Posts Tagged With: corn

2015, a Recipe Odyssey: March Edition

So I mentioned in this post that I was going to try a monthly meal plan for March, sticking within my budget of $25/week for food. How did it go?

  • Week 1: I spent $19.47 on groceries.
  • Week 2: I spent $24.09 on groceries. Cutting it close! All necessites for my week’s plan.
  • Week 3: I spent $20.30 on groceries. Roughly $10 0f that was absolute necessities for my planned menu, and I got some extra goodies! (okay, it was mostly bell peppers and avocados.) I ended up not doing all the planned meals because I had lots more leftovers than previous weeks, plus I was sick.
  • Week 4: I spent $26.60 on groceries. This included what I needed for the little bit of overlap for the last couple days of March.
  • But I did end up using the rest of my money buying a couple staple/pantry items that I’ll use next month too.

Keep in mind, we do have loads of bulk stuff stored in buckets from More Prosperous (or simply more reckless?) Times of the Past, and we have a separate line item for bulk food (and I spent all but pennies of that $50 this month aside from the above), so the above is strictly fresh veggies and staples like oil and sugar.

Speaking of oil and sugar, I bought a regular bottle of veggie oil and a 4lb bag of sugar for Week 1. As of the end of week 3, the oil had been long gone and another bottle half-used, and the sugar is all but gone. I find this disturbing.

Here’s what I made! Grouped by source.

From More Peas, Thank You:

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1. Corn Chowda with Cornbread Croutons – GooGoo has been pestering me to make a potato soup for weeks now. I finally make one, and will she eat it? No. Sigh. She did like the cornbread croutons and the side of broccoli, though.

 From The Veg Feasting Cookbook:

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2. Carrots in the Raw – This salad was very easy, requiring few ingredients, and went great with the burgers we had for lunch. I left out the raisins and just added some extra pumpkin seeds instead, because fruit in a vegetable salad is just weird to me. The following day we had the leftovers on top of lettuce. Yum.

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3. Cumin Carrot Soup – This became steadily more disgusting the more of it that I ate. Mr Pine Nut thought it was good, but I heartily disagreed. I couldn’t taste cumin at all; even though I reduced the pepper it was way too peppery; worst of all the texture was just gross. Will never make again.

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4. Turkish Lentil Soup – SO good. I was a little concerned, because the cinnamon smelled really strong while it was cooking, but as far as taste went, I didn’t even notice it. The flavours were all blended perfectly with nothing overpowering anything else. I was pleased, and would definitely make this again. Way better than the vomitous carrot sludge.

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5. Spicy Yellow Dal – I didn’t have toor dal, but the book suggested subbing yellow split peas, so I used green split peas. It took a lot more than 2 cups of water to cook the peas, but this was overall quite a simple dish to assemble and it was very tasty. It was at the edge of my heat tolerance level, but very good. We ate it with rice and steamed broccoli.

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6. Mexican Black Bean Salad – This was fairly simple to throw together, and it was a meal for Mr Pine Nut and I (with the addition of lettuce, and some bread on the side). It had a good flavour, but the recipe called for no salt. I added a tiny bit, but more wouldn’t have hurt. I’m not sure I’ll make it again, but it was fine.

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7. Cabbage Curry – This was SO easy, and very tasty! I added the garbanzo beans to make it a meal, but the flavour was great and the heat level perfect (that is, not very hot. :-)) It’s a dry curry, and you could really use any veggie (or combination thereof) instead of the cabbage – cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, &c.

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8. Cream of Veg Soup – This was just okay. Mr Pine Nut and Lou Who loved it; GooGoo wouldn’t touch it, and I didn’t finish mine. It was better than cumin-carrot soup, but I found it just too salty even though I’d diluted it considerably.

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9. Chickpea Mash Stew – I really liked this, despite it being totally different from how I envisioned it would be. Lou Who loved it too!

10. Super Noodle Soup – Very basic. The special thing about it seemed to me just that all the veggies get cut up very tiny (1/8″ dice), and I had to add a lot of extra salt and some garlic powder because it just didn’t have much flavour without. It was good, but I don’t think I’ll rush to make it again.

11. Pulao Rice – This was pretty easy. I used brown rice so I changed the water proportion and cooking time, but it came out very nice and I liked it. I wasn’t super fond of the whole idea of having to pick out all the whole cloves, cardamom pods, and other such things though.

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12. Chickpea Curry – I was prepping my ingredients for this and it calls for a 4-oz piece of ginger, thinly sliced. I only have (frozen) grated ginger, so I got it out and the frozen glob I had weighed exactly four ounces. The problem is that four ounces of grated ginger is like… a CUP’S worth. So I called out into the twitterverse and got confirmation that for the amount of curry, that seemed like an awful lot. So I decided to do 2 ounces instead. The end result was a curry with a good flavour… under an intense heat. I burned my entire digestive tract raw and had steam coming out my ears from eating it. So yeah, I doubt I’ll be making this again.

13. Saffron Rice – I made this to go with the abovementioned curry as per the book’s suggestion. It was okay. I wasn’t overly thrilled with it.

