Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Six Ingredient Crock Pot White Bean Soup

Ok, 7 if you count the water.

2 cups dry white beans
7 cups water
Juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon salt
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh sage OR 1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
1 bunch dino (also called lacinato) kale, chopped.

Place beans and water in a crockpot, cook for 6 hours on low. Add remaining ingredients and stir well, let stand about 10 minutes. Serve topped with a little olive oil, and a good bread if you are so inclined.

This is our favorite dinner for a busy day.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving feast

So here is our lovely vegan Thanksgiving meal.

The beverage there is 50/50 sparkling water and cinnamon pear cider from Trader Joe's. It was a delightful treat to use my grandmother's silver for the first time. 

On to the desserts ... apple crisp with no sugar or gluten, pumpkin whoopie pies, apple pie, and coconut whipped cream.

Did you see that pie? Because it was pretty. And the coconut whipped cream was out of this world.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Black Bean Sweet Potato Enchilada Casserole

I added corn to the batch in the photo, which is tasty, but totally unnecessary.

2 cups dry black beans, cooked with 1 teaspoon of salt added to the broth when fully cooked, (drain broth away before adding to the recipe) OR 2 15 ounce cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
4-5 cups diced garnet sweet potatoes, steamed for 15 minutes until tender
12 corn tortillas

Mole Sauce (adapted from the pantry mole rojo in Vegan Brunch)

1 TBS olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
5 tsps chili powder (you want real chili powder, not some chili powder blend with cumin and garlic and oregano diluting the goodness. We'll add those seperately).
2 tsps Mexican Oregano (this is not the same thing as plain oregano. It's a different spice, and is better in this recipe. If you don't have any, substitute regular oregano or marjoram or a combination of the two, and go get some for next time. It's in a plastic baggie in the ethnic foods section).
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp smoked paprika (You don't have any!?! Why not? They have it for cheap at Costco, now. Fine. Use regular paprika this time).
1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 cups of water (Isa Chandra Moskowitz tells you to use broth. She also thought you needed 2 tablespoons of olive oil back there, and sliced almonds in addition to the peanut butter, all of which are fine and good, but this is my recipe, and I say water works fine and that it is rich enough with just the peanut butter).
3 TBS creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup crushed corn tortilla chips (this is a great place to use up stale ones, but fresh work fine, too)
1/4 cup of raisins (I never measure this, I just throw in a handful)
1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips (My favorite is Safeway/Vons O brand. Watch for them on sale in December and stock up)
3 cloves crushed garlic

Saute the onion in the olive oil until translucent. Add spices, stirring to keep them from scorching, adding a little water if needed. Add all of the remaining ingredients except for the garlic and the chocolate and simmer for about 15 minutes. Use a food processor, a blender or (best) an immersion blender to puree this into a smooth sauce. Stir the chocolate chips and the garlic in. Try not to eat the sauce like soup.

Layer about a quarter of the sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. I usually use a 9x9, but a 9x13 will work too. Cover the sauce with 4 tortillas, then half the beans and half the sweet potatoes. Add another quarter of the sauce, another layer of tortillas, then the other half of the beans and sweet potatoes. Top with sauce, another layer of sweet potatoes, and the last 4 tortillas. Top it off with the last of the sauce. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes (You can refrigerate this for a while at this step instead. Increase baking time to 45 minutes if you do). I like this with a little bit of Tofutti Better than Sour Cream on top, but it doesn't need it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pantry Staples

A frequent question on many discussion forums is what pantry staples a vegan cook might want to keep on hand. Here's my list:

  • Beans: white, black, pinto, chickpea, lentils, red lentils.
  • Grains: Brown rice, corn meal, oatmeal, whole wheat flour, whole wheat pastry flour, whole grain pasta, quinoa
  • Oils: canola, safflower, coconut, olive, Earth Balance, Vegenaise
  • Nuts, seeds and dried fruit: pecans, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, raisins, apricots, cranberries, sesame seeds
  • Frozen: Spinach, peas, peas and carrots, cauliflower, broccoli
  • Canned: diced tomato, tomato paste, coconut milk, light coconut milk, pumpkin, homemade jam, peanut butter, assorted beans for quick meals
  • Herbs and Spices: (partial list - this is just what I use most) pepper, sage, thyme, onion, garlic, cinnamon, ginger (dried and fresh), basil, oregano, curry, garam masala, chipotle powder, paprika, dill, Old Bay, pumpkin pie spice, mustard
  • Other Seasonings: nutritional yeast, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, Sriracha, white balsamic, sesame oil, Tabasco, ketchup, mustard 
  • Sweets: organic sugar, brown sugar, agave, maple syrup
  • Soymilk - plain and vanilla
  • Baking needs - flax seed meal, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cocoa, chocolate chips, corn starch, arrowroot, vital wheat gluten

