rants & recipes

Archive for the ‘vegetables’ Category

Southwestern Quinoa and Black Beans

Posted by trktos on 21-February-2010

A recent conversation with a co-worker lead to my realizing I have only one – one?! – quinoa recipe posted here. We have quinoa fairly often, usually just as the grain portion of our meals, but I haven’t tried out many explicit quinoa recipes and that’s a shame.

So, I decided to try this recipe for dinner tonight … the only thing this needed was more green-ness – I threw is some asparagus. Dark green leafy veggies would be good, too.

Ingredients:

  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • about 10 sun-dried tomato halves, diced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 bunch asparagus, chopped
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 2 cans, or equivalent, of black beans
  • 3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Simmer quinoa in broth, with cumin, peppers and salt until done – about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Sautee onions, tomatoes, garlic and carrots in some olive oil for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add asparagus and cook until done.
  4. Combine quinoa, vegetables, beans and corn. Heat until warmed through.

One thing I love about quinoa is how the seeds release their little “tails” when done.

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Cashew Ricotta Lasagna

Posted by trktos on 28-November-2009

Ok, I’ve had my eye on this lasagna recipe for a while. I wanted to make it for Vegan MoFo, but like a lot of recipes, I never got around to it during October but I finally made it yesterday.

I should note that imprecise recipes annoy me just a little and I’d usually pass up on a recipe that calls for “2-3 jars of sauce” – did you use 2 or 3? what size?? – but check out that original picture – it looked way too tasty to pass up. So I compared the ingredients with a lasagna recipe I’ve made a few times, and came up with a game plan concerning what tomato products I was going to use.

One thing I was really suspicious about, though, in the original recipe, was the pan size. 11 x 7 pan for all that food? You’ve got to be kidding me. I’m no great judge of volume, but, but – that’s smaller than a sheet of paper?! I suspected there was no way all that food would even fit in my standard 9 x 13 pan. And I was right. I purchased a 10 x 14 deep dish pan – sadly, plentiful this time of year for turkeys and roasts – and even though I didn’t use quite all the ingredients compared to the original, the new pan was full to the brim.

So, here’s what I used. Please see notes, below, for future improvements.

Ingredients, cashew ricotta:

  • 3/4 cup cashews
  • 1 14oz tub extra-firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • ~ 1/2 tsp soy sauce

Instructions, cashew ricotta:

  1. Soak cashews (I used raw, unsalted cashews but roasted, unsalted would probably be good, too) – for an hour or two in cold water and drain. (I added this step because my food processor has problems and I was hoping it would do better with softer nuts).
  2. Blend ingredients in food processor, until smooth.
  3. Set aside.

Ingredients, other cheesey filling:

  • 1/2 pound carrots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ~ 2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 8-oz container vegan cream cheese
  • approx. 1/3 cup diced, reconstituted dried mushrooms and the approx. 1/2 cup water from reconstituting them (in place of vegetable broth, in original)
  • 1 14-oz container extra-firm tofu
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg (argh, I forgot this. Will add next time!)

Instructions, other cheesey filling:

  1. Saute carrots and garlic in some olive oil for about 5 minutes or until tender. Add parsley, mushrooms and “mushroom-recon” water.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, crumbling tofu.
  3. Cook until cream cheese melts.
  4. Set aside.

Other Ingredients:

  • 8 oz spinach
  • 12-14 lasagna noodles
  • 1 25-oz jar pasta sauce (I used Roasted Garlic)
  • 1 15-oz diced tomatoes (I used Fired Roasted tomatoes)
  • 1 15-oz can tomato sauce
  • optional – vegan shredded cheese to top

Other Instructions:

  1. Wilt spinach in microwave or on stove-top. Set aside.
  2. Combine all tomato ingredients. Set aside.
  3. Cook lasagna noodle until nearly done, remembering they will cook more in the oven. Rinse in cold water. Set aside.

Assembly Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (at some point during noodle-boiling stage).
  2. Spoon a small amount of tomato sauce into the bottom of a 10 x 14 inch (4 qt) casserole dish, to keep first layer of noodles from sticking.
  3. Start layering with noodles.
  4. Make sure each layer gets one of the cheeses and tomato sauce. I only added spinach to two layers. Top with noodles and repeat.
  5. End with noodles and pasta sauce and/or vegan shredded cheese, if using. (I used about half of a block of FYH mozaralla but I could have used more. I even tossed the shredded cheese with a little oil, but it did NOT melt, at all. Big disappointment. Oven must’ve needed to be hotter. It melts on pizza but that’s baked at 450 degrees!)
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for about 1 hour, 1 hour 20 minutes. (Another draw back of a recipe calling for impossible amount of food to fit in a small pan – cooking times are likely to be off!)

Notes for next time:

  • I could have used a little more veggies. I’ll try to use the 16 ounces of spinace the recipe called for.
  • I’ll make up my half-pound of carrots with onions, carrots and fresh mushrooms. (Not half-pound, mind you. But about 2 cups’ worth?)
  • This could have been a little less-soupy. Next time, I will squeeze “other cheesey” tofu in a cheese cloth.
  • I will use petite diced tomatoes next time, and drain them. I will probably use 2 jars of pasta sauce and 1 can of tomato sauce, plus the drained tomatoes, because I could have used a little more sauce – yes, while simultaneously needing to be less soupy. This is not a contradiction! =)
  • I will plan to cook at 350, covered, for about an hour. Maybe uncovered, 375, for another 30 minutes (checking frequently.)
  • I might also try 2 recipes of cashew ricotta and leave out the other cheesey tofu mixture. (Still using spinach and veggies, of course.)
  • If I want *melted* cheese on top next time, I’ll either go pick up some Daiya from Pangea or melt the FYH on the darn stovetop first, and pour on during last 15 minutes or so of baking.

