Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Roasted Pumpkin Hummus

For tonight's dinner party I made some pumpkin hummus. It was very simple, and although it didn't taste much like pumpkins and tasted more like hummus, is was very good. I only used half a small pumpkin for this batch, and as you can see in the photo, the other half was the festive dish. The hummus had just a hint of orange coloring (I don't know if you can tell that in the photo).

I was going to make it into a jack-o-lantern face, but I got rushed at the last minute, and spent too much time chatting with a friend. Here is what I did:

  • One small pumpkin, roasted in (seeded) halves
  • One can chickpeas
  • 2 Tbs tahini
  • 1/3-1/2 c. olive oil
Directions: With one half of the pumpkin, remove cooked chunks, and place into food processor. Add remaining ingredients to processor and combine, adding more olive oil for a smoother consistency. When everything is blended and smooth, place hummus into the other half of the pumpkin. Serve with pita, chips, pretzels, crackers...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Chik'n Fried Steak Dinner

My apologies for lack of recent blogs. My husband has been in Los Angeles, and he will be there another 3 weeks. But, he came home last weekend, so it was back in the kitchen for me!

To celebrate his temporary homecoming, I made a homestyle comfort food dinner- Chik'n Fried Steak, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, and homestyle buttermilk biscuits.

I've been wanting to make this dinner for a while now. I've been disapoointed with other versions that I've had at a local restaurant. I am from the South, as you know, and their version of vegan chicken fried steak was more like chicken fried chicken! So I figured, I could do better!

Chik'N Fried Steak:
  • 4 vegan burgers (Boca or Morningstar are textured mostly like real ground beef)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • Oil for frying
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • salt and pepper
Directions: In a large frying pan, coat bottom with oil, and heat on Med. In a small mixing bowl, combine 1 c. flour and water to make it into a medium thickness paste (not runny, not dense). In another small mixing bowl, combine 1/2 c. flour, salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Place burger into dry flour, then coat with flour paste, then re-coat in dry flour. Place in frying pan, and fry on Med heat, until each side is browned. When CFS is done cooking, save oil for gravy. GRAVY: Let oil cool slightly and mix with plain, un-sweetened soymilk, and leftover flour, stir frequently to remove lumps and until thick.

Serves 4. Serve with buttermilk biscuits, mashed taters n' gravy, and a few close friends and/or family.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Chickpea Soup For the Soul

My sweet husband left town to work in L.A. - so in order to mourn properly, and sooth my lonely heart, I made me some chickpea noodle soup- for the soul.

My mom came over this evening to watch my baby during my class (midterm, yikes!) and it simmered while I was away for an hour. She couldn't wait to eat some while I was gone, and she loved it! I thought it was a little weird that people have been saying that the chickpeas gave it that hearty (meaty) taste and texture until I tried it for myself.. and it really is! Anyway, here is what I did:

  • one can or 2 cups cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 2 large carrots, quartered and sliced
  • 3-4 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1/2 white or yellow onion, minced or diced
  • 1/2 pound noodles
  • 1 Tbs garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped finely
  • 2 Tbs No-Chicken Bullion (or 2 cubes)
  • 6 or so cups of water, add as needed
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions: In a large pot combine water and carrots, onion and celery. Boil on Med-Low for about 10 mins. Add remaining ingredients and boil until noodles are soft. Serve.. easy huh?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Homemade Bread & Split Pea Soup for Two

We spent a rainy morning at the farmer's market today. Our budget was $10 and we got a large pumpkin, 25 lbs of yukon gold potatoes, 2 acorn squash, 6 large onions and a bunch of carrots. That's a lot of food for $10! I think we did very well.

After the farmer's market I felt like it was a great day for home made bread and soup. So I got a recipe for bread out of How it All Vegan, and I made 2 loaves- one white bread and one sun-dried tomato and artichoke.

While the bread was rising, I made some split pea soup. Then, while the bread was rising the second time, and the soup was simmering, I ran to the local health food store to pick up some things since they are closed tomorrow, and by the time I got home the power had gone out from the storm. Good thing we have a gas stove. Anyway, I couldn't set up my fancy photo spot since the power was out- so I took todays pictures out on my balcony.

Artichoke & Sun Dried Tomato Bread

Split Pea Soup for Two:
  • One Cup. Split Peas
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • one small onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • One cube veg. bullion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions: In a large pot, combine about 4 c. water and one c. split peas. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Chopped veggies and add to water with bullion and spices, and cook until everything is tender, adding extra water as needed. Serve when everything is tender.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Mystery Squash Chili Over Blue Corn Waffles

We've had this squash since our last co-op pick up and I have no idea what kind it is. I thought it was a type of pumpkin, but it doesn't taste anything like one. Does anyone recognize it?

I was came across this site that inspired me to create a chili with the mystery squash over thier recipe for corn waffles. The chili was really, really simple:

Squash & White Bean Chili Ingredients:
  • one can white beans (or 2 cups cooked)
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper (although I actually forgot this in mine)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups cubed squash (pumpkin, butternut, etc)
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
Directions: Saute onions and garlic until onions are clear. Add undrained can of beans (or cooked beans and a cup of water), squash and chili powder and let simmer while you make the waffles (or for for about 15 mins). Serve over corn waffles or on it's own..

