, but I have been enjoying time in the kitchen over the holiday. Getting back to the simple dishes that pack a nutritional punch and deliver seriously good flavor. In honor of my New Year's Resolution to love myself more (the rest will follow), here's the first dinner of 2014 that I will DEFINITELY be adding to the rotation of go-to favorites. 

Black Eyed Peas & Spinach
Serves 3 as a meal or 6 as a side

½ T olive oil (I use a light tasting variety, not EVOO)
1 can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 – 1 ½ bags fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
1 small onion, chopped
4-5 cloves fresh garlic
1 small tomato, chopped (can also chop grape tomatoes, about 8-10)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped fine
Red wine vinegar
Pinch of sugar
Sea salt
Fresh avocado, sliced

Marinate tomatoes: Place chopped tomatoes in a non-metal bowl.  Add 2-3 splashes of vinegar, sea salt to taste, pinch of sugar, and parsley. Toss to combine and set aside.

Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. When oil is hot, add onion and sea salt to taste, stirring until transluscent (about three to five minutes). If you want to carmelize them a bit, lower heat, cover and check on them every few minutes, stirring as needed. It will take 5-10 minutes for them to brown, careful not to burn. Add garlic and stir over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, careful not to burn. Add spinach, salt to taste, and stir. Add 1 T of water and cover to wilt. When spinach is almost totally wilted (only takes a few minutes), add black eyed peas and stir to heat through. Stir in tomatoes and cover. Remove from heat. Allow to sit covered for maybe 5 minutes to heat tomatoes through. Serve with fresh avocado. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happy Holidays 2013

Around here lately there's been Fronch Toast, of the PB & Banana variety... 

and sometimes kale quiches with sweet potato crust,

and Thanksgiving I stumbled upon the most amazing Stuffed Seitan Roast.
 (For, in this house, seitan on Thanksgiving's a must!).

 A bounty of summer squash and zucchini became the best bread for gifting,
But if you wonder why I've not posted, it's because of a certain elf's holiday spirit lifting!

Click HERE to see the (mis)adventures of our Elf on the Shelf, Elfie!

Whew. I'm tired, and done with rhyming! but head on over to my blog about our elf on the shelf if you want to see what has kept me up at night and away from the computer blogging. Will the new year bring back posts of vegan deliciousness? Only time will tell! But until then Happy Holidays, I wish you all well!

Oh boy, it's a problem. :)

The French toast is just VWaV's Fronch Toast smothered in peanut butter and topped with banana and maple syrup.

The Quiche is Vegan Brunch's Broccoli Quiche but with 3 cups cooked Kale and onions in place of the broccoli. I then poured into a pan that was lined with thinly sliced sweet potatoes, prebaked for about 25 minutes before adding quiche filling.

The seitan roast was a mixture of a few different seitan roast recipes I put together on the fly Thanksgiving Day. Turned out to be the best seitan roast I'd ever made! The filling was also amazing. When I have time remember what I did with the roast I'll be sure to post it. Hell, I'll probably make it again and then post it. SO good! (the stuffing filling is Vedged Out's recipe and is 'Easily the BEST stuffing I have EVER had. EVER' said the Cap'n. I tend to agree).

The Zucchini Bread is my new go to for holiday gifting or for just using up zucchini so that I may stuff as much deliciousness in my mouth as possible. The recips is this one from Isa on theppk.com. The only changes I made were to replace the oil with some more applesauce and just a little bit of coconut oil, then nix nuts or raisins and add 1/3 cup cherry infused dried cranberries and 1/3 cup chocolate chips. I think next time I make it I'll go with dried cherries though. Mmmmmm, cherry and chocolate. yes, please! This stuff is perfection.

May the New Year bring you laughter, love, and the pursuit of seriously delicious vegan food!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Vegan Fondue


First, I should say that this is not my creation.

I should also mention that I've even blogged about this before.

But since this is the Vegan Month of Food and because I told myself I really need to post thirty posts in thirty days, aaaaand because I will be out of town this weekend and will likely not post until Monday, I am going to repeat myself.

