October 28th, 2011 § § permalink
O what an unfortunate dearth of blogging! I blame my laptop, whose keyboard broke on the way home from Costa Rica, who now must be accessed via a full size keyboard plugged into the USB, which is extremely unergonomic. Also Kate Middleton must be removed from the vicinity every 45 seconds which slows things down.
Last week I braved my crummy farmers market but there was nary a pumpkin to be had. I did buy a million dollars worth of apples and dahlias and a giant kale and what I thought was a neck pumpkin. Also I had to stand in line for ten minutes next to a stall selling an enormous pile of sheepskins, so disgusting. I can almost overlook how fully half the market is always selling meat in coolers because I guess that’s sort of better than factory farming but just WHY with the sheepskins especially accompanied by a truck with a sign picturing an idyllic field full of happy sheep. What a bunch of creeps. BUT I DIGRESS.
How nice is that giant kale. It is Russian. It came with a free seasonal halloween spider.
Anyways, look at my CSA.
Potomac Vegetable Farms CSA week 5A
SO MANY GREENS. Mustard, cabbage, collards, kale, and mei qing choi, which as far as I can tell is baby bok choi. It is totally stressing me out trying to eat all these greens.
Well the first priority was to use the cabbage from last week so I made galumpkis. These are stuffed cabbage rolls. Normally they have ground beef and white rice inside. I think when my dad makes them he uses soy crumbles. I put tempeh, brown rice, onion, celery, a bit of caraway, and fresh dill. It was ok. I didn’t want to put too many weird things in there but next time I would.
galumpkis and charming mashed potato presentation
I cooked all those little eggplants in the style of Imam Bayildi. I say “in the style” because my understanding is that the point of imam bayildi is to contain a ridiculously enormous amount of olive oil. I used a cast iron skillet and greatly reduced the oil and it still resulted in delicious eggplants.
kale, braised eggplants, pita, hummus and olives
The neck pumpkin from the farmers market turned out to just be a squash inside, so I really do not understand this neck pumpkin thing because the first one I had was definitely pumpkiny inside. Anyway then I had 7 cups of roasted squash, which luckily the dog goes crazy for so at least someone will eat it. I used 3 cups for the pumpkin pie from Vegan Pie in the Sky. I think the filling is a bit soft for my liking but the spice and sweetness levels are quite nice. It might not be as soft with canned pumpkin but I did drain my squash thoroughly. Plus it would be better with an actual pumpkin.
cabbage science project, potentially disgusting.
a use is found for a million expensive apples.
we drown in greens.
October 21st, 2011 § § permalink
I forced Jennifer to make the Scalloped Potatoes and Eggplant Bacon with me so I am quite pleased that it was so delectable. It is kind of laborious but I bet it is still delicious without the eggplant bacon and that would make it easier. In mine the eggplant kind of melted away into the casserole anyway so I bet you could add some smoked paprika and skip it. I’m going to try tempeh bacon next time.
The only changes I made were that I forgot to add the breadcrumbs/cornstarch to thicken the sauce, but it thickened after the lemon juice was added and I didn’t even realize until I saw the breadcrumbs still in the Wegmans bag the next morning. My casserole was still super creamy the next day, while there are some comments on the recipe page about it getting dry, so I suspect that was fortuitous. I think the lemon juice becomes essential for thickening in this case though so don’t skip both, that is my vague notion. Or, maybe it has to do with using the Vitamix vs a food processor for the cashews. Anyway, it was quite thick. Also I had to bake my casserole for much longer than 45 minutes before the potatoes were done, maybe I cut them too thick or my oven sucks.
In order to make this more attractive next time, I’m going to try putting all the onions and celery globs from the sauce into the pan in the first sauce-adding-step, so that when you pour the rest of the sauce over the potatoes, you can still see the slices and they are not all glommed up with onions. I think it would be much prettier then.
Anyway it was super delicious and I’m going to force everyone to eat it at Christmas dinner this year.
