Leftovers Today

Well, today was busy, so we had leftover chili.  I did make some cornbread fresh today though.  Every morning we have a fruity spinach smoothie, and I thought I would share it with you.  The color changes depending on what fruit you use, but the taste is always yummy!  Here it is:

spinach-smoothie.jpg

Spinach Smoothie

Prep Time: 10 minutes Serves: 1 big or 2 small smoothies

½ cup frozen fruit, tropical blend – mangoes, papaya and pineapple

1 cup orange juice

½ cup packed fresh spinach

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender (I recommend the Magic Bullet), and blend until smooth.

  2. Pour into one (or two glasses, if sharing) glass and enjoy!

Today’s dinner is brought to you from Veganomicon

I got 4 new cookbooks for Christmas this year, so I thought I would share some of the yummy dishes with you.  Today I made Chipotle, Corn and Black Bean Stew on page 60 of Vegan With A Vengance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.  There are some awesome recipes in this cookbook, I highly recommend it.  Some of the recipes I have tried and really like are Sauteed Green Beans with Mushrooms, BBQ Pomegranate Tofu pg. 149 (K’s favorite) with Coconut Rice pg 109, Tempeh and White Bean Sausage Patties pg 18 (another K favorite), and Scrambled Tofu. 

The only thing I don’t like about these cookbooks is the high fat content.  Most of the recipes can be tweaked by leaving out the oil/earth balance or replacing it with vegetable broth.  Here is a picture of the Stew we had, very tasty!

chipotle-corn-and-black-bean-stew.jpg

Mistakes that turned out okay!

Well, tonight I planned a Squash & Chard Manicotti with Balsamic-Walnut Salad and Chocolate Pudding Cake for dessert. I started making dinner, realizing a little late that it takes 2 hours to make (always read through your recipe first!). I had actually made this a couple of years ago and remembered really liking it, well, I wasn’t vegan then so I had to change the recipe a bit, took out the eggs and exchanged the cheese for tofu and nutritional yeast. Basically, you take lasagne sheets and roll up with the filling inside, topped with a bechamel sauce and then baked. Well, all was going pretty well, the filling turned out great, but the lasagne noodles I had were a little too skinny to roll, so I decided just to make a lasagne out of it. I started making the bechemel sauce, but no matter what I did, it wouldn’t thicken, so I just poured it in the casserole dish, assembled my lasagne and topped it with the remaining sauce. It wasn’t what I started out to make, but it turned out good. Next, I went to make the salad dressing, well, you know when you think you always have bottles of red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, etc in your pantry, well, I was out of red wine vinegar, so I used rice wine vinegar instead. Luckily it turned out good as well. My scariest dish to try is the melting chocolate cake because it mainly uses egg yolks and since I don’t eat eggs anymore, I had to come up with something different. I decided on part tofu and part egg replacer. They aren’t quite the same as when I made it with eggs, but it still tasted great!!! I’ll post the pictures tomorrow, but here are the recipes: 

Squash and Chard Lasagne   

Squash & Chard Lasagne

Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: approx. 1 hour 30 minutes Serves: 6

2 TBSP vegetable broth

2 ½ cups butternut squash, peeled and diced

1 cup leeks, thinly sliced

Pinch crushed red pepper flakes

¼ cup vegetable broth

1 tsp sugar

2 cups Swiss chard, stemmed and sliced

1 TBSP fresh sage, minced (or 1 tsp dried sage)

salt and pepper, to taste

1 cup tofu ricotta

3 cups bechamel sauce

9 lasagne sheets

Tofu Ricotta:

1 cup firm tofu

1 TBSP dried basil

2 tsp Italian seasoning

1 TBSP nutritional yeast

Bechamel Sauce:

3 TBSP vegetable broth

¼ cup whole wheat flour

3 cups soy milk

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp white pepper

¼ tsp nutmeg

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bring a pot of water to boil to cook the lasagne noodles.