From the interwebs:

14. Parmesan Muffins – A friend made these and raved about them, so I decided to try them, because I need to get more savoury muffins into my culinary repertoire. They were excellent! I used flax instead of eggs (so 2T ground flax and 6T warm water), and I was too tired/lazy to make my favourite almond parmesan so I just used some Daiya mozzarella shreds I had in my freezer. And I left out the sugar.

15. Brownie Coco-Nut-Butter Cups – !!!!!!! YUM !!!!!! So, I made these for a potluck and forgot to take them with me. Oops. What a tragedy. ūüėČ

From Vegan Simplicity:

16. Vegan Red Beans and Rice – This was good, but not great, which seems to be (so far) my reaction to most of Mark Anthony’s recipes. I bought this cookbook when he came and did a presentation/cooking class at our church and really haven’t used it much yet, so I definitely want to give it more of a chance before passing judgement. At any rate, this called for 3/4 cup of vegan margarine. O_O It also didn’t *look* super appetising.

17. Sri Lankan Style Mixed-Bean Soup – No picture; it looked sludgy and not super appealing, kind of pooplike, so like the red beans above the visual appeal was nil. But it tasted pretty good.

From Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day:

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18. Green Monster Bread (made into bagels/rolls) – I used rye flour and caraway seeds in with this and like it a lot! It seems a tad on the sweet side, so I think I’d reduce the sugar next time, but aside from that this was a definite “something I’d make again”. Way to sneak some kale into my girls’ diets (and mine).

Ten Talents (1978 edition):

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19. Carrot Salad – I thought the combo of carrot/pecan/cocoanut seemed a bit odd, but decided to try it anyway, and it was really good! Also very simple. I served it on a bed of lettuce/cabbage just to give it more variety but I would totally make it again.

Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar:

20. Cornmeal Poppyseed Biscotti – I hate lemon poppyseed bread. That being said, these were really good! I was surprised. I don’t know that they’ll be something I’ll make really often, but I brought some home from a potluck and know I’ll eat them. ūüôā

21. Rocky Roads – I’ve had these before but haven’t made them before, and my suspicion that I’d like them better without the almond extract was completely correct. They are addictive, amazing, and I think the dough would be the perfect chocolate cookie base for a whole bunch of mix-ins. I’d like to try it plain too.

Everyday Vegan Eats:

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22. Chickpeas and Dumplings – A bit too salty but it was really yummy anyway!

23. Black Bean Feijoada – Really, really good!

[ETA: 24. Macaroni Salad – I made this on a whim the last day of March, and it was GOOD]

Cookbooks [or other sources] represented in March: 8

Did I meet my goal? Barely! I was worried the last week or so that I wouldn’t hit 20, but I did.

See you next month, with April’s recipe report!

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Categories: bread, challenges, cookies, dairy-free, dessert, lunch, salads, side dish, soup, vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Chickpea Potpie

Way back in the early days of my blog I posted this potpie recipe, which was good, but not great. I loved Marie Callender’s chicken potpies growing up and I really wanted to recreate that texture and flavour.

My father-in-law is allergic to nuts and soy (with the exception of soy oil, such as Crisco), so I wanted to not just make my potpie better, I wanted to make it better and be something he could eat.

Someone suggested an oat-milk-based bechamel sauce. So we’ll start this recipe with how I made the oat milk. Keep in mind the oats soak overnight, so this requires a little bit of planning ahead.

This makes a single 9″ potpie.

To make the oat milk:
Soak 1 c oats in 5 c water overnight.

Add 1/16 tsp salt in the morning.

Blend for a couple minutes and then strain.

I use a really classy nylon strainer. (Don't worry, it's a clean nylon. I think.)

I’m fresh out of cheesecloth, so I used a really classy nylon strainer. (Don’t worry, it’s a clean nylon. I think.)

In a saucepan stir together: 
6 T oil (I used half olive, half canola)
2 small carrots, chopped
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
1/2 c onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped

Sauté carrots, celery, onion, and garlic in the oil about 2 minutes.

Add:
6T unbleached flour
1 T mock chicken seasoning
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp thyme

Sauté 2 more minutes and remove from heat.

Add 3 c oat milk very gradually, stirring thoroughly to prevent lumpage. Stir constantly over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat again. Add in:

3 c cooked garbanzo beans, thoroughly drained
3/4 c frozen peas
3/4 c frozen corn

Allow to sit while preparing the pie crust. Preheat oven to 425.

***

Pie Crust
(note: minus the thyme, this pastry can be used for fruit pies)
(note 2: you can really use any pastry recipe, just add the thyme! If you can’t have soy of any stripe, I highly recommend Isa’s olive oil crust from Vegan Pie in the Sky.)

2/3 cup + 2T shortening
1 1/2 c white flour
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp thyme
4-5 T cold water

Cut shortening into flour mixture until it resembles little peas. Add 1T water at a time, tossing with a fork, just until flour is moistened. Divide pastry evenly in two, shape each lump into a round and roll out on lightly floured board until circle is 2″ larger than pie pan. Press lower crust into pan. Add filling to pie and repeat rolling process with second lump of pastry to cover the pie. Or you can cut out shapes.