I can't believe this recipe is not 'a thing', plastered on veg blogs across the land. It's so easy to make, really really, really tasty, and impressive without any faux or processed foods.

Vegan Fondue! Need I really say more?
(from About.com)

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp margarine + 2 tbsp
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • vegetarian bouillon cube or 1 tbsp dry veggie broth mix
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups soy milk
  • 1/2 tsp miso
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp celery salt
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)

Preparation:

Sautee garlic, onions and mushrooms in 3 tbsp margarine until soft. In separate saucepan, combine remaining ingredients and simmer until mixture thickens. If your mixture does not thicken, add more flour and mix well. Allow to cool.
Add mushrooms, garlic and onion mix to the soy milk mix and process in a blender or food processor until smooth.
Reheat the blended mix, stirring occasionally, and allow to cool slightly before transferring to fondue pot, or just serve piping hot with a spoon from a bowl to drizzle over
Fresh French Bread,
A Plate of Seitanroni, Roasted Brussel Sprouts, and Veggie Bean Loaf
under Tofu Patties w/ Sauteed 'Shrooms and Fresh Clover Sprouts
mix with your favorite red sauce to top Gnocchi,
or, you know, eat that stuff with a spoon! It's that good!





Thursday, September 26, 2013

Vegan Back Bean Taco Soup (Taco Soup for Taco Thursday!)

So, it's not Tuesday, and this blog post is not about tacos. Using that criteria, my 'Taco Tuesday' theme for this Vegan Month of Food is a fail...but stay with me.

Maybe I watch too much Top Chef. Maybe I just want to use my shiny, new Vitamix for every possible meal to justify it's very existence in my tiny kitchen. Maybe, because we'll be out of town this weekend I want to use what I have left in the refrigerator in a way that will freeze well and make for an easy start to the week once we return. Maybe all of the above. Yeah, definitely all of the above.

I totally went to bed last night, planning today's post, smiling to myself at how fun it would be, how clever to do 'Deconstructed Black Bean Tacos' for Taco Thursday. Maybe that's not clever at all and I'm just lazy.


Black Bean Taco Soup!
  Either way, I give you Deconstructed Black Bean Tacos. All of the elements, textures and flavors you want on taco night without having to pick all of the various parts that have fallen out up off your plate. Just think of them as tacos you can eat....with a spoon!

Or just call them...

Vegan Black Bean (Taco!) Soup
makes 4 large or 6 small bowls of soup
adapted from the Vitamix website recipe

for garnish:
1 c. green cabbage, sliced very thin
1/4 c. green onions, sliced very thin
2 T fresh cilantro, chopped
1-2 tsp lime juice

for soup:
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed, half reserved
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (I remove and discard skins), half reserved
3 c. vegetable stock (I dissolve 1 1/2 veggie bullion in 3 c water)
1/2 c. onion, chopped and sauteed
3 garlic cloves, chopped and sauteed
2 T lime juice*
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1/2 T tomato paste
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp vegan Worcestershire
1/2 - 1 tsp chili powder (I used Tony Chachere's Creole Original Seasoning)
1/4 c. red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1/4 c. yellow bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1/4 c green onion, chopped
salt, to taste
vegan bacon, crumbled (optional)

Prep garnish:
In a medium bowl, toss sliced cabbage (the thinner, the better) and green onion with lime juice and cilantro. Set aside.

Saute onions and garlic:
Heat skillet on medium heat. Add onions and garlic, pinch of salt, and enough water to allow them to simmer and become translucent but not burn (about 3-5 minutes). Remove from heat.

Make soup in blender:
Place veggie stock, black beans, chickpeas, onion and garlic, lime juice (if using, see *note), jalapeno,  tomato paste, oregano, Worcestershire, and chili powder in blender. Blend until smooth. If using a Vitamix, turn Variable Speed Dial to 1. Turn on blender and slowly increase variable speed to 10 then switch to High. Allow to blend on high for 6-7 minutes or until heavy steam escapes from vented lid. Turn variable speed dial to 4 and remove plug from lid. Add bell peppers and reserved black beans and chickpeas and blend for 10 more seconds. Taste for salt. Add as needed and blend on low for 2 seconds to season, if needed. Serve immediately in bowls and stir in crumbled vegan bacon, if using. Top with cabbage slaw and corn chips (I used crumbled leftover taco shells, heated in the toaster oven).

