Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian’

Vegetable Korma

September 21, 2010

A rather awful picture of tonights supper.

I started off w/ a recipe sent by my sister and changed it up thusly:

1 tbs cumin
1 tbs grnd corriander
1 1/2 tbs garam marsla
1 tsp tumeric
4 whole cloves
1/2 tsp grnd cardamom
1 tsp grnd cinnamon
4 tbs vegetable oil
1 tbs minced garlic
1 tbs minced fresh ginger
1 white onion, chopped
1 can fire roasted tomato w/ juice
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup cashews, grnd
1 head cauliflower, chopped
3 small potatoes, chopped
3 carrots, diced
1/2 cup edamame, shelled
1/2 cup chickpeas

Comibine spices in a heavy bottomed pan and dry fry until aromatic, about 2 minutes.  Add oil, and mix to combine with spices.  Fry garlic and ginger in the oil and spice mixture for about 2 minutes, then add onion and cook until softened.  Crush tomatoes into the pot and add the juice.  Mix in the ground cashews and whisk until incorporated.   Add coconut milk and vegetables.  Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are as soft as desired. Could be al dente. Could be mush. It’s your choice.

Ground cashews: 1/3 cup cashews soaked in about 1/2 cup water for an hour.  Remove most of the liquid, then grind in mortar or in food processor.

I used edamame because I mostly hate green peas.  Try to find them fresh around here.  I dare you!  My sister’s recipe called for chicken instead of the veg.  I did poach a chicken breast in there for Andy, then cubed it on top of his plate.  Hers also had heavy cream in place of the coconut milk but I have baby weight to loose!  Top w/ yogurt and cilantro if desired.  Serve over basmati rice.


Lentil Moussaka

January 10, 2010

We’ve decided to stay up in Vermont for the winter. I know! I know! Most people fly south for the winter.  After spending 29 of my 30 years in Texas, however, I decided an actual winter was in order.  So I wake up to this every morning:

This is where Andy spends most of his winter days.

Of course, the dude can work any where he likes. I on the other hand am continuing my unemployment trend in pursuit of another life long goal.  This gives me ample time to cook and blog.  Hopefully this will end the 6 month or so long blog dry spell.  I’ve been cooking all this time, but also teaching 8th grade, so there’s been very little time to actually write about it.

The weather seems to make me want nothing but soft, warm comfort food. When I was recently asked to bring some sort of hearty vegetable dish to a family gathering, the only thought that would come into my head was Moussaka.  I love all things Greek. I love eggplant. I love feta cheese.  I certainly love béchamel.  The only thing I don’t love is the current lack of Zoe-friendly meat in my freezer.  We’re pretty much on vegetarian rations right now.  That’s fine, actually.  I do love the challenge of filling us up without the ease of using meat.

The following is what I came up with after pursuing recipes for moussaka.  It’s a combination of different points from the many that I read.  Over all, I loved it.  It was a rather time-consuming recipe, but I was in the mood to chop and fuss and prep.

1/2 cup of green lentils
4-6 cups water
2 small yellow onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup beer
2 (14 oz) cans tomatoes, diced
1 cup cherry tomato, halved
2 tbs fresh thyme leaves, chopped
2 tbs fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
2 tbs fresh oregano leaves, chopped
kosher salt, fresh cracked pepper

2 eggplants, peeled and sliced
2 zucchini, sliced
2 baking potato, sliced
1/2 cup feta cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup whole grain bread crumbs

5 tbs unsalted butter
4 tbs unbleached flour
3 cups 2% milk
1 cup half and half
1 tsp salt
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of white pepper (which I didn’t have, so I used black)

Peel eggplant, and slice it about 1/8 inch thick.  Place the slices in a large colander and apply a very liberal amount of salt.  Set this aside for at least 30 minutes while you prep the filling and slice the other vegetables.  The goal here is to pull some of the moisture from the eggplant.  After 30 minutes, rinse thoroughly with water and then dry with paper towels.

To prepare the filling: Boil the lentils in the water (salted) until almost done.  Leave them with just a little bite to them.  Drain and set aside.  In a large pot, sauté the onions in a small amount of olive oil.  Add garlic, and cook just to soften.  Deglaze the pan with the beer, then add the canned tomato. Add back the lentils, fresh tomato, and seasonings.  Simmer the filling for a bout 30 minutes.  The filling should be quite, thick and most of the liquid will reduce.  (I had extra filling which I used on top of some whole wheat spaghetti for lunch.)