Perishables (autumn list):
  • Fruits: bananas, apples, pears, kiwi, lemon, lime, pomegranates, mandarins
  • Veggies: broccoli, kale, sweet potatoes, spinach, lettuce, cabbage, carrots, peppers, squash, onions, potatoes, mushrooms, brussels sprouts
  • Proteins: tempeh, tofu
  • Bread: whole wheat sliced bread, wheat and corn tortillas

Treats: (I buy these rarely - when they are on sale or when I need them for a specific meal)
  • Daiya
  • Tofutti cream cheese
  • Tofurkey sausages
  • Spring rolls, samosas and frozen Rising Moon ravioli.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thanksgiving Menu

Willow Pond Organic Apple Farm, November 2010

  • Sage crock "cheese" with crackers and/or apple slices
  • Gluten free stuffed mushrooms with reduced balsamic glaze

  • Carrot ginger sweet potato soup
  • Arugula salad with beets, candied pecans, satsuma mandarins and citrus vinagrette

  • Butternut squash baked ziti with carmelized onions and sage breadcrumb topping (gluten free)
  • Chipotle mashed sweet potatoes
  • Breadcrumb stuffing
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Maple baked lentils
  • Roasted brussels-sprouts with apples and onions
  • Cranberry-pear sauce

  • Baked apples with oat-nut filling and coconut whipped cream (no gluten, lightly sweetened with maple syrup only)
  • Pumpkin whoopie pies
  • Apple pie

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pumpkin Curry

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 teaspoons hot curry powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 -3 cups diced pumpkin or butternut squash
1 cup dry red lentils
1 14 oz can light coconut milk
1 can full of water
1/3 cup raisins
1/2 pound fresh or frozen chopped spinach
3/4 tsp salt
2-4 cloves crushed garlic

Saute a chopped onion in about a tbs of olive oil until translucent, add curry powder and other spices.

Stir about a minute, you want it to be really fragrant before adding 1 can coconut milk (I use light, because the full fat is too rich for my taste in this) and then refill the empty can with water and add it. Add dry red lentils, raisins and cubed squash.

Simmer 15 minutes. Stir in a half pound of fresh or frozen spinach, chopped, and a cup of frozen peas (optional, but adds a textural interest). Add  a couple cloves of fresh garlic, and about 3/4 tsp of salt.

Serve over couscous, rice or quinoa, topped with chopped almonds.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

I promised at least one person at the veganism 101 class I attended today that I would post this. It is simplified and scaled down from a recipe by Dreena Burton.

1/2 cup flour (White is the most authentic tasting. Spelt will work. Whole wheat pastry flour is what I usually use. Regular whole wheat is too strongly flavored and will give you health-food tasting cookies)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 Tablespoons canola or other mild-tasting liquid vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons real maple syrup (Agave will work too. I've also used vanilla Torani in a pinch. I was unimpressed by the chocolateyness of the time I tried Hershey's, but they tasted fine.)

1 tsp vanilla extract

Handful of chocolate chips. Or white chocolate chips. Or dip the dough balls in spiced sugar for snickerdoodles, if you prefer.

Preheat oven to 350. You can basically dump everything in and mix it with a fork. Form into small balls, about 1- 1 1/2 inches in diameter, place on a lightly greased or parchment covered cookie sheet and flatten slightly. Bake for 8-11 minutes, until lightly browned on the edges. (Or eat the dough raw. I don't care). Let sit about 5 minutes before you try to remove them from the sheet.

Variant: Substitute 1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon flour and 1/2 cup oatmeal for the 1/2 cup flour, and add 1/2 tsp cinnamon and a handful of raisins, dried cranberries, and/or nuts.

Gluten free notes: So I have made these and they have been great using a couple different commercial blends, I think I liked Mama's Almond the best of those. Add an extra tablespoon or so of flour to them. The gluten free mix from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar works even better. For a double batch, use 1/4 cup almond flour, 1/3 cup millet flour, 1/3 cup white rice (sticky or sweet white rice flour is the best), 3 TBS tapioca starch, and 1 TBS flax meal.