- I will make galumpkis without a recipe using my giant CSA cabbage
- if I can find a pumpkin at my lousy meat-centric more-expensive-than-the-supermarket farmers market, I will make a pie
- if I can fine 2 pumpkins or a very large pumpkin, I will make a milky polish pumpkin soup with drop noodles that I remember only vaguely and can only extract vague instructions out of my mother about
- I will follow Jennifer’s directive and make Color Me Vegan drunken beans
October 20th, 2011 § § permalink
My new favorite recipe from the last few months is the drunken beans from Color Me Vegan. They do have a bit of brown sugar in them, but it’s not much. Next time I make them I’ll cut it by half and see if we can notice a difference. This recipe inspired me to start cooking my own beans instead of using canned, it’s not even that hard! I was pleasantly surprised. I make 1.5 times the recipe, since all the Mexican beer I can find comes in 12 oz bottles, not 8 oz. And also then we have 1.5 times as much. Make these! I made them on Tuesday along with some tacos.
a taco and drunken beans
A highlight of my week so far has been getting 5 giant organic red peppers at safeway for $1.25 each. I am so rich in red peppers!
organic red peppers that didn't cost a million dollars!
Our latest coordinated cooking across the country was this scalloped potato and eggplant bacon casserole. I made this very early yesterday morning, as I am slowly becoming a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed morning person. My only 2 complaints about this dish is that it doesn’t photograph very well and it doesn’t make as big of a casserole as I usually make. It was very, very good. The sauce is great, it takes just like whatever evil condensed cream of whatever soup my mom used to put in crock-pot stews when I was little. I mean that in a good way. I actually think that this might work being cooked in a crockpot on low all day, I’m going to try that next time I make it.
does not look as good as it tastes
October 18th, 2011 § § permalink
I made the Candle Cafe pot pies on Friday night when my mom was visiting. I usually use all the ingredients in the recipe but don’t measure the amounts and then add a little more liquid to all the veggies. My favorite way to make this recipe is in individual servings and the biscuit dough recipe from the Vegan Table on top. I make tiny little ones for Alice and put an “A” on top, she likes that. She also likes when they are accompanied by gobs of cranberry sauce, but sadly we didn’t have any.
pot pie, west coast style
I also made nice breakfasts for my mom when she was here, peanut butter waffles on Friday and cornbread waffles on Sunday, both from Vegan Brunch. The peanut butter waffle recipe is my favorite waffle recipe, they are very dense and delicious. The cornbread ones are usually light and fluffy, but for some reason half the times I make them they get all stuck to my waffle iron. Poor mangled waffles. I finally gave up and made some pancakes with the rest of the batter.
peanut butter waffles
sad mangled cornbread waffle and a cornbread pancake
misbehaving waffle iron
October 18th, 2011 § § permalink
Last night I made a pot pie, from the excellent Candle Cafe cookbook recipe, as pioneered by Jennifer. The west coast way is to make this with a biscuity crust but I did a regular pie crust this time, the olive oil crust from Vegan Pie in the Sky, but I mixed in the herbs recommended in the recipe. I used white whole wheat flour though, which made it really bad to roll out. There was too much oil, too, but that might be the flour’s fault too. I just artfully arranged the slabs on top of the pie which was fine since I was only planning to do a top crust anyway, for health and laziness purposes. I also didn’t measure any of the filling vegetables, added a giant kohlrabi and some turnips that I needed to use from last week’s CSA, and didn’t peel the zucchini(!). Also I added the frozen peas at the very end of cooking the filling to avoid boiling them for 20 minutes. Anyway it is a great recipe. We only ate a little because it was a million o’clock at night by the time it was done.
Pies: Pot, Pot, Pumpkin
I also took out a bit of crust before adding the herbs to make a little pumpkin pie from the roasted neck pumpkin that I had in the fridge from last week. I used the Pie in the Sky recipe, divided by 3 since I only had a cup of pumpkin. It is very tasty although I think I didn’t bake it long enough for it to set up all the way. It has agar powder so you know how that is. And it is sweetened only with maple syrup so that makes it appropriate to eat for breakfast.