In a large skillet, heat a little bit of olive oil.  Brown the eggplant, one side at a time. Set aside.  Brown the zucchini in the same pan and set aside.  Add a small amount more oil, then cook the potatoes until they are a bit softened, but not fully cooked.  Set aside.

In a 13X9 inch pan, lay down a layer with each of the vegetables.  You will have more eggplant than anything else, so try to work it so that each of the 3 layers will have some of each vegetable.  I placed eggplant, zucchini, and potato in bands.  For the bottom layer I placed: eggplant, zucchini, eggplant, potato.  In the next layer I placed the vegetables so that they were directly above a different vegetable. The idea was that each piece cut from the casserole would contain all three vegetables.

On top of the first layer of vegetable spread about 1 cup of the lentil filling, then top that with a little feta and a little Parmesan.  Top with another layer of vegetables, then filling, then cheese.  Make sure to end the layering with vegetables on top.  Bake the casserole at 350°F for about 25 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow it to stand for about 15 minutes.  The casserole may be a little watery when taken from the oven, but should reabsorb most of the liquid.

While it cools, make the white sauce.  In a straight sided skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.  Sprinkle the flour on top of the butter and whisk together to form a roux.  Cook the roux until it is a dark sandy color, just starting to brown.  Add the milk and half and half, whisking to incorporate.  Continue to stir until the mixture thickens.  Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  Taste for flavor, and re-season if necessary. (You will have extra white sauce.  Use it on pasta, or any recipe that calls for a cream sauce.  Mine will probably go into Tuna Noodle Casserole to be frozen for later.)

Pour just enough of the béchamel over the vegetable casserole to cover it lightly.  Top with the bread crumbs and more cheese if desired.  Bake uncovered until the potatoes are fully cooked, about 30 minutes.  Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting.

Tofu Pot Sticker Dumplings

May 21, 2009

I first made dumplings with my wonderful friend Xin Li in graduate school.  Known as Mama Xin in my little lab of beleaguered grad students, Xin had moved to the US with her husband and daughter from China about 3 years before we met.  She knew the dumplings were my favorite, and would bring them to me if she knew I was having a hard time in the lab.  The day after the funeral of my best friend, there was a hot plate of dumplings left for me with out explanation on my desk. I think I cried for about a week over that.  Asian Dumplings are comfort food, as sure as a big bowl of the puffy Bisquick variety.

Dipping Sauce:
¼ soy sauce
1 tbs chilé garlic sauce
splash white wine vinegar
drizzle sesame oil

Combine soy sauce, chilé garlic sauce, and white wine vinegar.  Slowly wisk in a thin stream of sesame oil (about 2 tsp).

1 brick extra firm organic tofu
1 cup shredded bok choy
½-¾ cup shredded red cabbage
½ cup shredded carrots
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
¼ cup fresh green onion tops, chopped
2 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs hoisin sauce (optional: leave it out for vegans)
2 tbs chilé garlic sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
1 package goyza wrappers, or wonton skins
4 tbs water
2 tbs corn starch

**Meaty alternative: Combine 1 lb ground pork, ½ cup green chopped green onion, 2 tbs soy sauce, 2 tbs hoisin sauce, 2 tsp sesame oil, 2 tbs chilé garlic sauce.  Use this instead of the tofu/cabbage mixture.

Drain water from tofu and then crush the entire brick in a large bowl.  Add shredded cabbages, carrots, ginger, shallots, hot sauce, soy, hoisin, cilantro, and green onions.  Mix, just to bring together.  Taste the mixture and re-season as desired.  You want a dry mixture. No liquid should pool in the bottom of the bowl.   In a small dish combine water and corn starch.

Prepare an area in which to assemble the dumplings.  You will need: A large plate on which to work, a cookie sheet lined with wax paper (plus additional wax paper for additional layers), a small soup spoon, raw goyza wrappers,  and a clean dry cup towel.