  2. Heat 2 TBSP of vegetable broth in a skillet over medium-high heat and saute the squash, leeks, and crushed red pepper flakes until the leeks are soft, about 5 minutes.

  3. Add the ¼ cup vegetable broth and the sugar, cover and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the squash is soft.

  4. Add the chard and the sage, stir to combine. Cover and cook for about 2 minutes, the chard should be wilted, but not mushy looking. Season with salt and pepper.

  5. While the chard is cooking, mix together the tofu, basil, Italian seasoning and nutritional yeast with a fork. Once the chard mixture is done cooking, remove from the heat and stir in the tofu ricotta.

  6. While the filling is cooling, make the bechamel sauce. In a large saucepan, whisk together the vegetable broth and the flour until combined. Slowly whisk in the soy milk, then increase the heat to medium-high. Once it starts to boil, turn the heat to low and simmer, stirring constantly until it thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne pepper.

  7. As the sauce is cooking, put the noodles in to cook for 4 to 6 minutes.

  8. Pour 1 cup of the bechamel sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish and put a layer of lasagne noodles on that. Add a layer of filling and top with ½ cup sauce. Add another layer of noodles, filling, the remaining noodles and then the remaining sauce. Cook, uncovered for 25 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Balsamic-Walnut Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes Serves: 4

2 TBSP balsamic vinegar

1 TBSP rice wine vinegar

1 TBSP shallot, minced

1 tsp Dijon mustard

salt and pepper, to taste

2 TBSP ground flax seeds

¼ cup water

4 cups mixed greens

1 cup grape tomatoes

½ cup walnuts, chopped

  1. Whisk together all of the ingredients except the mixed greens, tomatoes and walnuts (or for quicker preparation, blend in a magic bullet or blender).

  2. In a serving bowl, add the mixed greens, top with the grape tomatoes and walnuts.

  3. Toss the salad with some of the dressing, or serve the dressing on the side so everyone can add however much or little they want.

 Melting Chocolate Cake    melting-chocolate-cake-plated.jpg    

Chocolate Pudding Cake

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 12 minutes Serves: 4

6 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (check the ingredients carefully for milk fat)

¼ cup almond milk (chocolate flavor is good too)

1 TBSP egg replacer

2 TBSP warm water

1 cup tofu, pureed (you can use soft or firm tofu)

½ cup sugar

3 TBSP dark ale or full-bodied beer

½ cup whole wheat flour

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Spray 4 ramekins with cooking spray with flour, or line with parchment paper, and set on a baking sheet.

  2. Add the chocolate and almond milk to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until almost melted. Start with 30 seconds, stir together and put in for another 30 seconds, if needed. Stir until smooth.

  3. Whisk together the egg replacer and warm water until well combined. Add the tofu, sugar, and beer,whisking to combine.

  4. Stir in the melted chocolate, then stir in the flour until combined.

  5. Divide the mixture evenly into the 4 ramekins. (You can fill the ramekins and refrigerate for up to 2 hours before baking)

  6. Bake the cakes for 12 to 13 minutes, or until the tops are dry and the outside edges have started to pull away from the sides of the ramekins.

  7. Cover loosely with foil and cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes before serving (the centers will sink slightly as they cool).

  8. Run a knife around the edges to loosen and unmold onto a plate. You can top with some Soyatoo whipped topping and raspberries, or serve plain. You could also sprinkle a little powdered sugar on top too. Store in the refrigerator.

 melting-chocolate-cake-sliced.jpg     all-gone.jpg

Baked Millet

This one tastes really good with the Baja Vegetable Wrap filling (from yesterday).  It also works well in place of mashed potatoes with some gravy poured over the top.   

Baked Millet

Millet tastes best with a sauce served over it. Use it as a variation to brown rice. Tastes great with Spicy Yam Stew.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 1 hour Servings: 6-8

1 ½ cups millet

4 cups tomato juice (or vegetable broth)

1 cup onion, coarsely chopped

2 cloves garlic

½ tsp sage

½ tsp basil

½ tsp poultry seasoning

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Place the millet in a baking dish.

