Saturday, February 28, 2009

Curried Yam Stew

This recipe is from the September 2006 McDougall Newsletter.

I will post the original recipe but I made it today with some modifications due to lack of ingredients. I used regular yams (I don't know what garnet yams are). I used cooked pinto beans and chopped kale instead of chick peas and spinach.

4 cups peeled and diced garnet yams
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (or 1 1/2 cups cooked beans)
1/4 cup vegetable broth
2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp cinnamon
4 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
4 cups packed fresh baby spinach leaves

Place the yams, tomatoes, garbanzo beans and broth in a large pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes, until yams are just tender. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the spinach leaves and mix well. Please the spinach leaves on top of the stew, cover and steam for 1 minute or so, then stir the leaves into the stew. Continue to cook, stirring frequently for 4 minutes longer. Serve at once.

Additional note by me: If you substitute kale in this recipe, steam the kale separately until it's tender and then stir into the stew. Kale leaves are a lot tougher than spinach leaves and take longer to cook.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Potato Cauliflower Soup

This delicious soup recipe is from The New McDougall Cookbook. In its original form, the recipe actually calls for double the ingredients listed here. Since I only usually cook for hubby and myself, I make the smaller quantity which requires half of a cauliflower. That leaves me with the other half to use in other dishes.

I am a fan of pureed soups and this one looks at lot like the soups I've already posted on this blog, except for the colour.

1 large onion, chopped
1/2 medium head cauliflower, chopped
2 1/2 cups peeled and chopped potatoes
4 cups water
1 tsp dried dill
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp soy sauce
fresh ground pepper to taste
chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

Place the onion, cauliflower and potatoes in a large pot with the water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, add the dill, cover and cook over medium heat until the potato and cauliflower are tender, about 30 minutes.

Remove from heat and puree in batches in a blender or food processor. Return to the soup pot. Add the bay leaf, soy sauce and pepper. Cook over low heat for 15 minutes to allow the flavours to blend. Remove the bay leaf and garnish with chopped fresh parsley before serving.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Zucchini Pasta Sauce

I found this simple idea on the Internet and of course I had to modify it, mainly because the original recipe called for 1 to 2 Tbsp of oil. Way too much fat.

This is how I made it for my lunch today - for one person. You can double or triple it for more people. The quantities given below would also serve two as a side dish.

1 medium zucchini, shredded
3 cloves garlic, grated
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 cup of dried pasta of your choice (I always use brown rice pasta)
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast, optional

Steam fry the soy sauce, garlic and chili powder for 3 or 4 minutes. Add a splash of water, if necessary, to keep the ingredients from sticking in the pan.

At the same time, boil some water for the pasta. When the water is boiling, add the pasta and let it cook for 10 minutes (that is if you use rice pasta). Other pastas make take less or more time.

Once you start cooking the pasta, add the shredded zucchini to the first pot and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. The zucchini sauce and the pasta should be finished cooking about the same time.

Drain pasta and mix the zucchini sauce and the pasta. Add salt and pepper to taste along with 1 Tbsp of nutritional yeast, if using. And if you want to be really wicked like me, add a grated raw garlic clove and mix well.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Split Pea Soup

I got this recipe off the Internet years ago. It wasn't exactly like I've posted below but this is the way I have modified it and like it. You could omit the step to puree the soup and serve it chunky if you prefer. Also the original recipe called for 3 to 4 Tbsp of red wine vinegar, however that's too much vinegar for my taste.

2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 onion, chopped
3 bay leaves
1 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp thyme
1 1/2 cups dried yellow split peas
8 cups water
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped or 2 Tbsp dried parsley
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion, celery, carrots and bay leaves in water until soft. Add marjoram, thyme, split peas and water and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium-high and cook until the split peas are soft, about 50 to 60 minutes. Add extra water if needed. Add potatoes and parsley and cook another 10 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Remove from heat, puree in batches in a blender. Add vinegar, mix well, salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Cauliflower Dal

This recipe is from the January 2008 McDougall Newsletter.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4-6

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup dried red lentils
15 oz can chopped tomatoes
2 cups cauliflower florets
1 large russet potato, peeled and coarsely chopped

Place the onion, garlic and jalapeno in a large pot with 1-2 tablespoons of the vegetable broth. Cook, stirring frequently for about 3 minutes until onion softens slightly. Stir in the cumin, coriander, turmeric and red pepper flakes. Cook and stir for about 1 minute. Add the remaining broth and the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve in a bowl with some pita bread on the side or over brown rice.

Note: Sometimes I use canned diced tomatoes and sometimes crushed tomatoes. Instead of a jalapeno pepper, I used two rings of the pickled jalapeno peppers that you can buy in a jar.

I add salt to taste once the food is on my plate.

I've only recently discovered this wonderful dish. It's tasty and cheap to make. What more could you want?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Patrick's Beans and Greens

My good friend Julia who lives four hours away from me, surprised me with a visit today. I get to spend a few days with her and get caught up face to face (even though we do yak on the phone with each other a couple of times a week).

Julia always brings some food with her every time she visits. This time she brought a few simple ingredients and the two of us whipped up this meal for dinner. Credit for this wonderful recipe goes to her friend Patrick.

We started out by coarsely chopping up 8 garlic cloves. The garlic was added to the cooking pot along with 1 tsp of sesame oil and 2 tsp olive oil. (For a fat free version, the oil could be omitted and the garlic could be steam fried in water or wine). Brown the garlic on medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes. Add one can of drained chick peas and fry for another couple of minutes. Add an 8 oz package of washed spinach and cook until the spinach has wilted. Do not overcook spinach and serve immediately.