Work Space

Work Space

With the area set up: place a single goyza wrapper on your work plate.  Place about 1 tbs of the filling in the center of the wrapper.  Dip a finger in the corn starch and water mixture, making certain to mix the solution a little. Shake off most of the excess liquid, then run the finger around the bottom edge of the wrapper only. You want to just barely wet the wrapper, not soak it.

Wet the edge of the wrapper.

Wet the edge of the wrapper.

Dry your fingers using the clean cup towel.  Carefully fold the top half of the wrapper down to meet the bottom.  Then pick up the wonton, and use the fingers of one hand to gently seal the edges.  You aren’t trying to press the dough together, only use the corn starch/water mixture as glue.  Carefully press out bubbles. Try not to get the filling in the seam as this will prevent it from sealing.

Seal the wonton.

Seal the wonton.

Place the folded wonton on a wax paper lined baking sheet.  Separate layers with an additional sheet of waxed paper. If you don’t wish to use all of them in one day, place the dumplings in single layers in your freezer. When they have completely frozen through, you can bag them and save them in the freezer for about a month. Between the assembly of each dumpling, wipe your plate with the cup towel.  You want a dry work surface.

Heat a large dutch oven over medium high heat.  Add about 2 tbs of canola oil to the bottom of the pan.  Place folded dumplings, one at a time, in the hot oil.  DO NOT TURN.  Clamp a tight lid down over the dumplings and let them cook for about 1 minute.  You are actually encouraging the dumpling to stick to the bottom of the pot.  Hence the name potsticker. Lift the lid from the dutch oven and add about ¼ cup of cold water to the pan. Clamp the lid back on and cook for an additonal minute.  This will unstick the dumpling from the pan. If you are using a meat filling make certain it has time to cook all the way through.

Serve, burned side up, with the dipping sauce.

Burned side up.

Burned side up.

I actually prefer the meat filling here.  Somehow the tofu will always be just a tiny bit too watery for my taste.  I like this tofu filling though. It’s got plenty of flavor and is virtually guilt free as far as calories go.  If you don’t want to use the pot sticking method, you can steam the dumplings using a metal steamer basket, a spray of olive oil, and a big pot.  If you would like to boil the dumplings (more precisly you would poach them): bring a large pot of water to just under the boil.  Stir the water slowly with a large spoon to create a vortex.  One at a time, gently drop in the dumplings and cook for about 3 mintutes. Strain and eat.

Tofu noodle soup

March 6, 2009

I lived in Athens, Ga for a little while after grad school.  I guess I really didn’t want to be there for long, because I just about refused to make friends or come up with any kind of social life while I was there.  Instead, I holed up in my little duplex with my dog, and some really good Thai take out.  That year, I fell in love with Tom Yum soups.  The blend of acid and heat is something I particularly love.  The following soup was meant to be a cross between my chicken noodle soup, and my thai favorite.  It relied heavily on everyone’s favorite Vietnamese  hot sauce.

I used the chili garlic sauce.  Lots.

I used the chili garlic sauce. Lots.

1 brick firm tofu
2 tbs olive oil
2 medium white onions, sliced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 head celery (with leaves), chopped
1 cup carrots, sliced
1/2 head green cabbage, chopped
2 bottles beer
1 large can fire roasted tomatoes, crushed with juice
3-5 tablespoons chili garlic paste
zest of 1 lime
juice of 1 lime
1-3 tbs cumin
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 cup water
1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup whole wheat egg noodles
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Drain tofu from storage water.  Line one dinner plate with two cup towels, folded in fourths.  Place the tofu block on the towels, then top with two more folded towels, and another dinner plate which faces upward.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours with cans to weight the top plate.  Leave in the refrigerator until well drained.  Remove tofu from fridge, and slice into squares about 1/4 inch thick.  Place on a hot non stick skillet.  Begin to gently press the tofu with a flat spatula.  Water will escape the tofu and evaporate on the hot skillet.  Turn when the underside has started to brown and repeat.  Continue pressing until the tofu is about halved in thickness and has a slightly meaty consistency. Cut into bite sized pieces.

Heat olive oil in a large soup kettle.  Saute onions until translucent, then add garlic to soften.  Add celery and stir until it begins to soften.  Add remaining ingredients except noodles, pressed tofu, and cilantro.  Allow to simmer, on low, until the carrots are softened.  Taste, and adjust seasonings as desired.  About 20 minutes before serving, add the noodles and tofu and cook unti the pasta softens.  Serve with chopped cilantro.

