Thursday, November 12, 2009

Indonesian Style Fried Rice

This is adapted from a recipe out of Vegan Planet. I had the cookbook checked out and renewed from the library for about 6 weeks total, it is HUGE. I read through it totally but didn't have time to actually make much from it. I made some notes on this dish & cooked it after I returned the book. It was really tasty, but unfortunately didn't stick with me long. I was ready for a serious snack before bed.

Saute 1/4 red onion, minced in 1 Tbsp peanut oil over medium heat. When soft (2 minutes or less) add 2 grated carrots, 2 cups small diced napa cabbage, and 1 minced clove garlic. Fry up for about a minute or two, it should all soften quickly.
Add 1 packaged crumbled, steamed tempeh with 1 T soy sauce and 2 1/2 tsp sugar. Let the tempeh get a little brown while stirring, a couple minutes. Dump in 2 cups of cooked basmati rice and 1 T soy sauce. Stir over heat until heated through. Serve with diced cucumber and chopped peanuts, and for me...a serious dosing of Sri Ra Cha. And a digestive enzyme so my tummy cooperates with all the chili sauce ;) So tasty! But probably best as a side, even with the protein from the tempeh.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Couple a dinners

This first meal is called, cook WAY too much food for 2 people. Upper left, good ole standby Beijing style veggies from Trader joes, to the right, Moosewood vegetable tofu dumplings, cooked pot-sticker style, middle is brown rice, then bottom is tempura zucchini. 2 small zucchini's made an obscene amount of tempura.

Because neither the dumplings or tempura would keep, I really stuffed myself. I also made a quick ponzo-style sauce, with soy sauce, veggie broth, mirin, and a squirt of lime juice. Much better than straight soy sauce, which is what I usually would have done.

Then, this one is fake summer style pasta. Fake, in that only the cherry tomatoes & basil were the fresh summer veg. Frozen corn and green beans rounded out the veggie count. It was a quick saute of 3 or 4 cloves of garlic, then cook the tomatoes for 5 minutes, then stir in the corn and green beans until warm through. Toss in the minced handful of basil and handful of crumbled feta and there you go. I oversalted the penne cooking water, so the little bean only ate the tomatoes and green beans. But it was also darned tasty to the adult eaters...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sort-of breakfast for dinner

Many times, too many to count, we enjoy breakfast for dinner. Usually pancakes or scrambled eggs with english muffins, tonight I had a ton of potatoes and corn tortillas to use up. So I whipped up breakfast tacos: tofu scramble with roasted potatoes and jalepeno salsa (El Pato, from a can. Cheap and darn tasty). The tofu scramble is from Vegan with a Vengeance, but the recipe is posted online, I omit the mushrooms of course, and lately have been adding a couple chopped up leaves of kale with the garlic and cooking it down. Yummo. Due to the super-savory nature of the meal, it isn't so breakfasty and is quite dinnery. It is just that I usually eat the scramble for breakfast because it is so quick and easy. I also make a bunch of the seasoning mix up ahead of time, better than measuring out the cumin, thyme, paprika and turmeric each time. Mi esposa le gusta los tacos. Bien.

Monday, August 31, 2009

The little bean's first recipe creation

The little bean is quite an accomplished kitchen assistant, she knows the basic ingredients for oatmeal cookies and pancakes and enjoys setting everything up. She can crack an egg surprisingly well, loves the egg beaters and stirs like a madwoman. But now she has graduated to recipe creation: simple but apparently good.

Plain yogurt with chocolate syrup. Snack, dessert or any old time, she and her dad enjoy a nice bowl of plain yogurt drizzled with Trader Joe's chocolate syrup. What a pair they make!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The little bean loves kale?!?!?!? and fettucini with lemon cream sauce

So I check on her dinner consumption progress, and she is devouring the fresh fettucini with butter and parmesan (Duh) and all of the kale has been removed from her plate and set on her table. She ate one bite under duress, and pronounced it "yucky". No surprise there.

Hubby and I are finishing our fresh fettucini with lemon cream sauce and he has to pick up the little honey who is crying. His seat at the table is usurped by the little bean, who proceeds to SHOVEL IN his remaining kale. About a 1/4 cups worth at least. "I'm eating daddy's kale" "I'm eating kale for dinner" is announced between mouthfuls. And during.

What!?!!?!? I mean, I go crazy for the stuff, but what toddler would? (Her dad thinks she might have scurvy) (just kidding).

The lemon cream pasta wasn't picture worthy, very bland looking, but super tasty...

