Saturday, September 25, 2010

Dinner: Manzana Chili Verde with Jalapeno and Onion Corn Bread

Greg asked me last night, "What happens when I have to take the Veganomicon back to the library?" It's been such a good two weeks of cooking and going vegan. I guess I can renew it but I hate renewing books that I like, because some person out there in the world is not cooking from this book! Arrgh! (I would just buy the book but then I couldn't buy groceries, catch the drift? totally a catch 22.) Anyway, on Wednesday I had my friend Bryant and Annabel over for an awesome dinner. I made the Manzana Chili Verde and Jalapeno and Onion corn bread from the Veganomicon. The corn bread was a snap and the chili was a labor of love but all and all amazing dinner.

Manzana Chili Verde From the Veganomicon Cookbook

1 lb baby Yukon golds, cut into 1/2" pieces
2 T vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, diced small
3 jalapenos, seeded and sliced thinly
2 poblano peppers, seeded and chopped into 1" pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 t ground cumin
1 t dried oregano (preferably Mexican oregano)
1 t salt
1/3 c dry white wine
1 lb tomatillos, papery skin removed, washed, chopped into 1/2" to 3/4" pieces
2 Granny Smith apples, cored, quartered, and sliced thinly
2 c vegetable broth
1 c loosely packed fresh cilantro
1/4 c shopped scallions
1 (15 oz) can small white beans, drained and rinsed
Juice of 1 lime
Avocado slices for garnish

Place the chopped potatoes in a small saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Let boil, covered, for a little less than 20 minutes, until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Drain and set aside. Of course, you should be preparing everything else while it is boiling.

Preheat a soup pot over medium-high heat. Saute the onion, jalapenos, and poblanos in oil for about 10 minutes, until everything is softened and the onions are slightly browned.

Add the garlic, cumin, oregano, and salt. Saute for 1 more minute, until the garlic is fragrant. Add the white wine and tomatillos, raise the heat a bit to let the wine reduce and the tomatillos release their juices, about 5 minutes.

Add the apples, vegetable broth, scallions, and 1/2 c of cilantro. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes.

Use an immersion blender to partially puree everything. If you don't have one, let the mixture cool slightly and pulse in a blender or food processor.

Taste for sweetness/tartness. Tomatillos are sometimes bitter; if that is the case, add a teaspoon or two of sugar and that should level things out. Add the cooked potatoes and the beans, simmer for a few more minutes, until everything is heated through.

Add the remaining cilantro and the lime juice. Ladle into bowls, garnish with the avocado and scallions, and serve.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dinner: A Middle Eastern Spread

Greg and I got home from the grocery store a little late last night and I felt exhausted. (i.e. allergies in Austin are like a freight train to my face) and I wanted to make a really nice comforting meal something that resembled Morocco. So I came up with this little spread of home made hummus, Mujaddara, zaatar bread, olives, and of course wine! It came out so good and you would be surprised how easy it is to cook all these delectable dishes. So I thought I would share with you my recipe for what I consider the best hummus a white polish/italian/irish mutt can make and believe me she, I mean I, can make a pretty good hummus.

Laura K A's Hummus

1 Can cooked Chick Peas drained
1 Whole Lemon juiced
2 Large Garlic Cloves, minced
3 heaping spoon fulls of Tahini
1 tablespoon of Cumin
1 cup Water
1/2 cup Olive Oil
A shake of Paprika for garnish

In a blender add half of the chick peas and about a half a cup of water. Blend until smooth, you will have to stop the blender a few times to scrape down the sides. Once mixture is smooth add the rest of the chick peas and continue to blend until smooth, you may have to add some more water, just be patient and work in shifts of scraping and blending. Once the chickpeas are smooth add Tahini and blend until combined. Then add lemon juice, cumin, garlic, and olive oil and blend until smooth if you want the hummus to be thinner add more water as you see fit. Pour mixture into bowl and garnish with paprika. Serve with warm pita.

