Tuesday, October 27, 2009

tunisian eggplant appetizer

This stuff is amazing. It is designed as an appetizer to be served with pita bread and is best served at room temperature. Our friend, Marcela, has made it for several work functions and finally brought me in the recipe. I recently discovered that it is from Mollie Katzen's "Still Life with Menu" Cookbook. I did not add the artichoke hearts and actually mixed it up with some pasta for dinner. I was also imagining it as a soup if I had added some broth. Hmmm......the ideas are endless.

1 medium sized onion finely chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 large eggplant, cut into 1 inch cubes
3 TB tomato paste
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup small pitted green olives
1 small jar (6 oz.) marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
pinches of dried tarragon, basil, and/or oregano (optional)

-Saute onion and garlic in a small amount of olive oil over medium heat until soft
-Add eggplant cubes, stir and cover. Cook until the eggplant is very well done (15-20 minutes), stirring occasionally, adding small amounts of oil to prevent sticking.
-Stir in tomato paste and vinegar and heat to boil. Add olives and remove from heat.
-Stir in artichoke hearts, then cool to room temperature. Add herbs to taste.

So, so, so, so good!!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Autumn Vegetable Tagine

This recipe is inspired by the same-named recipe in the most recent Vegetarian Times magazine. I say 'inspired' because I did not have a number of the ingredients and used a lot of substitutions. I had ingredients similar to the ones recommended from my CSA and I needed to use them up! The only thing that remained consistent was the use of beans, pressure cooker and butternut squash. As I was making this dish, I was very skeptical. I like foods with a lot of flavor - this recipe looked like it did not have any redeeming flavors. Adding Harrisa (which I did not have - so I used 'Sriracha sauce and cumin powder' that VT suggested. In reality, VT also suggested Coriander powder, but I did not search for it) and salt at the end was the only flavor. I was very pleasantly surprised when I ate the dish. Cooking the beans and vegetables in the pressure cooker really brought out the flavors in the dish. Loved it.

Here are the changes I made -
1. Black-Eyed Peas instead of Garbanzo Beans
2. Used 3 small sweet potatoes, a very small butternut squash and a turnip instead of a medium butternut squash
3. Used Spinach instead of the suggested greens
4. Quinoa instead of Couscous
5. Added peanuts on top for crunch.
6. Harrissa substitute explained earlier.

My next plan is to have people over for a party in a couple of weeks and I need to find some harvest/halloween foods. Any ideas/suggestions welcome!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Squash Fries; Cheater Cinnamon Rolls; Crockpot Applesauce; Apple Crumble

None of these are going to do wonders for your diet (with the exception of the applesauce) but they were all really good. First, I made some Wise Fries from the Hungry Girl website using Delicata squash from my CSA share. This particular squash is so easy to cut into strips that I always seem to make them into fries. They are incredibly good. I ate almost 2 squashes worth on my own (well, I am eating for 2 right?...right? Someone help me out here!).
My husband has been getting way too thin so I have been trying to make lots of sweets although he often takes his one small portion and then I end up finishing the dessert so it isn't really helping him put on any weight. I had a cinnamon roll craving so I rolled out some Pillsbury Reduced Fat Croissant Dough, spread on 1-2 TB melted Earth Balance, and then sprinkled with brown sugar and cinnamon. I rolled the entire thing up and sliced it into about 1 inch thick rolls and placed them side by side in a small baking pan. I baked them at a slightly higher temperature than the package called for since they were thicker and just took them out when they were browning. For the glaze, I mixed about 1/2 cup powdered sugar with some vanilla soymilk (start with a few tsp and then increase as needed.) The middle rolls were a little gooey but my family likes them that way!
We recently went apple picking so I should have lots of apple related posts over the next few days. Last night I made CrockPot Applesauce from A Year of Slowcooking and it came out great. Today, I made Dutch Apple Crumble which is sort of like a pie without the crust on the bottom although it is definitely different than Apple Crisp. Not sure where this recipe comes from since I have it written on several small Post-It notes in my recipes book. If this recipe belongs to you, thank you very much!!!!