Potomac Vegetable Farms CSA week 4A
My CSA for this week. The only thing I didn’t use last week were the giant radishes, and look, more giant radishes, godDAMN, what is a person supposed to do with these. Also mustard greens, kale, cabbage, taters (sweet and regular), peppers, and garlic. I can tell the problem vegetable for this week is going to be that giant cabbage…
This post is brought to you by Kate Middleton the Cat, who is going through an in-your-face, grabbing-your-neck-with-her-arms, patting-your-face-with-her-dirty-litterbox-paws, biting-your-typing-fingers phase…
October 17th, 2011 § § permalink
We went camping over the weekend, just for one night, at a state forest that is on the border of Maryland and West Virginia. It was quite charming and autumnal although it is bow hunting season so there was a mild frisson of danger especially with regard to our very deer-colored dog.
pleasing foliages on the green trail
If you want to have a Halloweeny camping experience you can borrow Lenny. As soon as it gets dark he spends the whole time staring fixedly at a point in the woods and growling at whatever murderer / bear / alien / ghost / murderous alien / ghost bear / alien ghost murderer is lurking in there. It is quite unsettling even though he does have a reputation for barking at stumps, wind, and strangely-shaped leaves.
the camp pup
I made an amazing discovery which is: fire-roasted brussels sprouts. You just wash them and trim their bottoms at home, then put them in a container with olive oil, salt and pepper. Then when you are at the campsite, transfer them to a foil packet and cram it in the embers with the baking potatoes. You do have to peel it open and examine them with a flashlight once in a while but they are delightful. We had them with baked potatoes and tofurkey hot dogs aka plastic dogs.
an abstract representation of dinner
We also made s’mores of course, with Dandies (you can mash them together to make a normal sized marshmallow) and rice milk chocolate. Also we ate a whole box of Clif bar crispy peanut butter granola bars, those things are delicious.
2 Pines Road
Tonight I am going to make pot pie and I am going to cram everything I forgot to use from my CSA into it. So that should be good.
October 14th, 2011 § § permalink
Well the birthday muffins did not go so well on the east coast. Apparently wisdom does not come with age around here because, as usual, I modified all the ingredients and made them kind of gross. First, I only had fruit-flavored yogurts so I used a lemon one. Next, I didn’t have raspberries so I used frozen cherries that have been in the freezer for over a year, my how time flies, so they had a bit of a freezer taste which was suboptimal. Thirdly I used whole wheat pastry flour and reduced the sugar which is how I ALWAYS ruin baked goods. Fourthly I didn’t use zest because my lemon was not organic so I’m pretty sure when you zest a conventional citrus fruit you are just grating pure chemical bits into your food item.
The muffins did have a very good texture but they had a weird cardboardy taste from the whole wheat flour and then a strange chemically aftertaste from the yogurt and cherries. Then instead of being distributed to grateful recipients like their west coast counterparts, the east coast muffins suffered the unfortunate fate of being left on the kitchen table unsupervised for ten minutes, during which time a swarm of felines descended onto them and licked the top 1/2″ off of each one, except the one that fell on the floor and was devoured in entirety by Lenny, paper included. The cat-licked ones had a smooth surface as though they had been ground down with a sander. The cats are insane for baked goods. They rip open all unprotected bags of bread and rolls with their claws and teeth and then they run off with a roll bigger than their heads and devour it while growling under the couch. I think they are not fully domesticated.
I made some replacement muffins. They are unapologetically healthy which seems to work out better for me than destroying unhealthy recipes through healthification. Bran muffins with cranberries, veganized from the back of the Bob’s Red Mill Wheat Bran bag (soy milk for milk; extra applesauce for egg).
healthy muffin, cats not interested
In other news, here is a picture of a neck pumpkin and a butternut squash against the backdrop of the miserable weather.
They are both from my CSA. I made the Appetite for Reduction Butternut Coconut Rice a couple days ago so I took the opportunity to roast them both although I have not yet done anything with the pumpkin. Maybe I will make a tiny pie.
