Tuesday, December 30, 2008
The soup in question is an encebollado. The Spanish word translates to something like "onioned," as if onion were a verb. Maybe it should be. But I'm getting off track, and over my head liguistically. I got to know tuna encebollado pretty well in Ecuador in my omni days. The soup has a reputation as a hangover cure, and as such is usually sold in the mornings at street carts and market stalls. Steaming bowls are served with lime quarters, or even a plastic bottle of fresh lime juice. Toasted corn or popcorn are used in the same way as saltines, to scatter over the soup.
Encebollado takes to the vegan treatment really well, since bold flavors like onion, lime, tomato, and cilantro don't need those poor fish to make a good soup. To add a sense of sea flavor, I boiled the yuca chunks with a piece of kombu, and sprinkled the soup with some kelp powder. The sea veggies aren't totally necessary, but I liked the evocative effect.
Encebollado de Chickpeas y Yuca
1 big red onion, halved, sliced exceptionally thin, and rinsed in lots of cold water*
1 medium yuca, peeled and cut in chunks
1 14 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cups canned unsalted tomatoes, pureed in the blender
1/2 cup tomato juice
Juice from a half dozen limes
1 cup fresh cilantro
Toasted corn or popcorn for garnish
avocado slices, also optional
kombu and kelp powder, both optional**
1. Once you've tracked down yuca and kelp powder, this is a pretty easy soup. Boil the yuca chunks in just enough water to cover them, and with the piece of kombu if you like. They should be tender in 15 to 20 minutes, and soft when poked with a fork.
2. Strain the broth to remove the yuca. At this point I like to rinse the yuca chunks in cold water, and then remove the little spine/stem thing that runs through the center. It falls right out, and in some yuca I've found it cooks too and gets soft. I'm no yuca expert, but I guess it probably depends on the size of the tuber. Maybe.
3. Add the tomatoes, tomato juice, chickpeas, and yuca chunks back to the cooking broth. Bring to a simmer, add half the cilantro, and remove from heat.
4. Ladle into bowls, and add as much lime juice and popped/toasted corn as you like. Sprinkle a handful of sliced onions and more cilantro on top. Avocado is perfect over this too.
* Rinsing those onions takes away some of the raw bite, and my friends in Ecuador always did it. This way you get the crunch and onion flavor, but it's more mellow.
** Kelp powder has a mildly salty taste. Salt to taste if not using kelp.
There you go. I had fun veganizing this, although the whole deal is wildly inauthentic. But next time you get a craving for popcorn, tomatoes, and kelp powder, this is the soup for you!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
One of the year-old calves at Farm Sanctuary in Orland, CA, from this past March. That green grass and blue sky looks pretty good right now.
Finally, Maya, when she was even more pint-size. This is last summer, scrunched up in her favorite sleeping spot. Peace everybody!
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Yesterday I made this rye bread with caraway seeds, with a recipe from this month's Vegetarian Times. I'll be back with a reuben soon!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
My second recipe test from Farm Sanctuary was this lentil tagine. Please, just take my word for it that this is way, way better than my rushed photo might suggest. Technically, I guess this is a lentil cast iron frying pan, since I don't have a tagine. Tagine is a much prettier word, for the traditional Moroccan clay cooking pot with the cool conical top. This was sweet and spicy and delicious. I baked this, just covering the frying pan with foil. If you have a tagine, you probably don't need me to tell you that's the right way to make this. It's a recipe that warrants a return trip soon, and maybe I'll be back with a better photo.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
1 tsp. cumin
Monday, December 1, 2008
Here's the latest iteration of the baked seitan sausage that stormed the vegan blogs way back when. I hadn't made this for quite a while, and wanted to come up with something that modified the texture of seitan - which I'll admit to finding a little rubbery sometimes. I've had amazing seitan made by others, but the texture often doesn't quite work when I make it. My idea was to add cooked lentils, and the results are pretty good - I wish I'd paid more attention to the ingredient quantities as I was making this. Cooked lentils, raw onion and garlic, and wheat gluten flour are ground finely in the food processor, with lots of spices and sesame and mustard seeds. Guessing, I think I used about a cup of lentils and 3/4 cup of flour, and just enough water to form it into a firm roast. It was wrapped in foil and baked for about 45 minutes at 350 F. It is firm, but tender to cut and eat, with a texture similar to Tofurkey brats and sausages.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
This was adapted from the Pastry Cream recipe from The Joy of Vegan Baking, by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, a great ambassador for vegan baking. Unlike me. I whipped up that book's pastry cream/custard, mixed in a blended jumbo strawberry-banana smoothie, and chilled. It set up perfectly, and is topped here with a blended soymilk-banana-tofu-sugar mix. I find these pie pieces don't look like much in photos, so here's a slice of pie with Otter. Now that's art.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
1 cup red bean puree, or your choice of canned beans
Sunday, November 9, 2008
I'm not done talking about Barack Obama yet, and this recipe is a good excuse. Weekend Edition (on NPR) did a story about Bayless a few weeks ago, since his restaurant in Chicago is a favorite of the Obamas. It's worth looking for online - I'll recommend the NPR Food podcast too, if you're into that sort of thing.