2 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon earth balance
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup low fat milk
zest from one lemon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 grated parmesan cheese
fresh ground pepper, a few good cranks

Soften the garlic in the margarine. Add the flour, stir over low heat until well blended. Pour in milk, lemon zest and nutmeg off the heat, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer for a couple minutes. Stir in the cheese and pepper well and remove from the heat. We don't usually mix the sauce in the noodles ahead of time. This was about enough sauce for 1 pound fresh fettucini.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Stuffed grape leaves & German-Inspired Dinner

My mom fell madly in love with these homemade grape leaves when a young guy (Sekou)brought them to church. This isn't a real recipe, just the important ingredients. I would imagine this is a very flexible recipe.

The stuffed grape leaves
The filling
Chopped toasted pine nuts and almonds
Cooked brown and wild rice
Scallions and red onions sauteed in olive oil
Fresh zest and lemon juice
Fresh mint and italian parsley
Stuff into Mezetta's grape leaves, available at Ralph's grocery store (I'm sure lots of other places, too), roll up grape leaves like a egg roll.
Stuff stuffed grape leaves into your mouth. Man, soooo good.
Tonight I made the german-inspired dinner. Sausage, cabbage and potatoes.
The sausages were Cherry Sage Sausages from Vegan Brunch, the cabbage was from 1001 Vegetarian Recipes and the potatoes were no recipe. The sausages looked so much like meat it was scary, but of course Mr. Veggieknife let me know they did not taste like meat. Tasty, but not like meat ;) I did boil the pot dry steaming them, but they were still moist. I might even add more oil next time, to make them "juicier". I was just stoked that everything turned out, scary when you are trying new recipes. If I haven't mentioned it enough, Isa is a genius and I LOVE cooking so much more due to her cookbooks. Yay!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Greek Farfalle Pasta and Vegetables

This was adapted from Main-Course Vegetarian Pleasures, one of the very first vegetarian cookbooks I ever owned. The recipes are simple and basic, and helped both me and my parents make some great meals for our whole family. Greek-Style Bulghur and Vegetables with Feta Cheese. We have a nice stockpile of pasta (it was on sale), so I wanted to substitute. This was really great on a warm summer evening. It will definitely be in heavy rotation in the next few months.
1/2 package farfalle pasta, cooked according to the package
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup seeded, diced tomato
3 medium zucchini, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp thyme
Lots of ground pepper
~ 6 kalamata olives, chopped
~ 3 oz feta cheese, diced

Saute onion in olive oil over medium heat until translucent. Add veggies, oregano, thyme and pepper. Cook until veggies are tender yet crisp. Stir in olives, and cheese until warm. Stir in cooked farfalle pasta.
This should serve 4 people, but we didn't have any side dishes so there wasn't much left over after me and the Mr. chowed. The little bean liked it as well, but she doesn't eat enough to really count ;)

To get the little bean to try a new combination, I placed the plain pasta, the cooked veggies, feta and olives all in separate sections on her plate. Each one was a hit, so her next serving was the mixed up dish that her dad and I were eating. Awesome! She is really an adventurous eater. Last night I made indian-spiced chickpea cutlets, potato curry and quinoa. The cutlets were her favorite, but she cleaned her plate. That is just too cool.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Green and White Chili

5 tomatillos. Remove husks and wash with soap to remove sticky stuff
1 onion. Cut into 8 “chunks”, keeping layers together
1 jalapeño
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon cumin
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large can of hominy
2 cups white beans or 1 can, drained and rinsed
Plenty of fresh ground pepper
½ teaspoon sea salt

1. Roast tomatillos, onion and jalapeño on lightly greased rimmed baking sheet in 375 degree oven, flipping veggies as they bubble and brown on the bottom. They are done when the tomatillos are squishy and the onion is soft.
2. Using gloves, seed jalapeño. Blend jalapeño with roasted tomatillos and onion (discard any super brown and crispy onion layers) in blender in 2 batches each with 1 cup of vegetable broth.
3. Lightly toast garlic and cumin in olive oil over medium low heat in soup pot. Add beans, hominy, tomatillo blend and salt and pepper. Add 3 cups of water, bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for 45 minutes. Stir in healthy handful of chopped cilantro.

