vegetables

Vegan MoFo 2015, Day 2: Meal From My Childhood

2. Recreate a meal from your childhood.

I had a hard time deciding what meal to choose, but finally I decided on a meal that brings me many good memories: chicken soup with blueberry muffins.

I have no idea how that particular combo came about, but somehow it did, and as with most of my mom’s meals, main dishes were always paired with a particular side (such as green peas+kraft mac and cheese+fish sticks, or homemade mac and cheese with ham+canned green beans).

When she made chicken noodle soup, she always made a big batch, and we would eat it for dinner with freshly-baked blueberry muffins, and then she’d put the rest in a glass gallon jar in the fridge and we’d get a couple more meals out of it.

I’ve already posted the blueberry muffin recipe here.

For the chicken soup, I haven’t found a recipe yet that *quite* smacks of the yummy one my mom used to make. Zsu Dever’s Comforting Noodle Soup in Everyday Vegan Eats is one of my favourites, and Sarah Matheny’s Tofu Noodle Soup (pictured below) from More Peas, Thank You is another – closer to my mom’s soup, especially in appearance.

Tofu Noodle Soup

My mom used tricolour rotini a lot in her soup, and the baked tofu chunks in this one add a lovely meatiness to the soup. I’ve made this soup for my mom, and she really liked it too, despite not being a fan of tofu! Score!

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Categories: lunch, soup, vegan, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2015, vegetables | 1 Comment

Garden Pasta

We have green beans coming on, and I wanted to think of something to do with them besides, ya know, just steaming them. (Not, of course, that there’s anything wrong with just steaming them.)

So here is what I did.

I cooked 1 pound of shell pasta and rinsed it and set it aside.

In my food processor, I ground up:

1 heaping cup green onions
1/4 lb seitan/gluten
1 handful of fresh basil leaves (16 leaves, if you want an exact count)

Then I steamed 3/4 pound of fresh green beans whilst I chopped 2 cups fresh tomatoes.

Then I drained the beans and dumped all of the above components into a big pan, stirred in a little salt and oil and warmed it through.

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It was simply delightful and delicious, although neither Lou Who nor GooGoo would touch the green beans.

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Categories: dairy-free, garden, lunch, nut-free, pasta, recipes, side dish, vegan, vegetables | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Well, hello, Fall.

It’s been pretty cold around here lately. 26 in the morning. Still, I’ve always preferred cold. I’d prefer to cuddle up in blankets and turn up the heater any day over melting in rivers of sweat when it’s summertime.

I’m planning to make a potpie as my contribution to Thanksgiving dinner, so since I needed to cook up garbanzos for that anyway, I was thinking of making Isa’s cabbage soup. But I don’t have any cabbage. Then I saw a thing of red beans sitting out and thought, I WILL MAKE UP A SOUP RECIPE TODAY. I had a bunch of soup-appropriate odds and ends in my fridge, so I pulled all of them out.

Then I cast them into a pot, and there came out this soup.

soup

Start by sauteing the following in a little oil for a few minutes:
2c chopped onion
1 3/4 c chopped celery
4 cloves garlic
1T ginger, grated

Turn off heat and stir in:
3 carrots, cut however you want – I did coins
1.5 c cooked brown rice
2 c red beans
4 c garbanzo beans
8-10 c water (I did 10 but would do 8 next time, because I’m not a huge fan of broth)
2T mock chicken seasoning of choice

Bring to a boil and simmer until carrots reach desired tenderness (or lack thereof, if you’re a cooked carrot-phobe.)

Before serving, add:
1c chopped cilantro
Salt as needed

And then dig in.

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Categories: gluten-free, lunch, nut-free, recipes, soup, soy-free, vegan, vegetables | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Asian-Style Pasta Sauce

I had a couple of Very Ripe Tomatoes that needed to be used up, and a couple of partially-cut into onions, so I decided on a whim to make pasta sauce. And as I was sauteeing the onions, I thought, “What if I added some ginger to this? And maybe some soy sauce? And then ate it on RAMEN NOODLES??”

So, here you go. You can thank my random aging vegetables for the creation of this dish.

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Asian-Style Pasta Sauce – with RAMEN.

In a little oil, sautee together:
1 c white onion, chopped
1 1/2 c red onion, chopped

While the onion is cooking, add:
2-3 cloves minced garlic
1 T grated fresh ginger

Sautee together until onion is tender.

Add:
2 T soy sauce
1 c chopped tomatoes
1 tsp paprika

Simmer over low heat until sauce is reduced as much as you like. I didn’t time mine, but it was at least half an hour. And then I let it sit a while.

I cooked 2 packages of Ramen according to the directions (just the noodles) and mixed it all up.

And then I ate it with some sesame seeds sprinkled liberally on top.

