Monday, April 22, 2013

The Black Eyed Peas

Make this stew.  It is smoky, savory, delicious.

Black Eyed Pea Vegetable Stew
Five or more main dish servings

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 carrots, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
1 large yellow onion, diced
5 or so mini portobello mushrooms, diced
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons paprika
1 tablespoon chipotle chilies in adobe sauce, chopped
1 can black eyed peas, rinsed
1/2 can black beans, rinsed
2 veggie bouillon cubes + 5 cups water or 4 cups vegetable broth + 1 cup water
bunch of kale, destemmed and chopped
1 lemon, juiced

Saute the carrots, green pepper and onion in the oil in a deep soup pot for several minutes.  Then add the mushrooms and garlic, saute for several minutes more until the carrots have softened.  Add a generous pinch of salt.  Add all the spices and the beans; stir.  Add in the water and broth, bring to a boil then reduce to low heat so the mixture is barely bubbling.  Add the kale, stir to combine and allow to cook until the kale is wilted.  Then add the lemon juice, stir.  Serve alone or over rice

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Spring Pot Luck Dish

Quinoa Fruit and Vegetable Salad
About 8 side dish servings

1 cup quinoa
1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup water
1/2 green pepper, diced
1 celery root, peeled and diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
handful of spinach leaves, chopped
5 button mushrooms, chopped
5 large strawberries, diced
2 navel oranges, peeled and cut into small pieces
juice of 1 large lemon
olive oil
salt and pepper

Prepare the quinoa: bring it to a boil with the water and broth, then cover and cook for 15 minutes on low.

Clean and chop all the vegetables and fruit and put in a large bowl.  In a small bowl whisk some snipped chives and a few leaves of finely chopped mint together with the lemon juice.  Then add about 3 tablespoons of olive oil, generous pinch of salt and some pepper, whisk together well.  Pour dressing over fruit and vegetables, stir to combine.  Place in the refrigerator.

When the quinoa is done, cool in the refrigerator for awhile to bring the heat down.  Then stir into the bowl with the fruit and vegetables.  Refrigerate until completely cool before serving.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Pickle Experiment

I'll know in two days whether these are good or not... and hopefully they'll be good and I'll be posting about them...


Maybe it's because I'm wishing I was in Key West, but this was my post run smoothie today, and it was awesome, nearly transporting me to an island far far away.

Key Lime Cherry Super Smoothie
Two servings

4 key limes, peeled and seeded (or two regular limes)
large handful of spinach
2 tablespoons flax seeds
1/2 cup plain Greek, or other, yogurt
1 1/2 cups frozen dark sweet cherries
1/2 cup water

Blend like crazy.  Drink immediately.  Super tart and refreshing.

Sunday, April 7, 2013


Inspired by a cookbook by a cooking school in Thailand, I put the following dinner together.  Luckily, I had a good set of ingredients on hand (except curry paste which is omitted but would be a good addition, added in the onion/broccoli saute).  It came out really good but does have many steps, so not a quick meal to make.  It's worth it though, it's super awesome.

Thai-Style Tempeh and Broccoli in Coconut Sauce
Three to four servings.  Amounts below are approximate, this is not an exact science.  Tofu would work well in place of the tempeh and other vegetables could be substituted or added.

vegetable stock
"thin" coconut milk (unsweetened So Delicious from a carton)
juice of two lemons, divided
rice wine vinegar
1 block of tempeh (or very firm, drained tofu)
4 cloves of garlic, smashed and chopped
ginger, finely chopped, equivalent to the amount of garlic
1 teaspoon lemongrass (from a jar)
2 teaspoons cumin powder
red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon or so, lemon zest
olive oil
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
small bunch of broccoli, diced
1 tablespoon corn starch
Sriracha hot sauce
soy sauce

quinoa or rice

Part one: marinate the tempeh
Add about 3/4 cup coconut milk, 3/4 cup stock, juice from 1 lemon, the garlic, ginger, lemongrass, cumin, zest, several shakes of red pepper flakes, a splash of vinegar and a pinch of salt to a sealable container and whisk together.  Cut the tempeh in half by width then into about 2 inch or so squares.  Put the tempeh pieces into the marinade, close the container and shake it all together so the sauce covers all the tempeh.  Refrigerate for at least one hour and up to four hours.