Recipes: Vegan Mac n "Cheese"

Oh Hey folks another vegan recipe for you today! I'm really getting into this vegan cooking thing way more then I was expecting! It's a fun challenge and I am really eating better and feeling better all in the same package. Any way, yesterday was a magical day for no other reason then it was. I had black coffee at quacks and liked it. Shocker. (If you know me I am a sugar and cream girl all the way so, big deal.) After my work was done I went home starving scouring the cabinets for something delicious but of course we had nothing. But I made nothing into something wonderful. Every thing you most likely have in your pantry right now with exception of nutritional yeast flakes. (which I happened to have yesterday) You can buy this in bulk at health food stores and some grocery stores carry it if they carry a lot of vegetarian food products. I buy it in bulk for like $1.50 at Wheatsville coop here in Austin. So here is the recipe, you can add any veggies you like this is just what I had on hand, but I have to say the onions really added a nice touch!

Laura K A's Vegan Mac N' Cheese

1/2 bag of Whole Wheat Spiral Pasta

1/2 Onion Chopped

8 White Button Mushrooms sliced or a Cup presliced

1 Cup Frozen Peas

For "Cheezy Sauce recipe" adapted from The Veganomicon Cook Book.

2 Cups Water

1/4 Cup All-Purpose Flour

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

3 Garlic Cloves minced

Pinch of Oregano

1/4 Teaspoon Salt

Several pinches Freshly Ground Pepper

1/2 Teaspoon Cumin

3/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast Flakes

1 Tablespoon fresh Lemon Juice

1 Teaspoon prepared Yellow Mustard

In a large pot boil water for pasta and cook according to package directions.

Heat a skilled with a little bit of olive oil add mushrooms and onions and cook about 3 mins. then add frozen peas. Cook until onions are soft and translucent and peas are heated through. Turn of heat and let sit. When pasta is done drain and add to skillet.

For Cheezy Sauce, Combine water and flour with a whisk in a liquid measuring cup until all the flour is devolved.

Preheat a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Place oil and garlic in the pan and gently cook for about 2 minutes, stirring often and making sure not to burn the garlic.

Add oregano, salt, and pepper, and cook for about 15 seconds. Add water and flour mixture, cumin, and nutritional yeast, and raise the heat to medium. Use a whisk to stir constantly. The mixture should start bubbling and thickening in about 3 minutes; if it doesn't turn heat up. Once the mixture starts bubbling stir and cook about 2 more minutes. Add lemon juice and mustard and whisk in. The mixture should look like melted cheese. Add salt to taste. Then pour over pasta and veggies in skillet and stir to combined. Serve immediately.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Snobby Joe's

So Greg and I are going vegan for a while to see if the diet does us good and so far it's working. The other night I made Snobby Joe's (sloppy joe's) from the all mighty Veganomicon a 101 guide to awesome vegan recipes good for your average or above average vegan and pretty much everyone else that likes good food in general. This recipe is made with lentils instead of meat. Of course we had a beer with it, you can see our Oh No Oh My beer cozies in the picture. Shameless self promotion in our house at all times Click here to buy your own! ;) ha ha. Any way, I also include a lame picture of my drying rack because I was thinking about how smalllll it is, but I will never get rid of it because I'll feel bad for some reason, maybe throwing out all that plastic. And there are my feet in my house flip flops attempting to step on to the kitchen mat in my PJ's to wash the dishes. I hate all you dishwasher owners. Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Recipes: Veggie Fajita Tacos (vegan)

Veggie Fajita Tacos (Vegan)
serves 4 people.

Veggie Tacos might not sound that exciting but trust me, this recipe is packed with flavor and the poblano pepper really makes them special.This has become a house hold favorite recipe here at our house and I finally feel that I have perfected it for you to make in your humble abode! These tacos are fresh and delicious not to mention really easy to make.