Vegetarian Bean Soup

January 6, 2009
Im in the mood for soup, so I thinned this out a bit with more beer. If I wanted chili, Id leave it very chunky.

I'm in the mood for soup, so I thinned this out a bit with more beer. If I wanted chili, I'd leave it very chunky.

This is what I make when asked for vegetarian chili.  I’ve got to say, it’s one of my favorite self generated recipes.  I sort of touched and tinkered on it for a good long while and I think it’s nicely balanced and filling.  I will say this is not something to make on a week day.  The chopping and layering and sauteing take time.  I like to let the vegetables simmer for a few minutes to create their own stock. Then I add the beer, crank the heat and let it reduce a bit before I continue building the soup. I think that makes the flavor a bit more rich.  Take your time, it will pay off.   The recipe makes about a metric ton of soup, so bring home friends.  This will be dinner on Saturday night, along with some sourdough bread. If you’re in Austin please do stop by.

A word about adobo sauce:  It can sneak up on you.  You may taste very little chilè when the soup is first assembled, and then not be able to eat it in a few hours.  I start with adding one or two tablespoons of the adobo sauce, and then taste and work up as the cooking continues.  If you can find them Fire Roasted Tomatoes (instead of plain canned ones) will add something here.

2 tbs vegetable oil
1 yellow onion, finely diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
4 large carrots, peeled and finely diced
4 large celery stalks, peeled and finely diced
2 cups white mushrooms, chopped coarse
2 ear sweet corn removed from the cob
2 chipotle peppers
3 tbs adobo sauce
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter (100% peanuts if possible)
Fresh cracked pepper
Kosher salt
1 bottle of beer
1 can whole tomatoes crushed with juice
1 cup black beans drained, washed, juice reserved
1 cup kidney beans drained, washed, juice reserved
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
Juice of one lime (optional)

Heat a large stock pot and add oil to bottom of the pan, just to cover. Saute onion until it begins to color. Add garlic, carrots and celery. Cook until vegetables begin to soften, adding a touch of beer if needed to deglaze the pan and keep things from sticking.  Add mushrooms. Cook down, lid on, until mushrooms yield moisture. Add corn. Stir in chopped chili, adobo sauce, cumin, peanut butter, pepper, and salt. Saute for a few more minutes. Pour bottle of beer into vegetable mixture. Add crushed tomatoes with juice. Add washed beans. Stir. Add reserved bean juice as needed. Bring to a boil stirring frequently. Reduce to simmer for 2 to 3 hours. Add chopped cilantro and lime juice  just before serving.

Vegan Blackeyed Peas

November 8, 2008

I served this with stewed cabbage, though it isn’t New Years.  I love blackeyed peas, but I’ve always found it difficult to get them nice and savory without a giant hunk of yummy dead pig floating in the middle of them.  The coffee seemed to do nicely here, giving the broth a little depth.

1 lb dried blackeyed peas, soaked overnight
4 tbs olive oil
2 medium white onions, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 tbs fresh ginger, peeled and minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Serrano peppers, seeded and minced
1 cup white wine
1 cup black coffee
kosher salt
½ tbs cumin
½ tbs chili powder
hot water

In a large dutch oven, heat olive oil.  Add onions and celery, mixing to coat with the oil.  Clamp the lid on and allow to cook until softened, stirring occasionally.  Add peppers, garlic, and ginger and saute until just tender.  Deglaze the pan with the white wine, add coffee, beans and seasonings.  Cover with water by two or three inches.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer until the peas soften.  Taste the broth and re-season as needed.  If you must add water to the pot while it simmers, make certain it is near boiling. Cold water will cause the beans to split an the broth to muddy.

Vegetarian BBQ Sloppy Joes

August 29, 2008

1 package vegetarian crumble. (Morning Star Farms, frozen)
1 large white onion
1 large package of button mushrooms (probably 2 cups minced)
4 cloves garlic
1 tbs cumin
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
salt and pepper
1/2 cup Stubbs BBQ sauce (or more)

Mince onions and mushrooms extremely fine.  You can use food processor but don’t over process or they’ll get too wet.  Saute until soft. Toss in the garlic to soften.  Drain excess moisture.  Press w/ paper towels
to dry further.  Add the crumbles.  Warm through.  Add seasonings.  Add BBQ sauce.  You may need to add a little more if it’s too dry.  Cook till warm.  Serve on buns.