 I made wedges out of my top crust.

I made wedges out of my top crust.

Cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove foil and bake another 20 minutes. It should be golden and bubbling.

This potpie was amazing. Today we had it with mashed potatoes, but it would also be amazing with rice (which is how I grew up eating potpie). And it was so good. I finally nailed the taste and texture I wanted. I definitely want to make this more often now.

Part of today's Thanksgiving repast. We also had cranberry sauce, roasted vegetable stuffing, and  two kinds of apple pie.

Part of today’s Thanksgiving repast. We also had cranberry sauce, roasted vegetable stuffing, gravy, and two kinds of apple pie.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Stay tuned, because in the next week or so I have a holiday giveaway coming up.

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Categories: entrees, holiday, nut-free, recipes, soy-free, vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Vegan Month of Food, Day 13: ‘Mater-Tater-Tot Casserole

Usually tater tot casseroles are cream-of-mushroomy and homey. I decided to give tater tot casserole a brand new face. The results were a little strange to me, not because it didn’t taste good, but just because it was so alien to not have creamy sauce with tater tots.

totcass

In a 13×9, stir together:
2 1/2 c frozen corn
2 c frozen green beans
3 1/2 c chopped tomatoes
2 c tomato sauce

In a saucepan, combine:
3/4 lb ground beef sub (I used bulgur beef)
1 small red onion (1/2-3/4 c)
3 cloves garlic
Dash of oil
1tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt

Stir all together and top with tater tots. Bake at 450 for 20 minutes.

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

Vegan Month of Food, Day 4: Mexican Lasagna

Lasagna is always an obvious (to me) layered dish, but while I’ve heard of using tortillas instead of noodles, I’ve never actually made such a lasagna myself. So this was a fun experiment.

I’m not sure if Oregon just gets lousy peppers, but I tested this recipe twice and once I used a serrano and once a jalapeno, and both times they might as well have been a bell pepper. Even the seeds weren’t hot, according to Mr Pine Nut. You could really use any type of pepper depending on the level of heat you like. If, of course, the pepper is actually peppery.

mexlasagna

I liked the way Mr Pine Nut’s serving fanned out a little, showing off the different layers. This was the less-saucy, Take 1 of this recipe.

Heat oven to 350.

In a skillet, sautee together:
3-6 cloves garlic, sliced or roughly chopped
1 packed cup green onions, sliced
1 T oil
1 T taco seasoning
1 serrano or jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 c mixed greens, packed (I used dino+Russian kale and collards)
2 cups frozen corn

Once greens are slightly wilted, turn off heat and set aside.

In a saucepan combine:
1 1/2 c tomatillos (about 3), roughly chopped
4 c cooked black beans
1 c tomatoes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp oil
1 T taco seasoning
1 c tomato sauce (optional; use if you want a saucier lasagna. I preferred the not-as-saucy first test run.)

Bring to a simmer and cook until tomatoes and tomatillos are soft but not mushy.

To assemble, spray the bottom of 13×9 pan. Layer 6 corn tortillas, then spoon half the bean mixture, spreading evenly, then half the kale mixture, spreading evenly. Add a layer of 6 more corn tortillas.

Repeat, topping with 6 tortillas to finish. I grated some Daiya jalapeno-garlic havarti (you could also do a nut-based cheeze sauce if you wanted to) and drizzled 3 T lime juice over the top, then covered with a cookie sheet and baked for 25 minutes, then uncovered and baked another 5 minutes or so.

Tomorrow: Almond Joy Cake!

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Categories: casseroles, challenges, entrees, nut-free, recipes, vegan, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2013 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Chicken Out: Chickenless Pot Pie

We already talked about my favourite beef substitute in the previous post. So, what about chicken? Chicken a la king, chicken potpie, chicken nuggets? Must we give up such deliciousness?

Hardly. The answer can be found in a tasty, unassuming little legume called a garbanzo. Or a chickpea. (Is that a regional thing, calling it one or the other?)

Anyway. Seasoned with a little chicken seasoning during cooking, garbanzo beans make an excellent substitute. And, since Thanksgiving is this week, I’m going to share with you a recipe I have done almost every year for Thanksgiving since I got married: Chickenless Pot Pie.

This recipe is not vegan. Next week, I’ll share options of how to make a vegan version of the same thing.

Chickenless Pot Pie

POT PIE OMNOMNOM

1 double pie crust (top and bottom)
2 carrots, chopped or sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
1/4 c onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed or chopped
1 T olive oil
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2-3 c cooked garbanzo beans (reserve liquid)
3/4 c frozen peas
3/4 c frozen corn

Sauté carrots, celery, onion, and garlic in the olive oil until tender.

Stir in cream of mushroom soup. Add garbanzo liquid until it is a nice consistency. Stir in garbanzos, peas, and corn.

For my crust, I added about a teaspoon or so of thyme to the pastry.

Bake at 425 for 30-40 minutes, until golden brown and bubbling.

Where are you from, and do you call them garbanzos or chickpeas?

Categories: entrees, nut-free, recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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