We served this dish with some mashed potatoes. And of course we also had to drink a toast to the creator of this recipe, Patrick, and his wife Jane, whom someday I will meet. :)

Carrot Ginger Soup

Ingredients simmering in the soup pot:

Carrot Ginger Soup Pureed:

Another simple pureed soup but oh so tasty.

3 large carrots, chopped
1 medium potato, chopped
1 medium yam, chopped
1 onion, chopped
6 cups vegetable broth or water
grated fresh ginger - 1"x2"x1" piece
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste
fresh cilantro or parsley (optional)

Saute the onions in some vegetable broth or water for about 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, except the cilantro or parsley. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer until the vegetables are soft.

Puree the soup in batches in a blender until smooth and creamy. Taste and add a bit more seasonings according to your taste, if required. Note that I do not add the salt while cooking. I will add some salt once it's dished out in my bowl.

Garnish with fresh cilantro or parsley, if using. Serve hot. Also great reheated.

This is so good with some fresh whole wheat bread.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Black Bean Soup

I got this recipe from a message board back in 2002 and have been making it ever since. The reason it's red is because it has tomatoes in it.

vegetable broth or water for sauteeing
1 onion, minced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp chili powder
dash cinnamon
2 Tbsp Sucanat (sugar)
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
28 oz can diced, stewed or crushed tomatoes
3 cans black beans (or 4 1/2 cups cooked)
3 to 5 cups vegetable stock or water
lime juice

In a heavy soup pot, saute onion for 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, chili powder, cinnamon, Sucanat and half of the bunch of cilantro. Saute 2 or 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and beans. Saute 2 - 3 minutes. Add stock or water and bring to a boil. Blend 1 or 2 cups in a blender and then return it to the pot. Add a splash of lime juice and the rest of the chopped cilantro.

The above is what the recipe calls for. Here's what I do differently. I puree the whole soup so I don't both mincing the onions and garlic. I chop the onion coarsely and crush the garlic cloves.

I use whatever canned tomatoes I have on hand. If I use the diced or stewed tomatoes, I add less water or broth. If I use the crushed tomatoes, I use a bit more water.

This soup really has a lot of interesting flavours going on from the cilantro to the lime to the cinnamon. I didn't like cilantro the first time I tried it but have since acquired a taste for it and now love it.

Whole Wheat Bread

This is how I bake bread. I don't have a bread machine. I knead my bread the old fashioned way - by hand. And I also don't have a regular oven. Any baking I do is done in my toaster oven.

When we remodelled our kitchen a number of years ago on a very tight budget, it occured to me that I hadn't used my oven in at least a year. To save on space and money (the kitchen is quite small), I decided not to shop for a new stove. I also dislike upper cupboards so we don't have any of those either. Not a conventional kitchen but I can make anything and everything in my kitchen for hubby and myself.

I always thought bread was a very complicated thing to make. Not so. I have not had a failure yet. I have a very simple basic recipe with no oil added whatsover.

Dissolve 1 Tbsp of yeast in one cup of warm water and let sit for about 10 minutes.

Add two cups of whole wheat flour and 1/2 tsp of salt into a bowl. Then mix the yeast and water with the flour and stir until the dough sticks together. I have to help it along with my hands. Then I knead the dough for 10 minutes.

When I'm ready to put the dough into a bowl to rise for 2 hours, I used to have to lightly oil the bowl or otherwise the dough would stick. Well, I found a way around this so that I don't have to use any oil. What I do now is line the bowl with parchment paper and I make sure to coat the ball of dough lightly with flour before setting it into the bowl. I cover the top of the bowl tightly with a tea towel and a large plate.

I leave it to expland/rise for two hours and then I punch down the dough to let the air out. Then I roll it tightly and shape it into a loaf. I sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of cornmeal on a baking dish and place the loaf on top. Then I let it sit inside the unheated toaster oven for another 30 minutes.

After that, I take out the bread and preheat the toaster oven at 400 F for a few minutes. A toaster oven doesn't take long to heat up. I place the bread in the oven and after 30 minutes, out comes a fresh loaf of bread. The house always smells divine.

Hubby and I are going to have some bread later in the evening as a snack with some orange marmalade spread lightly on top. With a cup of herbal tea.

Soup For Julia

This blog was set up for the purpose of sharing my cooking with my good (long distance) friend Julia. Julia is a great cook from whom I have learned many things, the most important being, it's OK not to follow a recipe to the letter. Julia's cooking is mostly vegan while mine is 100% vegan.

This blog is public. You never know who might stumble across here and find something of interest.

For the first post, I thought I'd start with a picture of the soup I made for lunch today. I have no recipe to share because I couldn't tell you everything that went into this soup. I started with about a cup of leftover Cauliflower Dahl (from the January 2008 McDougall Newsletter). To that, I added (approximately):

2 cups water
1/2 carrot very thinly sliced (for fast cooking)
3/4 cup coarsely shredded cabbage
1 small potato, diced
2 cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 ring pickled jalapeno, very finely chopped (for some heat)
1 Tbsp dried parsley flakes (I like to throw in parsley flakes in almost everything)
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 bay leaf (it was already broken)

I also see some peas and corn floating around in here. I must have added those in to the first batch of leftover cauliflower dahl.

I brought the soup to a boil, lowered the heat and let it simmer for about 20 minutes, I think. It's done when the potatoes are done. I salt and pepper my dishes to taste AFTER they are cooked.

Hubby hates anything with cabbage in it so I made this just for myself. Although I have been successful in getting him to eat raw cabbage when shredded with other raw veggies in a salad.