Part two: grill/cook the tempeh
Heat an electronic or other type of grill.  Once hot, add the tempeh pieces.  Steaming the tempeh would also work well-- place the tempeh into a steaming basket above water in a pot and steam until tender but still firm.

Part three:  make the dish
Once the tempeh is in the grill, add about a tablespoon of oil into a pan or wok and turn the heat to high.  While that is heating, combine 1 cup of quinoa with 1 cup of water and 1 cup of stock.  Bring to a boil.  Once boiling, cover and turn to low and allow to cook for 15 minutes.

Saute the onion and broccoli for about ten minutes at a high heat, stirring frequently.  Add a pinch of salt to the pan.  Flip the tempeh in the grill if necessary.

Once the onion is soft and brown and the broccoli is bright green and browning add the marinade to the pan.  In a small bowl whisk together about 1/2 cup more of both coconut milk and stock with a squirt of Sriracha sauce, add that to the pan as well and stir to combine.  Add the tempeh -- which should have nice grill marks and be about halfway done (firm-tender)-- stir and bring to a boil.  Cover the pan and turn the heat down, so it is bubbling slowly.  Cook for five minutes.

Combine 1/3 cup more of coconut milk with the cornstarch and whisk together.  Once the five minutes is over, remove the lid, add the cornstarch mixture, the juice of the second lemon and about 2 teaspoons of soy sauce.  Stir.  Taste for salt and spiciness level (add more soy sauce, lemon juice and/or hot sauce if you like).  Then serve over quinoa (or rice).

Monday, April 1, 2013

Sunday Funday

A fun-cooking Sunday.  From a surprisingly amazing smoothie (last recipe in post) to a dessert I was really happy with-- possibly best vegan ice cream I've made yet, lemon flavored.  And a creative farro dish in between.

Vegetable Fried Farro
Four main dish servings.

1 cup farro
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 red onion, finely diced
4 carrots, diced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Coarse salt
About 1/2 bunch of kale, destemmed and chopped
Dark sesame oil
4 eggs, whisked

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Spread farro onto a baking sheet and toast the farro in the oven for 10 minutes.  If rushed, skip this step.  Put on two pots full of water to boil.  Add the farro to one once boiling, and cook for about 20 minutes or to the right level of doneness for you.  Keep the other pot warm so that you can bring it to a boil quickly later.

While the farro cooks, warm the olive oil in a skillet and then add the onion and carrots.  Saute for about 10 minutes, add the garlic, a generous pinch of salt and some pepper and saute for at least 5 minutes more.  Once the farro is done, drain it and leave it in the pot.  Bring the second pot to a boil and add the kale, cook for 5 minutes (or more if you prefer).  Meanwhile whisk the eggs and set aside.  Once the kale is cooked, drain it and toss it in the same pot with about 1 teaspoon of dark sesame oil and a generous pinch of salt; set aside.  Add the farro to the skillet with the onions and carrots, stir fry briefly; turn the heat to medium low and then pour in the eggs, stirring to spread evenly.  The eggs will cook quickly and once they are nearly done, add the cooked kale and stir together the entire contents of the skillet.

Shown served with a spinach and mushroom salad.

Lemon (Vegan) Ice Cream
Use a high speed blender OR soak the cashews for several hours until they are very soft before blending in a regular blender.

1 can full fat coconut milk
1 cup boxed coconut milk (like So Delicious)
About 1/2 cup raw cashews
About 1/2 cup maple syrup, or other sweetener
1/2 cup plus a bit more fresh squeezed lemon juice
Zest from 2 small lemons or 1 large lemon
2 teaspoons corn starch

Blend all the ingredients and either chill for a few hours in the fridge or use the much faster Jeni's home chilling method I described in my last ice cream post.  Once chilled, make the ice cream in your ice cream maker.

Power Juice-Smoothie (aka Juithie)
Two large servings.  Very delicious.  Sweet, but not too sweet.  Tart and tangy, but not overly.

2 sweet apples, cored and chopped
3 pieces kale, destemmed
2 large oranges, peeled and deseeded (I used valencias)
1 small lemon, peeled and deseeded
2 small carrots, rinsed and chopped
Sliced frozen peaches, the equivalent to about 2 peaches
About 3 tablespoons flax seeds
About 1 cup water

Blend thoroughly.