Friday, September 25, 2009

Tapas! (mostly)

Due to an inspiration which I shall not mention here, I picked up a couple of Spanish Cookbooks at my local library, bent on veganizing some traditional Spanish recipes. Paging through Penelope Casas' book "¡Delicioso! The Regional Cooking of Spain," I came across two tapas recipes that were already vegan and that looked mighty tasty. That inspired George and I to put together a meal around these two recipes. We came up with this menu:

-Coriander-Scented Batter-Fried Eggplant (which we baked instead of frying)
-Spinach and Chickpeas, Sivilla Style
-Chili, Lime and Cilantro Grilled Tofu
-Pan Grilled Vegetables (zucchini, red peppers, onions, baby bellos and asparagus)
-Roasted Potatoes with Garlic Alioli

The first two dishes were from "Delicioso," as was the alioli that George whipped up. The pan grilled veggies came from a recipe in Janet Mendel's "Food of La Mancha: Cooking from the heart of Spain." The tofu recipe was something I came up with on the spot, and is exactly what it sounds like, tofu marinated with fresh roasted chilis, lime juice and cilantro, then grilled on the forman grill.

Photographic evidence:

Chili, Lime and Cilantro Grilled Tofu

Coriander-Scented Batter-Fried Eggplant

Spinach and Chickpeas, Sivilla Style

Pan Grilled Vegetables

The Spread


The Spinach and Garbanzo Bean Tapas dish was by far our favorite. It was made with this paste that you made by frying bread and garlic together and then adding salt and vinegar. Definitely a keeper. I will work on a fat-free version and then post the results here in the futre.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fat Free Vegan Recipe Source #1

When I am searching for a recipe, and I want it to be fat free and vegan (which is most of the time that I am cooking for myself), one of the places that I turn to is the FatFree Vegan Kitchen recipe index. Most of the recipes that I have ever made from there are pretty good, and if I don't follow the recipe to the letter (which I usually don't do, for whatever reason), they provide a good basis for experimentation.

I asked George to pick a couple of recipes to make while he was here, and he ventured over to the MWLP recipe page at (btw, the blog is my favorite vegan blog, best photography too!). These are the two that he picked out:

Orange Millet Pilaf

George made this one himself. It was pretty good, but wasn't the best centerpiece for a meal. We had it cold today for lunch, and we thought it work better as a cold side. We serve it that night with a cold boiled potato and spinach salad, which was really good.

Quinoa Vegetable Jumbalaya

This was pretty good, nice flavor. However, we both would have preferred a rice Jumbalaya, but even that didn't stop us from eating it for lunch for two days straight.

Stay tuned for a post about my other favorite online recipe index!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Snack Emergency!

What do you do when you need a snack, and air popped popcorn doesn't sound like it will fit the bill? Well, you roast chickpeas of course!!!


mmmmmmmm.... (that's a tiny bowl, not a collection of gigantic chickpeas).

They took an hour, but that allowed me to chill and drink some water, and by the time they were done, I was ready to snack!

Check out the recipe here. They take 50 minutes to roast, so you better get started!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Susan V's Creamy Zucchini and Basil Soup

See? More yummy basil creations. Christopher joined George and I for dinner last night, and I whipped this up after spending the afternoon locked in my bedroom writing. This was also pretty easy to create, and very tasty! Get the recipe on the FatFree Vegan Kitchen Blog.

I adjusted the recipe by adding a little more basil and cashews (I think my zucchini's were bigger, I'm not bragging, they just were).

I served this up with a fresh veggie salad, using up some CSA veggies and my trusty bag of spinach.

Monday, September 21, 2009

YumYummy Basil Cream Pasta

This was a quick and easy dinner I found at Vegan YumYum via Vegan Crunk. It was really easy and very good. My basil plant, that I picked up at my CSA last spring, has transformed itself into a bush, so I was happy to find a recipe that used up a bunch. More yummy basil creations to come.

I am a newbie to the whole raw cashew as vegan substitute for creaminess, and I am in love.
I served this with a side of steamed broccoli, and really, how could you go wrong with steamed broccoli?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Asian Millet Burgers

Asian Millet Burger with spicy mustard, cucumber and dill salad, and carrot sticks

In a search for a new kind of veggie burger, and a way to use some of the excess millet I had, I came up with this recipe for Asian Millet Burgers. I was inspired by a recipe I found on RecipeZaar for a millet burger that had ginger in it, and remember I had some dried shitake mushrooms in pantry, so I decided to do these up Asian style.


1-2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 inch fresh ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup millet
3 cups water
pinch of salt
1 package dried shitake mushrooms (reconstituted per instructions)
1 onion, chopped
1 cup shredded carrot
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Bragg Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 handful chopped parsley
1 1/2 teaspoon vegan egg replacer, plus two tablespoons cold water

Heat the oil in a sauce pan, and add the garlic and ginger. Saute until fragrant, and then add the millet. Heat the millet until it is coated in oil and is browned just a little. Add the water, bring to a boil, and cook for 30 minutes, or until the millet has absorbed the water and is nice and fluffy. Remove from heat.