Crunchy, smoky, full of beans and flavor and topped with slaw, this soup hits all the notes I want in my tacos. Any toppings that you just have to have in your tacos would be great additions, chopped tomato or avocado, handful of corn kernels or a drizzle of cashew or tofu sour cream would all be wonderful things to throw in or on this soup. It can be frozen for a few months then thawed and topped with fresh slaw for a healthy, quick meal on any given Taco Tuesd....er....Thursday!
Black Bean Taco Soup!

*Personally, I'm all about the citrus. The Cap'n loved this soup but not the lime. While he was on board with the lime in the slaw providing a little lime kick, he'd prefer that it were not also in the soup. If you worry the lime will be too much in both parts, leave it out of the blender and add only if, upon tasting the finished soup, you think you want that extra lime goodness.  







Grilled Tofu Marinade

I wish I had a picture of this tofu. I don't.

Full Disclosure: I am entering a giveaway over at Veganmofo.com and want to link to an actual recipe. Not just any recipe, but a recipe that never fails and always wins people over. For a lot of people and tofu, that's a tall order.

Every time I make tofu with this marinade, it gets gobbled up lickity-split by veg's and omni's alike. It's super tasty and causes the tofu to char beautifully. The key is to get the firmest tofu you can and let it press for as long as you can so that it's pretty dry and soaks up the flavor and holds it's shape when grilling. It can stick to the grill pretty badly (been there, done that), so also make sure to start with a clean, non-stick grill surface. Turning often is also important to let it char evenly.

Made of simple ingredients, this one is my go-to, gifted to me by sister-in-law's mother-in-law, Paula. She is a whiz in the kitchen, a skilled artist behind the sewing machine*, and basically just a beautiful and amazing spirit all around. She made us each a cookbook, full of hand-written and delicious family favorites, complete with inspirational words and cute illustrations. It is one of my most beloved and most used cookbooks, and this recipe is one of my most favorite ways to prepare and to share tofu.

While you're enjoying the last of summer's BBQ's, or maybe you're firing up the grill to welcome fall, press some extra firm tofu and throw it in this marinade for a few hours, then delight the tastebuds of your grilling companions and let them see how, with the right ingredients, tofu is something everyone can enjoy! Don't be afraid to make so much, it's wonderful left over on sandwiches, just pile a few chunks on your favorite bread and with your favorite sammy toppings. I like mine cold the next day with butter lettuce, Vegenaise, red onion, and tomato.

Grilled Tofu Marinade
makes a ton, enough for 2 blocks of tofu, easily
half the recipe if you're only using one block of tofu, but if you're bringing to a BBQ, you'll want enough for yourself and everyone to try!

2 blocks extra firm tofu, pressed very well, cut into large blocks or triangles
1 cup maple syrup
1 cup tamari
1 cup olive oil
3 T nutritional yeast
2 T apple cider vinegar
2 T dried oregano
2 T onion powder
1 tsp salt

(For two blocks of tofu, you will need to mix marinade and separate into two baking pans). Combine all ingredients but tofu in a 9x11 baking dish. mix well. add tofu pieces to marinade. Allow to marinade for at least two hours. Remove from marinade and grill until charred to your liking, turning and basting with marinade often. I typically let it sit for about five minutes and then turn, am usually done at about the 20-25 minute mark using pretty hot grill. Tastes best when allowed to sit for a few minutes after grilling.



* Paula designs and creates the most beautiful quilts and quilted wall hangings. Her work is equisite. Check out her site, Paula's Originals, to see some truly gorgeous things she's created from cozy quilts and handy pot holders to intricate wall-hangings an unique calendar boards. Then maybe gift someone you love with a one-of-a-kind piece of her mastery!