Before opening them I didn’t really get why a neck pumpkin was a pumpkin and not just an enormous butternut but the neck pumpkin (on the left in the above picture and on the right in the below picture for maximum confusingness) is quite pumpkininny inside while the butternut is more squashy. I do enjoy the name NECK PUMPKIN.
For dinner we had the aforementioned rice which is QUITE delectable but I made it with an onion instead of 1 cup of shallots because who has 1 cup of shallots sitting around. Also that would be too much peeling. Also no zest because the limes were not organic either. Also steamed kale, and the Blackened Broiled Tofu also from Appetite for Reduction, but I had some issues with forgetting to add the garlic and adding it later which made the crusting not go properly which then precluded the blackening, so instead it is just like Brownified Broiled Tofu. Still good.
enthusiastic supper model
We had leftovers last night, excitingified by the addition of roasted cauliflower with sundried tomatoes (no recipe… just mix them and roast them, it’s good… like pizza cauliflower) which went quite well also.
We are planning to go camping amidst the festive autumn foliage tomorrow, hopefully the nighttime low of 44 will scare away everyone else who has the same idea. But on the docket for Sunday, is Candle Cafe Pot Pie, east coast style!
October 13th, 2011 § § permalink
Heather and I tried a coordinated muffin baking last night, the raspberry lemon muffins from Color Me Vegan. They were quick to make and only included one ingredient that I don’t always have on hand, plain soy yogurt. Things are tasting weird to me lately, and pretty much everything gives me heartburn, so I had some tasters weigh in with their opinion. Sweetie liked them but thought they were a tad underbaked (I baked them for 22 minutes), his mom liked them a lot (she left me a note that she wants this cupcake recipe), and my two coworkers very much liked them. So I guess I will make them again next time I have some extra raspberries. Good work, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau!
raspberry lemon muffins
I also made dinner with instructions from Colleen, the scotch broth from the Vegan Table. I make this all the time, and my mom is coming to visit tonight and it is one of her favorites. Sometimes I use celery if I don’t have any leeks, I think the key to making it taste good is to make your own vegetable broth. And also I have learned that soaking the lentils and split peas overnight is better for the digestive system.
October 12th, 2011 § § permalink
It’s Heather’s birthday! Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday, dear Heatherrrrrrrr, happy birthday to you!! I am very sad I do not get to make a cake today and eat it with Heather. Or make Heather a delightful vegan birthday dinner.
If I did, I might make the Stuffed Shells with Marinara Sauce from Color Me Vegan that I tried last night for the first time. I couldn’t find whole wheat jumbo shells, so I just had to use evil white pasta jumbo shells and I used jarred tomato sauce instead of making my own, but it was delicious. Really, really good. The fake ricotta didn’t even taste tofu-y, I don’t think, so non-vegans would also like it. I think I might need to make it again this weekend when my mom visits. I also sauteed some pears in a little bit of earth balance and brown sugar, and put them on the salad and the added some balsamic vinegar to the pan and let it boil down a little to make a dressing for them. Scrumptious!
Stuffed shells from Color Me Vegan
October 11th, 2011 § § permalink
Yosemite was lovely, even though we weren’t there for very long. My muffins and cookies were much enjoyed, although now I wish I wouldn’t have made so many because I’m still eating them. I brought the leftover tomato cream pasta for dinner, and we just had cereal and sandwiches for breakfast and lunch, so I didn’t even bring the camping stove. It was nice and relaxing to be so lazy at camping cuisine for once. I did make hummus at home for the sandwiches, and they had Sweetie’s tomatoes on them as well (and tofurkey and avacado and spinach), so they were pretty delicious.
mmmm lunch in the great outdoors
Last night I made a tried and true favorite in our house, the chickpea cutlets from Veganomicon. The first I don’t know how many times I made these, I didn’t read the recipe fully and tried to smash up the chickpeas with a smasher without adding the olive oil. That makes it MUCH more difficult. Amazing how many times I make something that I don’t actually read the important parts of the recipe. I put some marinara sauce on them because we had an unplanned non-vegan guest and also roasted some potatoes and onions and lots of Brussels sprouts.
a tasty dinner