In a skillet, cook the onion in a bit of water, until translucent. Add the celery, carrots, and mushrooms, and cook until all the veggies are soft. Add the Braggs and crushed red pepper. Remove from heat and combine it with the cooked millet.

After you let the mixture cool for about 10 minutes, add the parsley, cornmeal, and egg replacer. I used my hands to combine everything, and it seemed to work well. If the mixture is too wet, add some more cornmeal. If it is too dry, you can try to add some water or more Braggs.

Form the mix into patties with your hands. Makes 8-10 patties.

I cooked them on my Forman Grill, and as always, the results were tastey.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Roasted Red Pepper Nacho Cheese Sauce

First of all, this has no cheese in it. However, it has a great texture and is packed with flavor , way better then of the nasty processed cheese you get in the can (IMHO). The main ingrediants are raw cashews and nutritional yeast.

This is straight version of the recipe I found on Shmooed Food, only I replaced the pimentos with 2 roasted red peppers, and added a tablespoon of turmeric for color (it was too red!).

I enjoyed it with with some veggie chili I cooked up on Saturday night, and then as a dipping sauce with some carrots and celery while I was watching football on Sunday.

Be sure to head over to Shmooed Food to check out the recipe. Highly recommended.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Mixed Fruit Compote

I made this tasty compote from some fruit that I had laying around that needed to be used up. I had some Asian pear from my CSA share that never really cut it for me, so I decided to combine them with some other stuff and cook the hell out of them. Good choice.

Since I usually don't have maple syrup sitting around the house, I usually whip up a compote when I make pancakes. Normally it's just an apple, some sugar, water, and a dash of spice. This compote was a little fancier then usual, and it was really good. Not too sweet, and packed with flavor.

Mixed Fruit Compote

1 cup water
1/4 cup raw sugar
1/4 vanilla bean, split in half (I used one that I brought back from Bali)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/16 teaspoon ground cloves (a big pinch)
1/16 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
2 apples, finely chopped (I always leave the peels on, but you can peel them if you wish)
2 Asian pears, finely chopped
1 cup chopped strawberries
1/2 cup golden raisins

Combine the water, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Bring to a boil. Add the fruit when the liquid starts to thicken. Simmer on medium heat for one half hour.


I served this with some vegan cornmeal pancakes. Usually they are really tasty, but I am never sure which recipe I use as a base for my version, so these were not as good as they usually are. When I perfect my recipe, I will post it here.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Gado Gado

Here it is... made with love via Indonesia. Gado gado is a mixed salad with both steamed and fresh veggies, served with rice (brown, in this case) and covered in a peanut sauce. In my version, steamed green beans and carrots, and used some boiled potatoes. I sliced some fresh cucumber and tomato to go with it.

I didn't have all of the of the stuff to make this authentic (bean sprouts, boiled eggs, lontong), but it was yummy. The sauce was from a chunk of gado gado (spicy peanut paste) I brought back with me from Indonesia. Here is the label.

Here is the evidence!


Sunday, September 06, 2009

Sonoita Chickpea Calabacitas

Look at these babies:

Thanks to Kat, I got a delivery of fresh squash, straight from Sonoita! I whipped some calabacitas, because what else are you going to do with so much squash?

The stuff: (inspired by a recipe in the McDougall Newsletter)

1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons vegetable broth (or water, used to sauté the veggies)
1 teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon oregano
1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
4 cups chunked squash
3 roasted green chilies
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
Salt and pepper, to taste

Sauté the onions and garlic in the broth, and then added the spices. Throw in the squash (add more broth if things get a little dry). When the squash begins to look cooked, add the rest of the stuff, cook some more, and then eat up!

They turned out pretty good, but next time I will increase the spices, and use more green chilies (I only got three green chilies from my CSA share after Kat and I split the loot). I whipped up a batch of fresh salsa with peppers from Sonoita to give the whole plate some kick.

Here is all is, served with a side of my seasoned rice (a rice cooker special).

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Watermelon Juice

While I was in Indonesia this summer, I had the best tropical juices everyday, usually with every meal! This recipe came in the CSA newsletter this week, along with a huge juicy watermelon. The recipe called for mineral water as well, but it was so good with out it, I didn't add it.

1/2 large watermelon, seeded and chopped
1/8 cup lime juice (about one small lime)
1/4 sugar (or honey)
1 inch ginger, grated and juiced
(original recipe by Sara Jones, Tucson CSA member)

Combine everything in blender and puree until smooth. (I used my trusty hand blender, and blended it right in the pitcher.

To juice the ginger, I grated it and then pressed it through a wire strainer. Also the juice was really sweet, so I probably could have left out some of the sugar. However, it made a perfect dessert, and next time I might try freezing it to see how that works.