Friday, November 7, 2008
On to the muffins. The primary motivation for making muffins last night was an excuse to turn the oven on for a while - the downstairs neighbors control the thermostat and weren't home, and the place was frigid. These are ensemble muffins, with fun stuff like ground flax seeds, apple sauce, pecans, dried cranberries, fresh grated ginger, and allspice. Here's my recollection of the ingredients:
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup all-purpose white flour
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
1 tbsp. fresh grated ginger
2 tbsp. ground flax seeds
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. allspice
1/2 cup brown sugar (up to a cup if you like very sweet muffins - I like them just sweet enough to notice the sugar)
2 tbsp. canola oil
1/2 cup of the apple sauce I just made
3/4 cup soy milk, or other non-dairy milk
1/2 cup dried cranberries or other dried fruit
a dozen pecans for topping
1. Preheat oven to 425 F, and grease or spray with oil a muffin tin. This recipe made a dozen muffins, of what I consider a "standard" size.
2. Mix the dry ingredients - flour, flax seeds, baking powder, and spices - in one bowl; the wet ingredients - pumpkin, canola oil, soy milk, applesauce, ginger, plus sugar - in another. Mix both bowls together, and fold in the cranberries.
3. Divide the batter evenly in the muffin pan. I pressed a pecan or two into the top of each muffin. Bake for about 15 minutes - they're done when they turn a golden brown, but I know you already knew that.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
I guess this post is about applesauce. I've made canned applesauce a couple of years now, and for this recipe I relied heavily on the roasted applesauce entry from Vegan With a Vengeance. I had around 40 small to medium sized apples. After peeling and removing the cores, I had just over four pints of sauce. The recipe includes brown sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice, allspice, and cinnamon.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. enerG egg replacer
2 tbsp. vegan margarine (softened if refrigerated)
enough water to make a firm, pliable dough - 1 1/2 cups or so
1 tbsp. canola oil
3 medium red potatoes, in one inch cubes
2 stalks celery, diced
6 to 8 cups water
2 tbsp. vegan chicken broth powder, or your favorite veggie stock
1 tbsp. dried dill
1/2 cup vegan sour cream (optional - leave out if you like a clear, not creamy, soup)
salt and pepper to taste
Oyster crackers or saltines to serve
* The egg replacer is optional - I just tried it to see how the texture was - dumplings hold up find without it.
1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the dry dumpling ingredients, and fold the soft margarine into the dry mix. Add a cup of water, and stir to combine - the dough will still be pretty dry. Continue adding water, a few spoonfuls at a time, until the dough is dry enough to work with in your hands. If it becomes too moist, dust with more flour and continue kneading for a few minutes. The dough is pretty forgiving, and if it is a little low on moisture, that will only result in a firmer dumpling - no big deal. I just work it until it’s not sticky and I can cut off sections that hold together completely and are dry enough to work with. Cover the dough until you’re ready to make dumplings.
2. Heat oil in a soup pot, and saute diced celery for about 2 minutes. Add about six cups of water and broth powder or stock, bring to a boil, and add potatoes. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook potatoes until they just begin to soften. While the potatoes are cooking, start cutting up the dumplings. This is the only tricky part of this soup - if the potatoes are pretty soft by the time you add the dumplings, the potatoes might become a little mushy by the time the dumplings are done cooking. This varies by type of potato too - just something to keep in mind.
