Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bean, Tomato, and Butternut Squash Soup

I don't know where I got this recipe. I usually make a notation in my recipe binder but this time I didn't. Anyway, I will post it with my modifications.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

1 onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups veggie broth and 2 cups water
3 cups cooked pinto beans (or 2-15oz canned beans)
14 oz can diced tomatoes, in juice
2 cups (1/2" pieces) peeled, seeded butternut squash
1 tsp dried marjoram
1/4 tsp dried crushed red pepper flakes

Saute onion and celery in a little water or broth until soft, about 7 minutes. Add half of the minced garlic, stir 1 minute. Add water, broth and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the squash is tender, about 15-20 minutes. Add the remaining minced garlic. Transfer soup in batches to a blender and puree until smooth. Return puree to the soup pot. Simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Instead of butternut squash, you can use kabocha squash (which I prefer but might not be readily available everywhere). You can use dried oregano in place of the marjoram. Try using other types of beans.

The original recipe called for 1/2 tsp of dried red pepper flakes. YIKES. 1/4 tsp provided plenty of heat, but if you're brave, go for 1/2 tsp.

I recently learned a good tip if you use garlic in a recipe and want a stronger garlic flavour. Most recipes tell you to sautee the garlic in the beginning, but if you add the garlic closer to the end of the cooking process, you end up with a stronger flavour. That's why I added half the garlic in the beginning of this recipe and half near the end. If you want a milder garlic presence, sautee all the garlic at the start.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Curried Green Beans with Corn and Tomato

I may not have blogged here for over a year, but that doesn't mean I haven't been cooking.

I have some Scarlet Runner beans in my garden that have grown really big - you know, tough and stringy. They wouldn't be nice steamed (which is what I usually do) so I had to find some other way to use them up.

First I used my potato peeler along the length of each side to peel away the stringy parts. Usually you can pull the strings, but my beans weren't cooperating. Then I cut them up into 1/2" pieces.

They are cooking on the stove now and here is my little recipe, created with what I had on hand. You can modify however you wish.

Curried Green Beans with Tomato and Corn

1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 cup corn kernels
1 - 28oz can diced tomatoes
2 cups cut green beans
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp granulated garlic
2 Tbsp dried kale - OPTIONAL
1/4 cup TVP (textured vegetable protein) - OPTIONAL

Saute the onion and garlic cloves in a little water until soft. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer on low heat until the green beans are soft or to your liking.

This will be a hearty sauce that you can serve over pasta, rice or mashed potatoes. Add a little water if it becomes too thick.

I always keep dried kale on hand because I love to toss some in soups and stews and fresh kale isn't always available to me. The TVP just adds a bit of texture.

I just had a little taste to see how it's coming along. Not bad at all. :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dry Pan "Fried" Potatoes With Savoy Cabbage

I love reading the McDougall recipe forum because I learn so much. Like how to fry potatoes without oil.

How much more simple can you get. Cube/dice some potatoes and soak them in water overnight. This is supposed to remove the starch and keep the cubes firm when "frying".

Drain the potatoes and pat dry with a couple of tea towels to get rid of the excess surface moisture.

Fry in a non-stick pan along with some diced cabbage (or whatever veggie you like). I used a medium high heat and kept stirring occasionally as the potatoes started to brown. I let the potatoes and cabbage cook for about half an hour (you don't have to stand and watch it every minute). Depending on what vegetable you cook this with, you may have to add a little water if you find the potatoes start to stick.

I seasoned it with onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. You could use a sprinkle of nutritional yeast as well.

The result. Lovely potatoes cooked all the way through and brown on the outside without losing their shape. And tasty too. And no added fat.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Vegan Sausages (No Added Fat)

I somehow wandered onto Vegan Dad's blog and saw this recipe for homemade sausages. After reading all the positive comments, seeing how simple these were to make and having all the ingredients on hand in my kitchen, I decided to give it a shot. Follow the link for Vegan Dad's recipe. Mine is similar but I cut it in half, mainly because I like to limit my intake of "processed" foods. Hubby and I find that we like these so much that if I made more at a time, we'd eat more. So for us, it's an occasional treat.

The photo above shows what they look like just after steaming. We will be lightly grilling them this afternoon for our hubby's birthday BBQ. We like these with an organic yellow mustard and full sour kosher pickles. Yum.