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Categories: lunch, pasta, recipes, vegan, vegetables | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Vegan Month of Food, Day 14: Shepherd’s Pie

So, I’ve already posted a shepherd’s pie recipe that is more, oh, traditional. But since I twisted around tater-tot casserole yesterday, I decided to switch around shepherd’s pie today.

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Chop up 8 potatoes, which should come to about 8 cups. Leave skins on. Cook them until tender and then mash them with:
2 T margarine
Unsweetened soy milk to reach desired consistency
1 tsp tarragon
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black salt (optional; I grew up putting an egg in my shepherd’s pie topping and I like the extra depth of flavour there)

In a 13×9, combine:
3 cups cooked bulgur beef or beef sub of choice
1 c chopped red onion
4 cups frozen green beans
2 c frozen peas
1 c chopped fresh tomato
1 1/2 T fresh dill
1 1/2 tsp dried tarragon
1 1/4 c white sauce

Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes. You could drizzle cheeze sauce or sprinkle Daiya on top if you want. I just baked mine plain.

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Categories: casseroles, challenges, entrees, recipes, vegan, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2013, vegetables | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Vegan Month of Food, Day 12: Savoury Kale Waffle Sandwich

I really don’t like kale that much.

I know that pretty much revokes any right I’ll ever have to a vegan card, but it’s the truth. Still, as with nutritional yeast, I use the stuff anyway, because I know I should. (Granted, 5 years ago I thought spinach was disgusting and now it’s my favourite green…) So, we’ll see in another five years, I guess.

If it’s steamed or in a soup is the way I like kale mostly.

But best of all is when it’s blended up so I really hardly know it’s there.

Plus, it’s a good way for GooGoo and Lou Who to get greens, since Lou Who still can’t really chew them and GooGoo sometimes eats it, but usually only while she’s in the garden picking it.

The Green Waffle

The Green Waffle

So, here’s a savoury waffle, greened up with kale. This was inspired by Green Monster Bread from “Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day” as well as a waffle recipe from last year’s MoFo that I can’t find now, and also by a waffle from “Of These Ye May Freely Eat“.

Yes, the batter looks like pond scum.

Yes, the batter looks like pond scum.

A few notes:

*Soak lentils overnight, at least 8 hours. I think mine soaked around 14 hours, because I didn’t have time to get to them first thing in the morning.

*You want cold milk and water because it will give you a nice fluffy waffle requiring no leavening when beat well. I don’t really understand the science of it, but it does work.

*Cold water+loads of beating is the magic combo. Since there’s no gluten, you don’t need to worry about overbeating. Blend it at least a minute if not longer, to get lots of air into it.

Green Savoury Kale Wafflewich
2 c lentils, soaked at least overnight
3 c oats, divided
4 c unsweetened almond milk, cold
1/2 c cold water
2 c packed greens: kale and collards were what I used
1 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp California chilli powder

First, get the waffle iron heating.

Fabulous green batter, green waffle, and green waffle iron.

Fabulous green batter, green waffle, and green waffle iron.

Put all ingredients except 1c oats and 1/2 c water into blender. Blend well. If your blender isn’t big enough, you can do it in batches, which is what I had to do.

Pour into a large bowl and fold in oats and 1/2 c water. I cooked them for about 10 minutes fairly high. Just keep an eye on it, since every waffle iron is different.

Ideas for serving:

  • Serve like beans on toast, with some nice savoury black beans on top
  • Use rice-bean combo to fill, maybe with some onions and bell peppers
  • Black bean burger with tomato, lettuce, and hummus
  • Cream cheeze, tomato, and cucumber

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What I have in the photo at the top is tomato, cucumber, yellow bell pepper, and Sabra spinach-artichoke hummus. And green beans on the side, because apparently today is green day.

This makes 4 12″ waffles, which means I can get 8 sandwiches out of it. They freeze well and are very filling. And the girls both liked them. Score!

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Categories: bread, breakfast, brunch, challenges, freezer meals, gluten-free, lunch, nut-free, oil-free, recipes, snacks, soy-free, vegan, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2013, vegetables | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Vegan Month of Food, Day 9: Cabbage Soup and Dumplings Casserole

So, I really, really, REALLY like Isa’s Chickpea Rice Soup with Cabbage. It’s one of my favourite soups. It’s warm, comforting, simple, and delicious.

I also really like the recipe for Savoury Seitan Pie that I did for last year’s MoFo.

So, this recipe is what happens when you combine the best of both Isa’s soup and my savoury pie. It’s like a potpie on steroids. So filling. So homey.

cabbagepie2

Spray a 13×9 pan and heat oven to 450.

In a soup pot, mix together:
1 c chopped red onion
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp dry thyme powder
1 tsp salt
1 c cooked rice
1 1/2 c sliced carrots
1/2 lb shredded cabbage (roughly)
3 c garbanzo beans, cooked or from a can
2 T fresh dill
1 1/4 c white sauce
1 T nutritional yeast

Leave on low heat, covered, to heat through while you prepare the biscuits.