  3. Place the rest of the ingredients into a blender or food processor & process until smooth. Stir into the millet, mix well. Cover & bake for 1 hour, checking after 30 minutes.

Baja Vegetable Wraps

This week has been interesting.  I am almost over the flu which kept me down for almost 2 weeks, which means that I didn’t get to too much cooking.  Its a good thing I had a few meals in the freezer for just this type of occasion.  I did have time to think about some new dishes & some yummy desserts that I hope to share with you in the next few weeks.  Here is one that I really like, it makes a great & simple dinner that reheats well for lunch the next day.  It is light enough for summer, but makes a nice warm and inviting winter time meal as well. 

Baja Vegetable Wraps

This keeps well in the fridge & reheats well too, makes a great quick lunch for during the week.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 20 minutes Servings: 6 – 8

1 onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 carrot, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced

½ tsp garlic, minced

½ cup vegetable broth

1 bunch green onions, cut into 1” pieces

1 ½ cups Napa cabbage, sliced

1 TBSP soy sauce

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp leaf oregano

2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes

2 cups chopped fresh spinach, packed

2 15-oz cans black beans, drained & rinsed

½ cup salsa

1 – 2 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro

Hot Sauce, to taste (like Tabasco)

6 – 8 flour tortillas, warmed

  1. In a large pot, heat the vegetable broth & add the onion, bell pepper, carrot, & garlic. Cook for 4 – 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the green onions, Napa cabbage, soy sauce, chili powder, & oregano to the pot. Cook for 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes, spinach, beans & salsa 7 cook for 5 minutes. Take off the heat & stir in the cilantro & hot sauce.

  2. Serve rolled up in a warm tortilla & enjoy.

Serving suggestions: You can use any beans you want, try red beans or cannellini beans. You can also serve this over a baked potato, whole grains or baked millet.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

My husband was craving cookies last night, so here is what I made: 

Chocolate Chip Cookies

You’ll never guess these are vegan when you taste them! They have been tested on a die-hard carnivore and got a thumbs up!

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 8 to 10 minutes Cool Time: 2 minutes Yield: 2 dozen

4 ½ tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer

6 TBSP warm water

¾ cup unsweetened applesauce

½ cup sugar

½ cup brown sugar (light or dark)

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 ¼ cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 cup nondairy semisweet chocolate chips*

1 cup chopped walnuts, optional

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.

  2. Whisk together the egg replacer and warm water in a small bowl until frothy and thoroughly combined. You could also use a small blender instead of a whisk.

  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the applesauce, sugars, and vanilla until the sugars have dissolved. Stir in the egg replacer mixture until combined.

  4. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually combine the flour mixture into the wet mixture until it starts to form a dough. Gently fold in the chocolate chips and the walnuts, if using.

  5. Scoop out onto a baking sheet using two spoons or a cookie scoop and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Let them rest for 2 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or store in an airtight container for up to a week.

*Check the ingredients carefully, a lot of chocolate chips have milk fat in the ingredients.

Another reason to stop eating animals!

Back in March I recieved an article from Shop Natural Co-op about cloned meat and dairy being sold in stores with no labels to let you know where it came from.  There was a link at the bottom of the article to let them know that you do not  want cloned meat or dairy sold in stores, especially without any labeling.  Well, I sent in my comments and then actually forgot about it.  Last night I was watching tv and they had a teaser for that nights news story and there it was again!!!  I wasn’t able to stay up to watch the news, but I am horrified!  Who really wants to eat meat or drink milk from a cloned cow!!!  Choose wisely.  Here is the original article from Shop Natural Co-op:

FDA Gives Preliminary Approval for Cloned Meat and Dairy Products
Article by Reggie Smith, ShopNatural General Manager.

