Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Fridge and Pantry-emptying chili

My husband and I are going to NY for almost two weeks - so I am trying to empty out our fridge for the exptended period away. I haven't been grocery shopping, needless to say. As I was leaving the house yesterday - to work pretty late- it dawned on me that I never use my slowcooker, and I probably should. So I took about every can I had and threw some stuff together for a chili that was ready when I got home, perfect.

1 LARGE can diced tomatoes (28 oz. I think)
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 package cubed seitan
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 can diced chiles
1 can black beans
2 Tbsp oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 Tbsp chile powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Throw in your slow cooker and put on low! I garnished with some cilantro, avocado and cheese (for shame)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Catching up

I haven't had much time to cook and subsequently blog for a bit now. I have a study in full swing, manuscript edits, I am starting to look for and apply for post docs... and yeah I guess that's about it. So- here is a quick recap of some stuff I have made over teh past week or two and have failed to share.

1) Lemon Risotto
My friend featured this RISOTTO on her blog Cooking for Dan. I had to make it since I pledged to make about every recipe she has made so far - they all look wonderful. This recipe was simple and delicious. It made enough for an army so I brought some to work to share with my friends/colleagues. One called it the best thing they had ever eaten, the other said it was too salty for their taste and mixed it in with venison chili. One of these individuals will never get any home cooked treats from me ever again. My opinion was that it was INCREDIBLE. I couldn't stop thinking about it after the first night and had some immediately the next night with a big old spinach and beet salad :-) For the recipe follow the link above - or you can be lazy and click here (I can't believe I am enabling this laziness - really).

That little glass by the way is not booze as you might expect - but rather my salad dressing for the night: olive oil, chardonnay, balsamic vinaigrette, and some special herbs! But yes, that is wine.

2) Kale and Sweet Potato Skillet
I've made this once before and I loved it then. From my favorite cookbook Vegan Express by Nava Atlas. It's super simple and chock full of goodness.

The recipe:
2 medium sweet potatoes (microwaved until soft)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1.5 Tbsp soy sauce
One 8 oz. package tempeh - cut into 1.4 inch slices
1 bunch kale torn into small pieces, ribs removed
4 garlic cloves
15 ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp curry paste dissolved in a but of warm water
2 tsp curry powder (or more if you love curry)
2 scallions minced
cashews (optional if you can spare the calories... I can't)

When potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel and chop. Add 1 Tbsp oil and soy sauce to pan - add tempeh and saute 5-7 minutes. Set aside. Sir fry garlic in remaining oil until fragrant, add kale, 1/2 cup H20, tomatoes, curry powder, and paste. Cook for 10 minutes covered. Stir in scallions, (and cashews if using) and cook 2-3 minutes longer. DONE. Nutritious and FAST.

3) Vegetable Pot Pie
My friend Nick got this recipe from his mother - and he has made it twice while we have been over. It is seriously so good I can't even stand it. The crust is amazing, the addition of tofu baked with soy sauce to the filling is ingenious. You can check out the recipe HERE on the site Gale's Recipe Collection. This is phenomenal - please make it! I forgot to take a picture of it all as one piece, so here is one wonderful serving. Even carnivorous Dave loved it.

4) Butternut Squash Enchiladas
I had a little butternut squash I wanted to use to make something different- and found this recipe on the Vegetarian Times site. OH MY GOD. These turned out INCREDIBLY. I can't even say it enough. Unfortunately there is a lot of hands-on time, making this more of a Sunday meal (like it was for us). Unfortunately, they were so good that I only got to eat 1... my husband ate all of them! I didn't even get to take a picture of them because I had to go to work, and by this morning they were all gone! The website doesn't have a picture either - I'm sorry! But if you need a knock-their socks off recipe - this is it. The ingredient list is short and the prep time mostly accounts for roasting the squash.

I've never asked you to trust me blindly and make something before - but do it, please.

The Recipe
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 butternut squash (11/2 lb.), halved and seeded
1 medium onion, diced (1 cup)
1–2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, drained and diced, plus 1 Tbs. sauce
1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp. )
3 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
3 green onions, chopped (1/3 cup)
1 16-oz. can enchilada sauce
8 whole-wheat or corn tortillas
1 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place squash cut-side down on baking sheet. Roast 45 minutes, or until soft. Cool until easy to handle. Scoop squash into bowl, and mash. Heat oil in saucepan, add onion and sauté 5 to 7 minutes, or until soft. Add chipotle, adobo sauce, and garlic. Cook 1 minute, stirring often. Stir in mashed squash, cream cheese, cumin, and nutmeg. Cook 3 minutes more, or until heated through. Remove from heat, and fold in green onions.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread 1 cup enchilada sauce over bottom of 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Lay tortillas on baking sheet, and warm 3 minutes in oven to soften. Divide filling among tortillas, and roll loosely. Place filled, rolled tortillas in baking dish. Top with remaining enchilada sauce and Cheddar cheese. Bake 30 minutes, or until top begins to brown and sauce is bubbly.

5) Tofu Pesto Alfredo Sauce

This was a creation I made on the spot tonight as something to top my cheese tortellini with. I had seen some recipes for vegan alfredo, and figured I would give it a WHIRL. This was not vegan as I added some parmesan - but I figured the tortellini already had cheese in them so I wasn't doing any extra damage! The recipe is an approximation because I just threw this together- but it was GREAT. Even husband agreed!

The recipe:

1 container silken tofu

about 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, or to taste

1 big Tbsp earth balance margarine

2 Tbsp pesto

salt and pepper

All you do is whirl this in a food processor

And then add to whatever you are covering in it. I added some wilted spinach and chopped sun dried tomatoes to garnish the pasta because it sounded good. I was right - it was great. I ate it in about .2 seconds flat - so I am still massively full.

Okay - I guess that's about it! Now I can catch up on my reading! :-)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Brie, apple and arugula quesadillas

My friend Sara recently started a food blog - she has an awesome camera and everything always looks amazing. I pretty much bought everything to make a few of the recipes she posted recently. Last night we had to make a grocery store run after work, and neither one of use could wait very long for dinner. Team impatience with the start time of girlie vampire TV night - I decided to make these brie, apple and arugula quesadillas from my friend's blog, cooking for dan.

I won't repost the recipe, and my crappy photo doesn't do this simple dish justice - so just visit her site! It came together in minutes flat- and I was out the door in no time.

Thai-Pineapple Stir-Fried Rice

I make this dish frequently- it's another winner from Vegan Express. It is very simple and very good. The leftovers are almost better than the original batch because the flavors meld together so nicely! I served this with some tofu I tossed in a soy-type marinade I concocted on the spot. A good meal!

1.5 cups long grain brown rice
1.5 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, sliced
2 cups broccoli
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 red or orange pepper, sliced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
16 oz can drained pineapple chunks
1 cup light coconut milk ( I use a whole can of full-fat- it makes it ultra delicious and creamy)
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp curry powder
2 tsp chopped or jarred ginger

Cook rice with 3 cups water (bring to simmer, simmer 30 minutes). Saute up the veggies. Start with the onion, and then the rest after the onion softens. Cook until the tomatoes are a little softened and nice. Stir in the rice, coconut milk, and remaining ingredients.