Do you know what squash this is?

Monday, October 8, 2007

Adventures in Baking Part II

Another adventure in baking today! We made cinnamon rolls with Cindy's Aunt's recipe that was passed onto her recently. They were amazing, and we had fun, and lots of laughs!

Our first attempt didn't turn out so well...

Finally, we got it to stay on the counter long enough to get flour in there so I could start kneading the dough...

After we let it rise, we rolled it out to get all the air bubbles out...

Then spread on margarine and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, and roll, cut, ...

... and bake (for what seams like forever!)...

Cover in icing and enjoy!

I didn't get the recipe so go visit her blog and make some of your own tasty treats! Stay tuned for more Adventures in Baking.. Next time is Sugar Cookies!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Homestyle Pot Pie

Another night with a friend over. My husband's long time friend and colleague from out of town came over for dinner this evening. His wife and kid live out of state, so to make him feel at home and not so lonely, we made this homestyle pot pie. He said it tasted like Autumn! Seriously, talk about comfort food.. this was comfort to it's highest. So simple and savory, it's sure to please your family's taste.

Filling Ingredients:
  • 2-3 large potatoes, diced
  • 3-4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2-3 carrots, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup frozen peas (or corn, or both)
  • 1 cube veg. bullion
  • 2 tsp parsley
Biscuits Recipe Ingredients:
  • 2 c. flour
  • 3 tsp non-aluminum baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c. non-hydrogenated margarine
  • 1 cup sour soymilk (soymilk + 1 tsp. vinegar)
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 F. Cook veggies in broth water until soft. Meanwhile, make the biscuits recipe for the crust. Roll or press dough into casserole dish (the above recipe makes enough for one 8x8 dish, double for larger casserole dish- you will have plenty veggies), make sure to get the sides. Spoon cooked veggies with a little broth into the casserole dish, over the dough. Cover the veggies with the remaining dough, poke a few holes with a fork and bake for about 40-45 mins, depending on your stove. Remove from oven when biscuit mixture is cooked completely. Add salt and pepper to taste.

For dessert, my hubby made a lemon blueberry cake from scratch. It was very sweet! He is trying to recreate a recipe from years ago when he worked at a little veggie cafe here in Salt Lake.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Friday Night Dinner Party

The dinner party at my friend's house was great. It was the 3 of us girls, who I met at La Leche Legue a few months ago, and our husbands. Our host made bean and mushroom enchiladas with spanish rice and guacamole and salsa. We brought the dessert, which was awesomely good (I had 2 pieces while over there, and finished it off when we got home)!

It was a fun night! I almost forgot to take a picture, and I did forget my camera (Doh!) Luckily, I was able to borrow a camera for a couple pics, and got to use a super nice camera (I want one!).

And here is our kiddos playing with each other (Mine's the little one) after dessert.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

I am made this cake for a dinner party for this evening. I got the recipe from vegweb. I only made a couple of modifications. Check back later for peer review from the dinner party...

Pineapple Upside Down Cake:
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pineapple juice/water (see below)
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 20 oz can pineapple rings in unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.

Pour juice off can of pineapple into 1 cup measuring cup--it should be about 3/4 cup juice. Add water to make 1 cup. In a separate bowl, combine oil, vinegar and juice. Sprinkle with brown sugar.into the bottom of a 12 inch spring form pan and arrange Pineapple rings over the sugar. Quickly mix wet ingredients into dry, stirring quickly to combine ingredients well and get out the big lumps. Pour into pan on top of the pineapple/brown sugar mix. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Baking time will depend on pan size...mine took 30 minutes in my crappy oven in a 12 inch spring form pan. Let cool and loosen sides of cake from pan. Remove side ring and place serving plate on top. Flip cake over onto serving plate and remove pan bottom.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Red Beans 'n Rice

As a girl born in the south (and family still there) I sometimes must make a dish close to my roots. Tonight, I made red beans 'n rice for a few reasons, 1.) I needed to use up our veg sausage, 2.) My hubby put red beans on the pot and asked what we should make with them, and 3.) I love comfort food, especially trying to veganize them. This was really good, but it was missing something. If anyone is super familiar with Cajun food, please tell me what I was missing with this recipe. It *almost* was the red beans 'n rice I remember from my childhood, but not quite.

  • 1 lb dry red beans, cooked
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4-5 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • dashes of Tabasco
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp Cajun seasoning
  • Some salt and pepper
  • 1/2 package Gimme Lean vegan sausage
  • 2 cups white or brown rice, cooked
Directions: Cook beans as directed and simmer on low. Saute the onion and garlic, then bell pepper and celery, and add to beans. Add spices, simmer uncovered, adding water if needed to cover beans. Fry veg sausage in olive oil (fry in crumbles) and add to beans. Let everything simmer for a while (30 mins- 3 hours, the longer the better). Serve on top of white or brown rice.