3. I find that the easiest way to make dumplings is to break off tennis ball-sized pieces of dough, roll them into long cylinders - about ¾ inch wide - and snip off dumplings with a scissors or very sharp knife. You can snip them directly into the simmering soup - this way they don’t get stuck together in a bowl, and they tend to keep from sticking in the soup if they are added one by one.
4. Keep the soup at a steady simmer, and continue cooking until about 5 minutes after the last dumplings have been added. Sprinkle in about a half tbsp. of dried dill. If using sour cream, add it just before turning off heat. Stir until it is “melted” and incorporated into the soup. Season with salt and pepper. I like to sprinkle a little more dill into the serving bowls, and eat it with saltines or oyster crackers.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
I might try some chili-ginger or chili-garlic paste to can or freeze, or just freeze them as they are. Either way, I won't need to buy chilis for a long time. Finally, a response to a question from Ali about any tricks for growing tomatoes up here. I grew my plants in a freshly tilled garden plot, so I suppose the soil was pretty rich and full of nutrients. All I added was some peat moss - one bale in a plot about 10' by 5' - in the spring, since Red River valley soil tends to be pretty dense - I tried to make it looser and easier to work. After that, all I did was pull weeds and water late at night or early in the morning in the couple of dry stretches this summer. The plants were in full sunlight after mid-morning each day. I didn't use any other fertilizer or pesticides, though there are lots of organic and homemade techniques out there.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
I know you've seen tomatoes before, but I'm proud of these. Check this out - with only three plants, I've picked over 230 tomatoes this summer. That's counting a few golf ball sized green ones lately, but a nice return on my investment of 4 bucks or so. I'm not a numbers-oriented person at all, but I thought it would be fun to keep track of the production in the garden. Here's some glowing jars of stewed tomatoes.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Molotes are made by encasing a filling with a corn masa dough. A molote has a specific shape - sort of an elongated football - which distinguishes it from the array of other stuffed corn masa foods in Mexican cooking. I used a mixture of lentils and walnuts (inspired by the walnut taco filling on the My Vegan Spoons blog -thanks!), seasoned with lime, cumin, ancho chili powder, and roasted garlic, for the filling. After a quick spin in the food processor, the mix makes an awesome taco/enchilada/whatever filling. The molotes are fried in a whole lot of canola oil, until golden brown on all sides. The ultra-spicy sauce is the perfect counterpoint to the rich, warm flavors of the fried corn dough and lentil-walnut filling. The combo was topped with a sprinkle of fresh lime juice and some shredded cilantro.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
1 medium-large eggplant
Eggplant marinade ingredients:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. marjoram
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. tamari or soy sauce
1 tsp. sugar
1. Cut the eggplant vertically in 1/2 inch slices. Combine the marinade ingredients, and pour over eggplant slices in a baking dish or ziploc bag. Let sit for at least an hour, or overnight, tossing the pieces around a couple times to make sure everything gets seasoned.
2. I grilled the eggplant for around 10 minutes, shifting halfway through to get some nice grill marks. The outsides were just a little crispy, and the interior was tender and creamy.
2 cups fresh basil
1/4 cup walnuts
1 tbsp. pine nuts
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup canned quartered artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
1. Use a food processor or blender to grind up everything but the artichokes. I mixed the artichokes in next. Top the eggplant slices with the pesto (preferably at room temperature) and sprinkle with lightly toasted pine nuts or more walnut bits.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
4 lbs. roasted tomatoes
1 roasted medium-large eggplant
2 cups diced basil leaves
1 medium white onion, roasted
1 bulb garlic, roasted
I allowed the roasted ingredients to cool before blending in a food processor to something thick but not completely pureed. Bringing the roasted and chopped vegetables to a simmer on the stovetop, I started working on additional flavors. Seasoning included dry oregano, 2 or 3 tbsp. lemon juice, 2 tbsp. brown sugar, a liberal sprinkle of salt, some black pepper, and a spoonful of balsamic vinegar. I played around with these until I had something I really liked, so these quantities are rough guesses. I added the basil leaves at the very end of the simmering and seasoning on the stove top, to avoid overcooking them.
