Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Vegetable Love and Spicy Love!

I'm excited to present my entry for the Vegetable Love recipe contest at FatFree Vegan Kitchen blog. Click on the link to view the rules. Thanks to Susan for inspiring me to create something! I love her blog, please visit it!

When I think of Valentine's Day, I think of special meals. When I think of special meals, I think of wine! I am featuring mushrooms, spinach and tomatoes. Below is my creation!

Spicy Red Wine Love Sauce with Savory White Wine Ravioli

For the Ravioli Filling

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
3/4 cups bulger wheat
1/4 dry white wine
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves
1 cup chopped baby bella mushrooms
1/2 teas. thyme
1/2 teas. rubbed sage
1/4 teas. marjoram
1/4 teas. fennel seeds (I left mine uncrushed)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chopped spinach
one package vegan wanton wrappers

For the Sauce:

3 cups of pureed tomatoed (or one large can)
2/3 cup of red wine (I used Sangiovese)
6 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/4 teas. crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teas. salt

As you start: Bring the vegetable broth to a boil and add the bulger wheat. Cook for about five minutes, turn off the heat and let sit until needed.

Sauce: Saute garlic and crushed red pepper in a little bit of water for about a minute. Add the red wine and simmer for about five minutes. Add the tomatoes, basil and salt and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes.

Ravioli Filling: Saute the onions and the garlic in a little bit of the wine until the onions are translucent. Add the mushroom, the rest of the wine, and the seasonings (except salt and pepper) and simmer until the wine is reduced in half. Then add the bulger and continue cooking. Salt and Pepper to taste and add spinach, cook until just wilted. Remove from the heat.

Building the Ravioli: On a floured surface, place one wonton wrapper and place 1 tablespoon of the ravioli filling on top. Wet the edges of the ravioli and place another wonton on top, pressing the filling to remove any air and sealing the ravioli.

When all the ravioli are constructed, bring a pot of water to boil and add the ravioli, cooking for 4 minutes. I found it worked best to use a slotted spoon to remove the ravioli from the water, and I placed the cooked ravioli on a cooling rack to let some of the excess water to drain. Serve with some sauce and a glass of the wine that was leftover!


Thanks to Kat for coming over to taste test!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Next weeks menu!

Lazy Saturday! (I wish!)

First of all, I have to report that the menu making was successful! I stuck to it, and did not spend an extra penny on food! (I had one americano, and one ice tea, but those are beverages.) I guess my anal retentiveness paid off.

Before we go on to week two, to the left is my tasty dinner I had last night. I love steamed brussels sprouts and broccoli, and the bulger sauce was pretty good, although I could just add the bulger to a better sauce recipe and I think it would be better!

On last week's menu, I never had to make the Curry Tomato Soup. I have to many leftovers! So this week, I will try make less of each recipe, so I can keep the variety and have less leftovers!

Weekly Menu


Lunch: Left over Potato with a garden salad
Dinner: Experiment new recipe for the Valentine's Day Contest . It's a secret!


Lunch: Salad and leftover experiment food!
Dinner: Hummus with veggies and crackers (I will attempt to make home-made Monday Morning before I hit the gym!)


Lunch: Freezer leftovers and with veggies
Dinner: Dijon Mustard Baked Potatoes from the McDougal MWL Cookbook


Lunch: BBQ Beans Salad (I'll adapt this a bit) with salad.
Dinner: Rustic Cabbage Soup


Lunch: Leftover Cabbage soup and Bean Salad
Dinner: Freezer dinner with Salad (A night off! Hooray!)


Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Sweet potato and black bean burgers
I'm going to make a bunch of these and freeze them for lunches.


Leftovers and Clean out the fridge.

Note: I am also going to see Andrew Bird on Saturday, so I might treat myself to a yummy dinner at Yoshimatsuaz, we'll see what Kat thinks!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Mushroom Barley Soup with a side of Sweet and Savory Kale!

Mmmmmmmmm, that was good, especially the awesome Kale recipe! The soup was good, but only after I seasoned it up a bit. I added twice the thyme, a generous pour of garlic powder (I should have just used fresh garlic at the start), and about a tablespoon of tamari.

I went a little prep crazy, mostly because I had work to do, and wanted to get everything cooking right away.

The the kale was so tasty, even though I did not add the slice almonds mentioned in the recipe. It was maybe even a little too sweet, and next time I will probably cut the sugar in half (I used raw turbino sugar). Also, I cut the recipe in half, which I won't do next time because I can probably eat the whole thing!

Monday, February 02, 2009


I took the plunge and adapted Sunny's Breakfast Enchiladas. This was going to be a dinner recipe, so I left out the eggs entirely (and they are not vegan!)

I made the Sauce and the refried beans exactly like the recipes on the site, but I left out the oil in both cases. I wasn't a fan of seeding and chopping 10 Roma tomatoes, so next time I'm sure I'll just use a big can of chopped tomatoes. Both turned out great, especially the beans. I think I found my new favorite refried bean recipe!

Now, adapting the turkey sausage part was a challenge, but I really loved the result. Here's what I did:

Instead of turkey I used:

1 large zucchini, chopped
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup frozen corn

I cooked the jalapeno, garlic and zucchini with water until the zucchini softened, and then I added the chopped tomatoes and all the spices from the recipe. I only had dark brown sugar, so I added only 2 tablespoons of that (I also used dried sage and thyme, so I cut the amounts in half). When everything was well mixed, I added the rice and some more water, just so the mixture was moist. The end result was a savory and spicy winner! I wasn't even close to what I would call sausage, but the flavors were great!

I think what really did it was the the combination of the savory (sage and thyme), sweet (brown sugar), and spicy (dried red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper). Even with the rice and zucchini, the flavors held nicely. I'm sure this would be awesome as a seasoning for a version of baked seitan.

Then I lined a 9 x 13 baking dish with corn tortillas and added the beans. On top of that, I added the 'sausage' mix, and then some more tortillas. Finally, I poured the sauce on top and baked it all in the oven at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.

The end result was very tasty, even though it was a little dry. However, I think I like the flavors better by themselves, so next time I will just wrap the 'sausage' mix in tortillas and bake with the sauce, and eat the beans on the side.