This was a bit spicy when first cooked, but it mellowed nicely in the fridge overnight. We had it for lunch with grated cheddar cheese and crushed tortilla chips.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Macadamia Tofu with Orange-Ginger Sauce

This made for some superb tofu, and the sauce was a delicious accompaniment. I am still searching for a way to make yummy coconut rice that tastes like coconut and isn’t gummy or just plain yucky. The original recipe was from Sunset magazine, I have made a ton of changes to the original. Oh, and this is in no way a “healthy” recipe!!! But oh so yummy…

1 Tbsp. each butter and peanut oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 ½ Tbsp each chopped ginger and garlic
1 cup vegetable broth
¼ cup dry sherry or other white wine
½ cup orange juice (2 oranges if fresh squeezed)
½ tsp soy sauce
Juice from ½ lemon
1 tsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp mirin
2 cloves minced garlic
1 cup each, AP flour and coconut milk
1 cup finely chopped macadamia nuts (use food processor)
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1 pound pressed, firm tofu sliced into 8 pieces
¼ tsp each salt and pepper
2 Tbsp. each butter and peanut oil

1. Marinate tofu in lemon juice, soy sauce, mirin and garlic.
2. Prepare sauce: heat 1 Tbsp each butter and oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, ginger and garlic, cooking until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Pour in broth, wine and orange juice. Boil until reduced by half, 8-10 minutes.
3. Pour mixture into blender or use immersion blender. Be careful as it is very hot! Stir in coconut milk and soy sauce, reheating as necessary.
4. Put flour and coconut milk in separate wide, shallow bowls. In another bowl, mix nuts, bread crumbs, salt and pepper.
5. Dredge tofu in flour, shaking off excess; dip into coconut milk, letting excess drip off; then press into nut mixture to coat on all sides. Reserve coconut milk. Heat 2 Tbsp each butter and oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook tofu in a single layer until golden brown on the bottom, 3-4 minutes. With a spatula, turn pieces carefully, brown on the other side, 2-3 minutes longer.
6. Serve tofu with sauce & plain or coconut rice.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Finally ready to get some cooking done!

Baby #2 is now one month old, and I've finally had a chance to cook. The new baby has been adjusting well to life on the outside, and big sister is a happy little toddler. Having my mom to play with the bean also gives me time to grocery shop and get cooking done. Today was a cooking marathon. I did some prep work earlier in the week, so I could do more cooking and less chopping today. Breakfast was soyrizo scramble with roasted potatoes. I didn't grab a shot of the scramble because I thought I already blogged about it once, but that doesn't seem to be the case. The recipe definitely needs refining, as well. The roasted potatoes were from the brand new and Fabulous Vegan Brunch, probably the most basic of recipes to try, but delish nonetheless. Today's lunch was lentil soup (Veganomicon) and bruschetta (from my brain). My genius husband thought of using the pressure cooker for the soup and it was totally ready in a 1/2 hour. The lentils were super fluffy too, giving the soup a really light texture. I followed the directions from Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure to make sure I timed the lentils right.

Then after my nap, it was ready to tackle the big project: Almost All-American Pot Pie (Veganomicon). I knew this would be labor intensive since it has a crust, and boy was it. The crust wasn't even the time consuming part! That was ready in 5 minutes, and the whole wheat/cornmeal crust was soooo yummy. Unfortunately, the 1/2 cup of shortening negates the "health" factor of the whole grain... The crust rolled out easily and held together really well. I popped it in the fridge to get the filling ready.

The filling was based on a chickpea flour roux, into to which the veggies were sauteed. That seemed a little strange and dry, but once the wine and veggie broth were added to deglaze, the gravy came together in a snap. I was worried about it being too soupy, so I think I over-reduced the gravy, but it wasn't too dry either.

I would have liked to spend more time making a pretty crust edge, but just as I was laying it down, Miss Baby decided to awaken and holler for dinner. I just had time to slap it over the filling and shove it in the oven.

And here it is, the final result. This crazy angle might not be too flattering, but was a tasty, tasty pot pie. The crust was hearty and light at the same time, and the filling was perfectly savory. I really wish I'd paced myself, I'm stuffed!

By the way, the little bean told me "Mom, you are such a good cooker" today. Made my DAY.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Well, we haaaave been cooking...why no posts?

My food photography is just sub-par. Sigh. And I'm not sure if I should post things without pictures or not. And my last post I had a bit 'o trouble with the photos showing up properly, so we'll see how things go today. I just returned from a weekday getaway with the little bean, a last hurrah before her little beanie baby sister arrives. We spent the night up in Seal Beach, went swimming in the relatively heated pool, and just all around had fun. Of course, there was food involved!
I am pleased to present a photo of one of my favorite foods on earth: the blackened-mushroom-tofu burger with everything, from Taco Loco. Oh man, I could eat these everyday! The weather was beautiful for easting outside, and the bean polished off the few mushrooms that fell out of this messy concoction while I was eating. I can see the beginnning of the rice-mess she made of her beans/rice bowl. The funniest thing, I don't even particularly like mushrooms. At all. And this is just the tastiest meal around. Too bad you are so far away, Laguna Beach!
And this is a recent butternut squash curry. Dang, this turned out well. I'm still working on an official recipe for my files, but I've made it twice and it is really tasty. It is fairly mono-chromatic, but the peas help with that. I have also been using my pressure cooker for beans almost every time, but these garbanzos are from TJ's. The squash was quite elderly, a gift from back in november from G's uncle, but it was still tasty. I roasted it in the oven and stirred it in after the onions carrots and garbanzos cooked through. The sauce is cumin based, with about 1/2 cup of coconut milk for richness and yumminess. (SP?)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spring is finally here