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Finally, Soup!

Posted by trktos on 6-November-2009

I’ve been trying to make some soup for a while, but have neglected to get things started early enough. Which is to say, before Evin gets home and objects to soup. Finally, last night, I managed to get a jump on things … and just in time, too, because I had some veggies that just needed to be used up and no real ideas for anything else to do with them.

Cabbage Amaranth Soup

  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, chopped
  • 1/2 head green cabbage, sliced into thin shreds
  • ~ 10 sun-dried tomato halves, minced
  • 3/4 cup amaranth
  • seasoning, maybe about 1/2 tsp each of rosemary, thyme; 1/4 tsp each of ground savory, ground sage, caraway seeds; 2 bay leaves, salt and pepper to taste
  • ~ 1 tbsp Better Than Chicken bouillon
  • 1 bouillon cube
  • ~ 2 tsp marmite
  • ~ 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • dash soy sauce

Hold out cabbage and cauliflower. Almost cover remaining ingredients with water. Bring to a boil, simmer for about 10-15 minutes(?). Add cabbage and cauliflower and cook until done.

Anyway, a hearty, satisfying soup but could have used a tad more flavor. It would be good with some spicy sausage. Next time.

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Parsnip Rosemary Bread, Flavorless ‘Sausage’

Posted by trktos on 4-November-2009

Awww, I miss the Vegan MoFo image … I can’t believe how I just gave up on the month of food, but I was studying for a mid-term along in there and just got out of the habit. One good thing that’s come of Vegan MoFo, I think, when I do blog about food, I like the in-line photo format better, so I’ll try this for a while.

Yesterday, I made the most amazing bread. I failed to proof my yeast (water wasn’t warm enough) and the loaves took longer to rise. But definitely worth the wait.

I had parsnips to use up, so I decided to use them in bread. Here’s the recipe:

Parsnip Rosemary Bread

  • About 230 grams peeled, chopped parsnip and 30 grams peeled, chopped carrot – cooked in microwave for 3 minutes (which may have been too long – the more you cook parsnip, the less flavor it has. Next time I might try 1.5 minutes). I covered my bowl with a plate to retain moisture.
  • Blend roots in a food processor with 70 grams of Earth Balance (I was going to use 50 grams canola oil but I was out)
  • 135 grams of potato cooking water
  • 2 tbsp rosemary (soaked in potato water to soften)
  • 1/4 warm water and 45 grams sugar in which to proof:
  • 3 1/2 tsp yeast

I thought the above amount of liquid would be enough, but ended up having to add approximately another half-cup of water during kneading.

  • 365 grams bread flour
  • The following, with whole wheat flour to total 345 grams:
    • 1/4 cup wheat bran
    • 1 tbsp gypsum
    • 2 tbsp wheat germ
    • 3 tbsp ground flax
  • 2 tsp salt

Double-rise, baked 20-25 minutes, in oven preheated to 500 degrees and turned down to 425 degrees when loaves went in.

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The house smelled amazing and christmas-y all afternoon.

To go with this bread, I made some seitan sausage. I used this recipe … I was happy that it called for cooking in a pressure cooker – still the same foil usage but pressure+15 minutes is much better than 90 minutes worth of gas, in the oven.

I keep looking back over that recipe to make sure I didn’t leave out, well, a lot of stuff.  I did not. I even used some marmite and soy sauce in place of 1/2 cup of the water, which adds flavor. I used pita bread-bread crumbs of varying sizes because my food processor had a hard time with them. Actually, though, I’m pleased with that. And the texture of these sausages was really good. I’ll give them that. But they had absolutely no flavor. None. I couldn’t believe it. Nonetheless, with such great texture and pressure cooker cooking method, I will probably revisit them. Next time, though, I’ll just bring more flavor!

Flavorless Seitan Sausage

  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground fennel
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup marmite water (from reconstituting soy curls – think some mixture of soy sauce and marmite and water)
  • 6 1/2 ounces vital wheat gluten

Mix, form into 8 logs, roll in aluminum foil. Pressure-steam for 15 minutes after pressure is attained.

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Spinach Mushroom and Tomato Quiche

Posted by trktos on 18-October-2009

veganmofo2009Tonight, we’re hoping to have quiche for dinner. I say “hoping”, because it’s still in the oven as I start this post and for some reason, it turned out way-thicker than the picture with the recipe. I used the recommended size pan, and 2 ounces less of tofu, even, so I must’ve screwed something else up.

I used this recipe as a guide. I made a few changes, though … here’s pretty much what I did:

Crust:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 3 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 cup flour – approx. half whole wheat, half cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup oil – filled 1/3 cup measure about 2/3 full with canola, rest with sesame oil
  • shortening to grease 9 1/2″ pie plate

I pretty much followed the original directions for making the crust.

Filling:

  • 1 block extra firm tofu (14 ounces)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • approx. 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp Indian black salt

Purée these ingredients to a food processor or blender.

  • 1 lb. fresh spinach, 1 lb frozen spinach – thaw/wilt, squeeze out liquid, chop finely

Sauté the following ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • approx. 8 sun-dried tomato halves, recon’ed, diced
  • mushrooms, diced – I used about 5 fresh white buttons and a handful from a mix of dried, recon’ed
  • 1/2 tsp salt

After I cooked the onion/mushroom mix fairly dry. I removed from the heat and coated with 1 ounce flour and added about 2 tbsp canola oil.

Mix all filling ingredients together, spoon into crust and cook in preheated oven, at 350 degrees, 40-45 minutes.

It turned out ok! The crust, I thought, had good flavor but was a little dry. If I make this again, I would try to use the recommended 16 ounces of tofu and maybe a little less spinach.

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