Canning is much easier than I used to think, but I recommend you follow the directions on whatever canning materials you're using, or find a reliable online source. If you've never tried canning before, I can't recommend it enough. It feels great to take food processing into your own hands, and the results are almost always better than what you'll find on grocery store shelves, which tend to be overly salty and loaded with an alphabet soup of chemicals and preservatives. Canning is time-consuming, but I enjoy my fall canning nights. The warm, steamy kitchen feels pretty good when the temperature drops outside. It is all worth it when I pop open those garden flavors in January to use on pasta or pizza.
7 spring roll wrappers
4 medium-sized apples
1/2 cup walnut bits
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. lemon juice
vegan margarine (Earth Balance, as always)
1 tsp. cornstarch, mixed with a half cup of water
1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Peel, core, and dice the apples to quarter inch cubes. Mix apple with sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice, and stir to combine.
2. Place one spring roll wrapper on a clean work surface. Cut in half from top to bottom with a non-serrated knife, to avoid tearing. Place a heaping spoonful of apple mix about a half inch from the bottom center of each spring roll half. Lightly coat the bottom edge of the wrapper with the corn starch-water mixture - I just dab a finger - and fold the wrapper bottom over the apple mixture from bottom left to the right side. This will form a little triangle, with the bottom edge affixed to the lower right edge - I hope this is making sense, but I'm doing my best. Seal the edge by lightly pressing along the seam. Fold the triangle up, keeping the right edge even. To finish the turnover triangle, you should be able to fold the apple-filled envelope from bottom right to the top left edge of the wrapper. Moisten the top and top left edges with the starch-water mix, and gently press to seal. You should half a neat little triangular turnover, without apple spilling out the sides. Trust me, this will make more sense in actual practice, but I hope my directions are helpful.
3. Repeat with remaining wrappers. Brush turnovers lightly with melted margarine, and bake for about 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. I found they're best served crisp and warm out of the oven.
All the cool kids are ahead of me again and have this on their blogs. Sounds good, and I guess the general idea is to blog as much as possible about vegan munchies throughout October. Vegan bloggers of the world, UNITE! (I'm slamming my desktop Mussolini-Schrute style...I need one of those webcams).
Sunday, September 28, 2008
1 package corn tostadas
4 roma tomatoes, diced
1 medium cucumber, diced
1/3 cup finely chopped white onion
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
2 tbsp. lime juice
1. Combine all ingredients. You might want to add some jalapeno or other pepper, but I left them out.
1 ripe avocado, mashed
1 roma tomato
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1 tbsp. lime juice
Pretty Good Black Beans
1 14 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
5 cloves roasted garlic
1/2 cup white onion, diced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1. Heat 1 tbsp. canola oil, and fry onions over medium-low heat until very soft and translucent. Sprinkle with a dash of salt during frying.
2. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender, or mash with a potato masher or spoon. I used a food processor, and whipped the beans to a fairly smooth, hummus-like texture.
Finally, since I'm thinking about last summer, here's little Maya, chilling along the river downtown. She's doing great, and slowed down long enough for me to snap a picture. Still very much a puppy at the one year plus mark.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
I've been in the mood for this meal since I read the Morocco story in this month's Vegetarian Times. The spice blend is a mixture of a couple of recipes, with additions from my spice shelf. Roasting brussels sprouts is by far my favorite way to cook them - they're good steamed or pan-fried, but roasting really does them justice. I paired this with some couscous specked with walnuts and golden raisins. I forgot to add a dollop of plain soy yogurt, but recommend you do so.
1 lb. fresh brussels sprouts
2 medium shallots
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. sumac
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup water
fresh lemon juice
fresh cilantro for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a blender, grind the shallots, garlic, spices, olive oil, and water to a smooth paste.
2. Toss the shallot-garlic paste with the brussels sprouts in a medium sized baking dish. You could also mix the sprouts and spices in a bowl and use a cookie sheet. Toss until all the sprouts are well coated with the spice mixture, which should adhere pretty well to the brussels sprouts.
3. Bake covered with aluminum foil for the first 15 minutes, and uncovered for another ten minutes. If an average sized sprout is easily pierced with a fork or toothpick, they're ready.
4. Serve hot alongside couscous or other grain. Sprinkle with lemon juice and a little extra sumac powder. The sumac adds nice red color, plus additional lemony flavor. I have a big bag of sumac, so I tend to use it whenever I have a chance. If you don't have any, this is still great without it.