Just when you thought it was safe to go back down the meat aisle, comes a new policy from the Food and Drug Administration approving the use of cloned animals for meat and dairy products. The decision apparently benefits only two or three cloning facilities nationwide. With little data, other than that supplied by the cloning companies, Via-gen and Cyagra, the FDA determined that cloned meat is “virtually” the same as meat from animals that are bred naturally or through artificial insemination.

If the FDA proposal is adopted, the United States will become the first country to allow meat and dairy products from cloned animals to be sold commercially. This change would end a moratorium on the sale of cloned meat and dairy.

The two cloning companies, who stand to gain considerably if this is passed, provided most of the data that the FDA relied on in its decision-making according to the Cornucopia Institute. Independent consumer and farm groups disagree with the data and the conclusions.

Cloning involves replicating an animal exactly – taking the complete “genetic code” of the donor animal and implanting the embryo into a surrogate mother. The offspring is an exact genetic duplicate. Classic breeding, by natural methods or artificial insemination, joins the genetic material of two animals and this can result in natural changes and “chance” that would normally occur in classic breeding. The current interest in cloning revolves around the financial gain in breeding replicates of a prized meat producing animal, superior breeding stock, or a dairy cow that produces large amounts of milk for example. The only draw to this type of breeding is financial: the economic benefit far outweighs the proven adverse health issues and higher death rate in cloned animals.

The health risks and deformities inherent in the cloning process can be horrific. The FDA documents health risks for the surrogate animals as well as the offspring. These abnormalities can be physical deformities that can appear in more than 50% of cloned cattle. Surrogate animals are more likely to die during pregnancy and the failure rate of cloned offspring can be reportedly as high as 90%. The FDA has gone so far as to address the concerns about the amount of damaged and deformed animals that will result in cloning. The FDA report states: “Increased risks of adverse health outcomes have been observed in surrogate dames and very young clones. Working with professional societies dedicated to animal health and the care of food-producing animals…, FDA will encourage the development of standards of care for animals involved in the cloning process (ie. clones and their surrogated dames).”

At this time, almost 60% of Americans surveyed said they would not want to eat meat from cloned animals even with assurance from the FDA. The FDA however does not intend to require labels on the meat or dairy products from clones. Products would be on shelves with no way for a consumer to know if they were buying cloned meat or dairy.

At this point certified organic meat and dairy products would not be allowed to use cloned animals but this is a slippery slope. Since many cloned animals are intended for classic breeding and the FDA does not intend to have any tracking system for clones, many in the food industry worry that the cloned animals and their offspring will be introduced into organic farms without the knowledge of the farmers.

The rapidity at which the FDA allowed bioengineered plants and animal products into the food supply has resulted in lawsuits, problems with cross contamination of crops and led to the recall of a number of organic products that showed contamination. This rush to allow cloned animals and dairy products into the general food supply seems to bring more questions than answers. The fact that the companies that stand to gain financially provided most of the data that the FDA relied on adds to the questionable nature of this decision.

We urge you to contact the FDA with any concerns you may have. You have until April 2nd to make your thoughts known on this. Never underestimate your ability to affect the outcome of these types of decisions.

Electronic comments may be sent to the FDA. Go to FDA.gov and click on animal cloning on the right hand side under Hot Topics. At the bottom of the page is a submit comments button. Click on that and proceed.

Potato Burritos

Well, this flu is holding on with all its might, so I am not doing much cooking, or taking pictures.  One of my favorite restaurants here in Prescott is the Iron Springs Cafe and one of my favorite things to eat there is the potato burrito.  I vary it a little since they have chicken on it, but it sure tastes good.   

Potato Burritos

Preparation Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Serves: 2

1 potato

2 cups water

¼ cup vegetable broth

½ cup onions, sliced

1 4-oz canned green chiles

2 flour tortillas, whole wheat, warmed

½ cup enchilada sauce

¼ cup green onions, chopped

  1. Cut the potato into 1” chunks & place in a saucepan with the water. Heat over high heat until boiling, then turn down the heat to medium-low & cook for about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft.