The original recipe called for a Tbsp of olive oil which I confess I did include the first time I made these. This time I omitted the oil and although I won't be sampling the sans oil version until this afternoon, I'm expecting that there will be no noticeable difference.

1/4 cup beans, rinsed and drained (I used white kidney beans)
1/2 cup cold water
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp gluten flour (Vital Wheat Gluten)
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp fennel seed, crushed
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1/4 tsp rosemary
freshly ground black pepper

Before mixing your ingredients, have your steaming equipments ready. Bring water to a full boil. This recipe comes together very quickly.

Have ready 2 or 4 sheets of tin foil, depending on whether you want to make 2 or 4 sausages. In a large bowl, mash the beans with a fork until there are no whole ones left. Toss together all the other ingredients in the order listed and mix. Divide dough in (2 or 4) equal parts. Place one part of the dough into tin foil and mold into about a 5 inch log. Wrap dough in tin foil (like a tootsie roll). Don't worry too much about shaping it as it will snap into shape while it's steaming.

Place wrapped sausages in a steamer and steam for 40 minutes.

If you want to make more sausages at a time, just double the recipe. Also I think it's very worthwhile to read the comments on Vegan Dad's blog for additional info.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Indian Bean & Dill Casserole with Zucchini & Mushroom

I have typed in my notes that this recipe was adapted from one by Bryanna Clark Grogan. I've had this recipe for a long time and I figure I must have made a few small changes to Bryanna's original recipe as I could not possibly have been so clever as to come up with this wonderful dish.

I love zucchini but hubby doesn't care for it as much as I do. So to make this more palatable for him, I serve this stew with brown rice pasta. Since he loves the pasta, this is how I get away with serving him zucchini.

Also, I think I halved the original recipe as I don't think hubby would go for zucchini leftovers. This recipe can be easily doubled.

1/2 can beans, drained and rinsed (any kind but black beans look good in this recipe)
1/2 large onion, diced
3 - 4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp red chile flakes
1/2 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
lots of fresh dill or 2 Tbsp dried dill
2 bay leaves
1 medium or large zucchini, diced
2 - 3 large mushrooms (chopped or sliced)
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp curry powder (or garam masala)
salt to taste

Add onion, garlic, cumin, mustard and chile flakes to a heated skillet. Stir fry, adding a little water as necessary to the mixture to keep from sticking and burning, over medium-high heat until the onion softens, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, bay leaves, zucchini, mushrooms, drained beans, dill, paprika and curry powder. Mix well and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook, uncovered for 15 minutes or so. Taste for salt and serve basmati rice.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bryanna's Persian Chickpea and Green Bean Stew

This is another simple but wonderful recipe from Bryanna Clark Grogan. It's from her cookbook "20 Minutes to Dinner." I got the recipe from a post Bryanna made on the Vegsource New Veggies board. I always serve this with brown rice.

1 onion, minced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 lb frozen whole small green beans or trimmed fresh green beans (I use 2 and 1/2 cups frozen cut green beans)
28 oz can diced tomatoes and juice
1 can (or 1 and 1/2 cups cooked) chickpeas, drained
1/2 cup chopped celery leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a large nonstick pot, steam fry the onion and garlic until it begins to soften. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then turn down to medium heat, cover, and simmer 15 minutes or until the green beans are tender.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Oil Free Tofu Mayonnaise/Dressing

Homemade tofu based creamy dressings are quite different from commerical dressings. I have to admit that when I first tried this recipe, I wasn't sure. It was OK but I wondered if I should bother posting it. Then the second time I whipped up my salad of mixed greens with this stuff I decided I did like it. The difference was that after I mixed my salad with the dressing, I added a sprinkle of nutritional yeast, freshly ground black pepper and some salt and gave the salad another toss. Perfection (at least according to my taste buds).

So maybe give this one a try and tweek it a bit to suit your own taste.

12.3 oz package Mori-Nu Silken Lite Tofu, firm
3 small garlic cloves
1 tsp dill weed
1 tsp onion powder
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sugar (or maple syrup)
1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
water, if needed to thin

This ended up thick like mayonnaise. When I used it for my salad, I took about 2 tablespoons from the jar and put it in a small bowl and stirred in some water. By doing that, I was able to pour it onto my salad like you would a commerical dressing.

I just know this dressing is going to help get a lot of raw greens into me all summer long.