Sometimes, I make it without the crumbles and just double the onion and mushrooms if I’m going for super low calorie.  With the crumbles, the filling is maybe a point on Weight Watchers.

Veggy Fajitas

August 13, 2008

2 large sweet onions, sliced
2-3 cups crimini mushrooms, sliced
2 red bell peppers, seeded and sliced
2 jalepenos, seeded and chopped
2 yellow squash, chopped
2 zucchinis, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large can tomatoes, juice reserved
2 limes, juiced
1 MASSIVE amount of cayenne pepper (I’m guessing 2 tbs)
3 tbs cumin (or more if you like)
1/4 cup worchestireshire (how do you spell that?) sauce
1 can beer

Get your cast iron dutch oven smoking hot. Turn the oven to around 500. Spray some no-stick in the dutch oven or add a tiny bit of vegetable oil. Saute the onions until golden add the garlic and saute just to soften the garlic. Remove them. Return dutch oven to the heat. Saute the mushrooms in small batches so they don’t get all sweaty. Remove the shrooms one batch at a time an add to the onions. Toss mushrooms and onions w/ the rest of the raw veggies in a mixing bowl.

Deglaze the dutch oven with the beer. Add the worchestirshire sauce, lime juice, tomato juice, and seasonings to the pot. Simmer to reduce. Allow it to cook until you have less than half the original volume. It will be nearly black and kind of gritty from all the seasonings and burned on stuff from the pan.

Add the veggies back to the pan (or put them in a baking dish if it’s too much for your dutch oven). Stir with the reduction. Pop it in the oven with no lid until it browns up.

Serve on corn tortillas. Maybe add some guac, salsa, pico, or a touch of queso fresco.

Black Bean Cheese Enchiladas

July 26, 2008

Black beans:
1 lb dry black beans, soaked
1 medium white onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Serrano peppers, seeded and diced
1 tbs cumino
salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onion until soft with a bit of olive oil in a large dutch oven.  Add garlic and peppers and stir until softened.  Add beans to the pot and cover with water.  Add seasonings.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for at least two hours until the beans soften.  Add hot water as necessary to keep the liquid level constant.  Adding cold water will split the beans and make the broth mealy.

2 cups prepared black beans with liquid (or canned)
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
8 oz canned hatch green chiles
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tbs cumin
3 tbs chili powder

Combine the above and simmer on medium until reduced to desired consistency.  It should be just thick enough to spoon over the casserole.

15 corn tortillas
½ cup canola oil
2 cups shredded colby jack cheese (I’m using reduced fat)
1 large white onion, diced

Dip each tortilla, one at a time in hot grease.  From the grease, place the tortilla on a surface lined with paper towel.  Blot the tortilla with additional paper towel. Move the tortilla into a 9X13 inch baking dish. Roll cheese and onions into corn tortillas. Place the roll seam side down in a baking dish. (Rubber gloves would help if your fingers aren’t made of asbestos)  Ladel the bean mixture over the enchiladas. Use only enough of the beans to cover the rolled enchillads liberaly.  Bake at 350ºF for about 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Top with additional shredded chesse and onions.  Bake until cheese topping melts.

Garlic Kale

April 15, 2008

1 bunch kale, stems removed. torn
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbs olive oil
Tahini dressing from 101 Cookbooks

Tahini Dressing:
1 garlic clove, smashed and chopped
1/4 cup tahini
zest of one lemon
scant 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons hot water
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

Combine tahini, lemon zest, juice, olive oil, and sea salt. Whisk in hot water to thin.

Garlic Kale:

Heat a heavy sauce pan on medium high heat. Add olive oil to coat bottom of pan. Add garlic to hot oil and heat until golden, being sure the garlic doesn’t burn. Remove any pieces of garlic that do. Add kale to garlic and oil. Allow to wilt until just softened, but still with a little bite. Alternately remove pan from heat, and put it back on so that the garlic doesn’t burn and become bitter. Serve kale with a drizzle of tahini dressing