This is the filling waiting for the biscuits to go on. Mmmm.

This is the filling waiting for the biscuits to go on. Mmmm.

Biscuit topping:
2/3 c vegan margarine
2 c whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c white flour
2 T baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 c non-dairy milk, preferably unsweetened

Combine flours, baking powder, salt, and herbs. Cut in margarine until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in milk just until soft dough forms. It will be sticky.

Pour warmed cabbage soup mixture into 13×9 pan, and then drop biscuit dough in blobs over the top, spreading to cover. It’s okay if it doesn’t completely cover the cabbage mixture.

Bake at 450 for 15-20 minutes.

Bonus picture of GooGoo raiding the bread bag while our lunch cools a bit on the table.

Bonus picture of GooGoo raiding the bread bag while our lunch cools a bit on the table.

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Categories: casseroles, challenges, entrees, recipes, vegan, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2013, vegetables | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vegan Month of Food, Day 1: Breakfast Bars

Growing up, one of my favourite treats was something our friend Ruth often made: raspberry bars. You press in half the dough to make a crust on the bottom, spread jam over it, and then crumble the rest of the dough over the jam. It was sickeningly, deliciously sweet – so much so that I recall my mom only making them maybe twice. I still use that recipe, and sometime I plan to post it, but here I’ve made some adaptations to it to make it healthier and suitable for a breakfast item.

brekkerbars

Crust/topping:
1 c pumpkin puree
1/2 c brown sugar
1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c white flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 c oatmeal
1/4 c unsweetened cocoanut flakes
1/2 c chopped walnuts (reserve for topping)

Filling:
2 cups mashed fresh fruit (such as blackberries, peaches, raspberries, strawberries)
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Cream pumpkin and sugar. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients, then add to pumpkin mixture. Mix well.

Press roughly half of the crumb mixture into greased 13×9 pan, using a spoon or your hands. It will be somewhere in the neighbourhood of 1/4 or 1/2″ thick.

Spread fruit filling. It may appear runny, but that’s okay.

Sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture and walnuts. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes.

Cool. Cut into bars.

googoohappy

Yes, she’s 3 and a half and still sitting in a booster on the floor for meals.

Or don’t cool and cut into bars anyway, which is what we did. GooGoo ate two ample pieces. Mr Pine Nut said they were good. I wasn’t sure about them at first bite, but as I kept eating them, they grew on me. They have a nice earthy pumpkin undertone. I used blackberries and I think they lent themselves well to the pumpkin flavour. Betcha cranberries would be really yummy too! But you’d probably want to sugar them up and cook them a bit first to soften them into spreadable goo.

See you tomorrow with a sandwich recipe. Or should I call it a wafflewich?

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Categories: breakfast, brunch, challenges, oil-free, recipes, snacks, soy-free, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2013, vegetables | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Literary Post: The Boxcar Children. Jessie’s Stew.

By the end of last week, I was mostly back to normal, but here are two things that perplex me:

  • I have a massive sugar addiction.
  • I think Lou Who has a peanut allergy.

Regarding the first thing, I have such bad withdrawal symptoms if I try to just completely stop eating sugar that I’ve yet to make concentrated efforts to completely stop. I can go all morning if I need to. But then I get kind of grouchy and cranky and stuff. So I have a cookie (or two, or ten).

The solution that has worked in the past is to just stop making sweets that go into the freezer, because it’s too easy for me to run out there and grab cookies. I need to make them, take them somewhere, and make sure they don’t come back home with me. And then I’m fine. If it’s not here, I stop feeling like I have to eat it, and the withdrawal symptoms are almost nil. Interesting.

So, that being said, this week’s church potluck is getting a lot of cookies from yours truly, because there are a lot of cookies in the freezer at the moment.

As for the second thing, I have to let the rash around her mouth clear up first and then eat some peanuts again just to make sure it is indeed the peanuts and not something else. I’m bummed because peanut butter-jam sandwiches are about the best thing in the world, and I really just don’t like almond butter. It’s like tasteless paste in my mouth. Bleh. I like the crunchy, chunky, salty flavour/texture of peanut butter. So, I have to keep reminding myself: it could be worse. It could be gluten. I’ll either have to start salting my almond butter or try some other alternatives.

At any rate, it’s time for another LITERARY POST. It should have gone up last week, but I was just too stressed and didn’t have time to prepare it, so here it is today instead.

I was a huge Boxcar Children fan as a child. I read all of the 19 books in the original series, but many of the later ones I only read once. The first 6 or so were my favourites; they seemed to start repeating themselves more and more as the series went on (burning question: did Henry ever make it through college?) My all-time favourites were easily the first book, Mike’s Mystery, The Woodshed Mystery, Mountain Top Mystery, and Snowbound Mystery. I had a stuffed dog I named Jessie and always thought, “What FUN it would be to live in a BOXCAR and have to be INGENIOUSLY CREATIVE.”