What a long winter this has been, and baby bean has been sick the last few weeks of it. It is awesome to be able to play outside and enjoy this wonderful sunny weather.
I've been cooking a lot lately, getting ready to really multitask when baby bean #2 arrives in a couple months. Of course, I mention I've been cooking a lot, and what are my first pix of? Restaurant food! Our favorite houseguest, Auntie Lauren, was here a couple weekends ago, and we went to El Callejon in Encinitas. They have a separate veggie menu, which is rare for any type of restaurant, especially mexican. The first plate is the avocado torta, full of fresh avo and served on a great telera roll. I am very partial to the black bean soup, which comes with crispy tortilla strips and crema for garnish, and I have to add some of their fresh salsa on top. Soooo yummy.
The last plate is the veggie combo plate (not exact name), with some super delicious rajas y queso tacos. Rajas are peppers, and they go very well with queso. Yummy yum yum!

Ok, so here is some of the stuff I've been cooking up. Not too much has turned out photogenic, but everything has been tasty. The spaghetti and beanballs (Veganomicon) were really great, I fried the beanballs and everything so they got super crispy. I usually bake them in the oven, for a slightly healthier option. And the final item is my amazing first attempt at a tart. I borrowed the tart pan from my MIL, and I modified a rhubarb tart recipe from How to Be a Domestic Goddess so I could use my fresh strawberries from San Juan Capistrano. Holey moley, this is yummy, and just keeps getting better in the fridge (way too rich and full of cream cheese to be finished in a day). I'm just so happy that it came out of the tart pan, and even happier that it looks and tastes good :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Edamame Veggie Burgers

On Chinese New Year, I went all out, so we didn't have to go out!
From the left, first I prepared a thai-ish cucumber salad. Just thinly sliced cucumber, red bell pepper, red onion, peanuts, cilantro, rice wine vinegar and a bit of sesame oil.
At the top, that is Trader Joe's Beijing Style frozen veggies. I think it is a hoisin-based sauce and I love it. On the right is a disappointing veggie fried rice. I didn't over season it for the baby, but then I didn't really season it enough at all. Sigh. The bottom dish is my all-time favorite, salt and pepper tofu. The recipe can be found here. Deep fried tofu. Can't beat it.

I rarely even check the food network website for meal ideas, not too many vegetarian options. But I stumbled upon the Edamame Veggie Burger recipe. These were definitely not "easy" as advertised, but they were really tasty and different.
The biggest replacements I made: using quinoa instead of millet (tried the millet, it didn't work per their instructions), and stirring in the cooked quinoa into the other blended ingredients. I didn't want the quinoa to turn to a mush pile. I also reduced the amount of fresh ginger, in case the little bean wanted to try some. Which she didn't. She ate a cup of plain edamame instead. G and I enjoyed these patties with a healthy dose of Sri Ra Cha, and a bit of yogurt sauce (plain yogurt, chopped cilantro and mint and a dash of salt and pepper).

I also have been having a huge sweet tooth, and with my gestational diabetes, that ain't easy to quench. So I stirred up the peanut butter cookies from a recent edition Betty Crocker cookbook. They turned out just great, and didn't seem to throw my blood sugar into a tizzy. The little bean was disappointed at first since they didn't have sprinkles (Xmas cookies still alive in her brain), but she ate 2 for snack. Mmmmm, organic salmonella-free homemade peanut butter cookies. I can't believe I didn't take a picture of those beauties.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Back from blogging hiatus

It has been a really crazy couple 'o months in the veggieknife household, so I took a long break from the computer in general. My email inbox is on its way to being cleaned out, the pictures are posted on our family's website...I'm making progress.

Anyway, I have all good intentions in keeping up with the blog, but since mr. veggieknife returns to work this week, I'll have to see how my schedule goes. I am also totally over the morning sickness & am much less fatigued this trimester, so I should be cooking more and more. It might also be of minor interest to folks to see what a diabetic vegetarian pregnant lady eats. Maybe?