  2. In a large skillet, heat the vegetable broth over medium heat, add the onions. Sauté the onions for about 5 minutes, or until soft, stirring occasionally.

  3. Add the green chilies & cook for 2 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat & set aside.

  4. Drain the potatoes , reserving ¼ cup of the cooking liquid.

  5. Mash the potatoes, adding the reserved cooking liquid, until you reach the consistency of mashed potatoes.

  6. Place half of the mashed potatoes down the center of the tortilla & add ¼ cup of the onion & green chile mixture, then fold the tortilla up. Repeat the process with the other tortilla.

  7. Pour ¼ cup enchilada sauce over each burrito & sprinkle with the green onions.

Tip: Serve with a dollop of tofu sour cream or avocado slices if you like. Serve with a side salad.

Torta Al Testa “Bread of the Tile”

Well, I was going to post a recipe yesterday, but then I got my car stuck in the snow on my way to work.  So, after work (and shoveling snow), I was able to get out and back home, but then as soon as I got dinner made, I had to put it all in the fridge so we could make it to practice on time.  After practice, we finally ate dinner (around 8:30pm), it was very good, so here is the story and a recipe from dinner last night.  For dinner, I had some veggie patties that I got at Costco, which are basically all veggies and taste great!  Well, all I had for bread was some sandwhich bread which is good for pbj’s but not for “burgers”, so I decided to make a flat bread.  The problem with that is I only had 1 1/2 hours.  I went searching my recipes and found one that only had to rise for 30 minutes and then rest for 10 minutes.  All went well, I made some roasted sweet potatoes that I had cut into cubes and sprinkled with garlic pepper, sliced up some lettuce, tomato, and onion and set everything out.  I then rolled out my bread dough and cooked it in a pan on the stove (its kind of like pita bread and a tortilla in one), set it out on the table, then looked at the clock !!! only 5 minutes to leave, well, I wrapped everything back up and put in the fridge for later.  I reheated the bread in the microwave and it tasted great!  S0, here is a quickish yeast bread that tastes great folded around a “burger” or you could use it as a wrap.  They aren’t as flexible as a tortilla, but they are a nice alernative. 

Torta al Testa “Bread of the Tile”

This is an Italian peasant bread (Testa means “tile” in Italian) and is found almost exclusively in the home. You will not find this bread on the menu in restaurants. This flat bread is usually cooled, sliced, stacked, wrapped in foil and then filled and reheated right before serving.

2 tsp dry yeast

1 ½ cups warm water (100 to 110 degrees)

3 ½ cups whole wheat flour

1 ½ tsp salt

1 TBSP flax seeds

1 TBSP water

 

  1. In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast into 1 cup of the warm water. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then stir to dissolve the yeast.

  2. In a blender (I recommend a Magic Bullet with the short cup), blend together the flax seeds and 1 tablespoon water, set aside.

  3. In a large bowl, mix together the flour and salt, make a well in the center and pour in the dissolved yeast and flax seed meal.

  4. Mix the flour into the well, stirring in the reserved water as needed. This will form a firm, but moist dough.

  5. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes or until smooth, shiny and elastic.

  6. Place the dough back into the bowl and cover with a clean towel. Let the dough rise for 30 minutes, or until doubled in size. Punch the dough down and let it rest for 10 minutes.

  7. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and roll each piece out on a lightly floured work surface. Each dough should be about 8” in diameter and ¼” thick. If the dough doesn’t roll out easily, let it rest for 2 more minutes and try again. Once they are rolled out, prick them with a fork to prevent air bubbles.

  8. Heat a non-stick pan or griddle over medium-low heat. Place the dough rounds, one at a time, onto the pan and cook until golden on each side, flipping frequently so they will cook evenly.

  9. You can use these flatbreads in a variety of ways. You can run a sharp knife around the edge of each and divide it in half with your hands. Top one half of each bread with whatever toppings you want or you can leave them in one piece and top it like a tostada, or fold it over veggie patties, use it like a wrap, etc.