Dutch Apple Crumble

  • 6 apples peeled, cored and thinly sliced (I only needed 4 because they were enormous)
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup or one stick cold Earth Balance or other vegan margarine
Heat oven to 350 degrees
Grease pie plate with cooking spray
Mix all filling ingredients together and transfer to pie plate
In medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Cut in margarine with a fork. Use hands to thoroughly mix
Gather small handfuls of crumble mix and spread over top of apple filling randomly
Bake 35-40 minutes or until it begins to brown.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Tortilla Pizza

First, we got an award from Daily Dose. Thank you!! Thank you!!
I am not sure how to post the 'award' on our blog, so you can read about it here.
Em, good to see your posts. Here is my contribution. I made this the other day and I really liked it. I need to make it more often!

So many variations are possible with this dish. The base for the 'pizza' is a black bean paste. I added carrots for more nutrition value. I also sauteed the paste, which may be optional. The toppings can also vary based on your taste and interest - I used red and yellow peppers and some chard too. Vegan cheese is a wonderful option on top.


Tortillas, 4-5 (wheat, corn, flour - your choice)
Black beans, 1 can
Garlic, 2 cloves
Carrots, 2 peeled
Chipotle, 1 T
Cilantro, 2-3T
Vegan Cream Cheese, 2 T
Peppers, 2-3 chopped
Salsa, 1 cup
Chard, 3 leaves chopped
Oil, 1 T divided
Salt, to taste
Paprika, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a pan, heat part of the oil. Add the peppers and saute till they are lightly browned. When they are almost done, add Chard (or Kale or Spinach) and saute till very slightly wilted. Add salt and paprika to taste (Remember, the salsa that you add to the 'pizza' will also have salt and spices). Set aside.

While the peppers are cooking, puree a can of black beans, vegan cream cheese, carrots, garlic, cilantro, and chipotle. Heat remaining oil in a pan (I use the same pan - one less dish to wash!). Add the pureed mixture and cook for 4-5 minutes till cooked.

Assemble your pizza with the black bean puree spread over a warm tortilla (heated in the microwave for 5- 10 seconds). Add the vegetable topping and 1 - 2 T of salsa per tortilla.
Heat in the oven for 11-13 minutes.
I had to fold mine and eat it as a wrap, but I think it will taste great on pizza dough too!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Kashi Frozen Meals

Ok, I did not cook tonight but I thought I would blog about the frozen meal that I did eat. I have tried a few of the Kashi meals and they have been pretty good. I bought the Mayan Harvest Bake since I saw some positive reviews of it in a few different magazines. It did not look very good but was very interesting. It is made of amaranth, polenta, black beans, sweet potatoes, kale, plantains, pumpkin seeds, and a spicy sauce-nothing I would ever think to throw together on my own!

Kashi has several other vegan meals: Black Bean Mango, Garden Vegetable Pasta, Ranchero Beans, Tuscan Veggie Bake. I have tried the black bean mango meal and I liked that one too.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Peanutty Rice Noodles and Veggies; Another Butternut Squash Soup

I just read about Vegan MoFo on another blog and did a little reading up on it. I guess October is the Vegan Month of Food so to celebrate I am going to try to cook/blog a bit more if I can. Tonight, I had a little caffeine (please don't tell the pregnancy police...they seem to be everywhere) so I have been super-efficient since arriving home from work. I made "Kids Choice Yummy Peanut Noodles" without my actual kid in mind since she likes her noodles plain but I mixed anyhow and she ate it. My husband then told me he did not like rice noodles so, in the end, this meal was for me. I think it will make a good cold lunch for me too since I work out of my car. I used Trader Joe's Rice Sticks as my noodles and just microwaved a bag of 365 Thai Stir-Fry Mix. On the side are some Ling Ling Spring Rolls which were also good. I should have added some frozen Edammame for more protein but I forgot.

The other day I also made a butternut squash soup in my crockpot from the Year of Slowcooking website. Obviously I used Veg broth and I also used leeks instead of onions. I have never had butternut squash soup but it sort of reminds me of baby food. Overall, the flavor was good. Somehow the picture of my soup seems to be missing so I will post whe it turns up.