Give it a try and tell me what I am missing. It really is good as is- not bad at all.. my hubby and his friend who was over for dinner really liked it. I'm the picky one when it comes to cajun food.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Roasted Fig Pilaf

Here is a new recipe I created this evening. My husband's mother has a fig tree in her yard, so I wanted to create something yummy that we would be able to use her fresh organic figs. Get ready for a treat.. this pilaf is truly inspired by the Goddesses! It is so delicate and sweet, and it's almost like eating candy for dinner, almost. My husband was praising me for this, and told me I should submit this to a vegan recipe contest. I just might do that. I have a few months to decide if this is "The One" to enter.

  • 1 c. Organic Rice Blend (I used a mixture of brown, heirloom red, calmati and wild rice)
  • 2 1/2 c. water
  • 10-15 fresh figs, diced
  • 1/4 c. diced onion
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 c. pine nuts
  • Olive Oil
Directions: Pre-heat oven to 400 F. Dice figs and brush with olive oil. Roast in oven on cookie sheet for 25 mins. Meanwhile, in a large pot add water, rice and a teaspoon olive oil, heat on high until it boils, then simmer covered on low until tender. In a small pan add olive oil, onion, and garlic and saute until onions are tender and translucent. When rice and figs are done, mix it all together with parsley, sage and pine nuts.

I hope you like this as much as me. It is a great side dish, but I ate it as a main dish with fresh green beans from my friend's garden.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Rustic Stew

I had a class tonight, so we just whipped up this soup for dinner tonight because we had everything on-hand and I wanted something to eat with my homemade bread. This is Rustic Tomato & Lentil Stew from How it All Vegan. It was so good. I didn't pre-cook the lentils like it said and I just added more water and cooked for longer. It was perfectly paired with the homemade bread, and it indeed tasted very rustic.

Adventures in Bread Baking!

Today, I went over to my friend Cindy's house to bake bread together. Neither of us have baked bread before, so we both felt like it would be easier to do it together, since it is pretty intimidating to bake bread alone (at least to us!). Plus our baby boys are close to the same age, and it is fun watching them interact with one another. I didn't get the recipe for the bread before I left, but check out her blog for more details.

Cindy is another vegan mom that lives in the SLC (Salt Lake City) area. Surprisingly there are quite a lot of us vegan mamas here, which is somewhat unexpected to an outsider. But SLC is pretty veg-friendly. Anyway, here are pics from today's bread baking adventure:

This is Cindy kneading the bread

Here is our bread in the oven

Right out of the oven

Check back in a few days for more Adventures from Cindy's Kitchen. I think we are baking cinnamon rolls next!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Blueberry Scones

The biscuits from earlier were so simple, I decided to try a desert tonight. Here is a Blueberry Scone that had the most delicate sweetness and warmed perfection. It simply danced on my tongue! It wasn't too sweet, too rich, or too bland.. they are perfect. It only takes about 5-10 mins to make, plus cooking time.

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 c. non-refined sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/4 c. soymilk
  • 1/4 margarine
  • 1 c. blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • plus about 1 tsp sugar for topping
Preheat oven to 450 F. Mix dry ingredients together, then add wet ingredients. Gently fold in blueberries (You will get messy! Use clean hands and have fun!) Scoop onto a lightly oiled pan, sprinkle sugar on top, and bake for 15 mins, or until tops have browned slightly.

Here is what they looked like going into the oven:

And here is what they look like when they come out:

Top with margarine, and enjoy. mmm... I want another!

Biscuits & Rosemary Sausage Gravy

This tasted just like the real thing! WOW! Incredible! It was just a light dinner because I had a class tonight at college, and we had company over- my omni brother in law. He raved about them and that he doesn't even like biscuits and gravy, but it was so good he went back for seconds. I meant to cook up veggies on the side, but I didn't really have time, but we had more than enough for the 3 of us plus seconds. Next time I will make it with veggies on the side, and you better believe there will be a next time!

Biscuits Recipe Ingredients:
  • 2 c. flour
  • 3 tsp non-aluminum baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c. non-hydrogenated margarine
  • 1 cup sour soymilk (soymilk + 1 tsp. vinegar)
Directions: Preheat oven to 450 F. Combine dry ingredients with a whisk. Add sour soymilk and margarine and combine, but do not over mix. Lightly oil cookie sheet with olive oil or margarine and spoon biscuits dough onto pan. Bake for about 10-15 mins, or until tops have browned slightly.

Rosemary Sausage Gravy Recipe:
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 tsp vegetarian bullion (or 2 cubes)
  • 1 c. plain soymilk
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 2 tsp. pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1 Tbs rosemary
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 package vegan sausage (I like Light Life's Gimme Lean Brand)
Directions: In a med. saucepan combine water, olive oil and bullion until dissolved. Before turning on the heat, whisk in flour until well combined. Turn heat on to Med-High and add soymilk, salt, pepper, rosemary and garlic. Stir constantly until it starts to boil and thicken, turn heat to low. Meanwhile, cook the vegan sausage in an oiled pan, breaking up pieces into small grounds. Cook until browned and slightly crispy, then add into the gravy. Serve over biscuits.