No, the irony has not been lost on me.

Screen Shot 2013-04-01 at 10.24.12 PMTo me the illustrations in the first book are iconic. I’ve never seen this kind of art in any other book and always was a little sad that this (as I recall) anonymous illustrator did not continue doing the rest of the series. Does anyone know otherwise? Please correct me if I’m wrong.

At any rate, I decided to replicate the stew described in The Boxcar Children.

I didn’t use baby vegetables, although for authenticity you’re welcome to do so if you are lucky enough to have them available. For my “meat” I used some basic gluten steaks chopped up. It had been in the freezer and I just put it into the crockpot frozen, but you could thaw it first if you want to or use it fresh – or substitute whatever your preferred beef sub might be.

Note on crockpots: I used my smallish Rival crockpot that is about 10 cup capacity. If you use a larger one or smaller one, cooking times may vary, but this is what worked for that size.

Stewy stew.

Stewy stew.

Jessie’s Stew

1 lb faux meat, cut in pieces
2 large turnips, cut in chunks
4 medium carrots, cut in chunks
2-4 green onions – I used 2 because mine are huge
1 tsp salt
1 tsp beef-like seasoning of choice
1 T tapioca flour (or cornstarch)
2 1/2 c  water

Layer the faux meat and veggies in your crockpot in the order given. Sprinkle salt, beaf seasoning, and tapioca flour on top. Pour water over all.

Turn the crockpot on high and cook 5 hours. (I stirred mine just once after 3 1/2 hours).

***

Some extra notes from a literary nerd:

mental_floss has a great article mentioning Gertrude Chandler Warner.

Said article caused me to go a-Googling and this university library site has the full text and all but one illustration from the original 1924 version of “The Box-car Children”.

I’ve read it. The differences I noticed were interesting to me. The change of the surname Cordyce to Alden is understandable (Cordyce sounds SO snobbish). There are definitely details I do not remember reading before, (the drunken dad in the opening, anyone? the children’s side business selling ginseng?) A side-by-side comparison read would be good, if I had my modern copy available, which I don’t. Sometime in the future though. Anyway, it was a fun little jaunt into the past. I recommend it!

Of particular note to this blog post, the original text said Jess used parsnips, not turnips. So…. have at them parsnips if you want!

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Categories: book-inspired food, crockpot, entrees, lunch, recipes, soup, vegan, vegetables | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Curried Pumpkin-Acorn Squash-Carrot-Spinach Soup

Well, things have settled a little bit around here. We’re all on the mend. I’ve got a pulled muscle in my ribcage from coughing that hurts pretty badly, and I get tired easily. GooGoo still has a runny nose of epic gloppiness. But otherwise, things aren’t too bad. I spent my entire day pretty much washing laundry. I had a lot more than usual because my washer had some issues last week and Mr Pine Nut got a part just yesterday to fix the issues.

So, I not only washed clothes, but I’m working on washing all our sheets and blankets too, to rid them of the ickies from the flu. Kind of like how they burned everything in the Velveteen Rabbit, except less destructive. Tomorrow I get to wash diapers and more blankets. Woohoo.

In between loads of laundry, I made soup.

_MG_0864

This is one of those soups that was born out of an urgent need to Use Things Up. In this case, we had an acorn squash, a pumpkin, some spinach, and some carrots. I decided to make a pumpkin soup. Curried pumpkin soup sounded good. So I asked The Google and The Google found me this recipe.

Squash is generally considered more autumn-y, but I don’t care particularly. One must use what one has, even in February. This soup will kill any bacteria residing in your digestive tract and clean out your sinusi* as well as taste delicious.

I changed it a bit from the original. This is what I did.

In your soup pan, stir together:
2 c chopped green onions
1 T cocoanut oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 T grated fresh ginger
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp dried hot red pepper flakes

Saute a few minutes, until oil is melted and onions are tender.

Add:
4 c pumpkin puree
4 c water
1 1/2 c mock chicken or veggie broth
2 c diced carrots

Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let it cook about 20 minutes. Carrots should be to desired tenderness.

_MG_0863

In a separate pan, stir together:
2 T cocoanut oil
2 tsp brown mustard seeds
2-4 c packed spinach (you could also use kale or another leafy green. I used 2 cups and next time would use 4.)

Stir oil and mustard seeds together until seeds begin to pop. Add spinach and continue stirring until wilted. Add to pot of soup right before serving.

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Enjoy. I’m looking forward to eating the leftovers from this tomorrow.

——

*Neither of these statements have been validated by the FDA, but I am pretty sure I’m right.

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Categories: gluten-free, lunch, recipes, soup, soy-free, vegan, vegetables | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

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