1 medium Zucchini quarter and cut into slices
1 medium Yellow Squash quartered and cut into slices
1/2 medium Onion cut in half and sliced thin
1 Poblano Pepper cut into one inch strips (if you can't find this you can sub green bell pepper)
1 Red Bell Pepper cut into one inch strips
1/2 Jalapeno seeded and diced
2 cloves of Garlic diced
1/3 cup Crumbled Tofu (Crumble it up with your hands!)
8 whole wheat flour tortillas (or corn if you can't get fresh whole wheat tortillas)
1 tbsp. Chili Powder
1/2 tbsp. Oregano
1/2 tbsp. Fajita Seasoning
2 tbsp. Olive Oil
mashed up large avocado for serving

Preheat the oven to 200F.

Line a cookie sheet with tortillas and pop in the oven.

Heat up oil, chili powder, and oregano in large skillet on medium heat.
add Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Onion, Poblano pepper, Red Bell Pepper and Jalapeno, and cook for a minute coating the veggies in oil and chili powder and oregano. Add fajita seasoning and cook for 3-4 minutes, then add garlic and tofu crumbles cook for another 2-3 minutes. Take of heat and transfer to a bowl to stop the cooking.

Take tortillas out of the oven and place them in a cloth lined basket for serving or tortilla warmer.

We like to serve these tacos with mashed up avocado for a topper and hot sauce (we like cholula).
Serve with beans. We are really into Goya's Ranchero refried beans they are vegan and a little spicy! And of course a Mexican Beer!! Enjoy! <-_->

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bridal Brunch Party

During my summer trip extravaganza, I hosted a brunch for my dear friend Aimee who got married and two of my best friends at my parents house. It was pretty great to get to use my great grandma's fine china and my mom's beautiful silver wear. Trust me if I were hosting this event at my house we would be eating of ikea. period. Anyway, I thought I would share with you some pictures of my impromptu table setting, with flowers gathered from my mom's garden and the menu I used for the brunch party!

The salad is a just mix greens with home made lemon and olive oil dressing which is exactly what it sounds, a surprisingly big hit with the ladies. The egg dish is Giada De Laurentiis recipe Chicken and Orzo Frittata which was very, very easy. I made some home fries by cooking some new potatoes the night in boiling water till tender then I let them cool and then cutting them in to bite size pieces and threw them in a big ziplock with some chopped raw onion; so in the morning all I had to do was heat up the skillet with some butter and through in the potatoes and onion with my secret spices and cook until the onions are caramelized. To put this brunch to a new level of fancy I made raspberry butter and served it with ciabatta bread. This was inspired by a restaurant in my old neighborhood called Maggie Browns that serves raspberry butter and biscuits. All you have to do is take a stick of fairly cold butter and 3 heaping spoonfuls of raspberry jam and beater with an electric mixer until it combines, I might be kind of clumpy still but it sure is good!

Meringue Raspberry Ice Cream Cake, From Design Sponge. My tip is to add a sweeter dark chocolate other wise this comes out quite bitter.

All these recipes saved me a lot of time which gave me more time to be able to drink mimosas and catch up with the girls!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Summer Travels: Part 3, NYC and Brooklyn

Muji recharge.


Home brewed kombucha.
Ft. Greene Farmers market, My Favorite yellow tomatoes!!
Breakfast at General Greene

Summer Travels: Part 2, Maine

Summer Travels: Part 1 Vermont

My friends and I sing the Jem theme song for our class.

Kismet Montpelier's smallest and best restaurant.

Summer Time.

I know I dropped off of the face of the blogging earth (sphere), but I've been having a great time doing it. A whole month Holiday for me. I went to school for my 10 days in Vermont (low-residency program MFA, if you where wondering what that means) which is filled with the other great wonderful people in my life that keep me going. Then I went down to Connecticut to hang out with my Grandmas, rents, and brother. After that I took an awesome trip to Maine to see a great friend and her new baby and family with 3 of my best girlfriends, and it was WONDERFUL.Then it was back down to Brooklyn for the weekend catching up with friends and soaking in the old Alma mater and bliss that I call NYC. This week I am back in Connecticut in preparation for one of my best-est friends weddings. We have been crafting and planning and it's looking like the event of the year, I am really excited for her! Any way here are some of my summer highlights.